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Special occasion holidays – honeymoons, family vacations, anniversaries, birthdays, proposals and important milestones – deserve an unforgettable setting. They also need to be as foolproof as possible: you may be travelling with several generations of your family, which means different individuals with different interests. The challenge is to tailor-make your itinerary to balance everyone's appetite for relaxation and action. A rich variety of activities, exceptional service throughout your stay, and a daily routine that is as flexible as possible are all beneficial.

Magnificent landscapes, a wide range of accommodation options, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences come together to create the ultimate African vacations for special occasions. With destinations ranging from private island lodges and exclusive safari villas to boutique city retreats and wilderness getaways, Africa has it all - especially if you’re looking for an Out of African birthday safari.

Many of our favourite safari lodges, hotels and resorts specialise in making milestone holidays truly memorable. They may offer palatial honeymoon suites or comfortable family rooms, home-from-home villas with private guides and chefs, or the convenience of a great children's club.

If you’re planning to celebrate a special occasion the next time you pack your holiday suitcase, take a whirl with us around Africa's best destinations for special occasions

matemwe-retreat-roof-terrace-seaview
Soak up the sun on Matemwe Retreat's roof terrace and marvel at the gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean.

Crusoe-chic: Islands & Beaches

Instead of yearning to be rescued, Daniel Defoe’s famous character would have been quite satisfied to spend the rest of his days relaxing on one of Africa’s Indian Ocean Island destinations. Private picnics, coral reefs and stretches of soft white sand are the hallmarks of an Africa beach holiday, and you won’t be foraging for supper either. Candlelight flickering at the ocean’s edge means you’ll be 5-star dining that night – with your bare feet in the warm sand.

Your biggest challenge? Deciding where to spend your special occasion vacation…

For a romantic honeymoon, Zanzibar’s palm-fringed beaches and turquoise waters are hard to beat. Enjoy complete privacy at the luxurious Kilindi, with superb ocean views and private butler services. The super-exclusive Matemwe Retreat is renowned for its romantic candlelit beach dinners, and its fantastic scuba diving and snorkelling excursions. Matemwe Beach House and Azura Benguerra in the Bazaruto islands are both ideal for barefoot romance but offer wonderful family villas too.

Madagascar

A woman standing on the beach by someone else lying in a hammock overlooking the cerulean ocean | Go2Africa
Hammocks on the beach | Constance Tsarabanjina

Madagascar, otherwise known as the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’, is both an exceptional beachside escape and a wildlife haven. This beautiful collection of islands is lauded as a Biodiversity Hotspot, one of only a few in the world. The majority of Madagascar’s flora and fauna are endemic – found nowhere else in the world – and the sheer diversity of their lemur population is staggering.

A unique combination of safari and beach create the ideal environment for an off-the-beaten-track adventure. Smaller, iconic islands such as Nosy Be, Nosy Iranja, provide ideal destinations for day trips while uncrowded beaches, hidden coves, and towering baobabs offer enticing spots to explore.

Best For:

Africa Adventure Travel, Africa Beach Holidays, Hidden Gems

Seychelles

A cosy seating area with a dining table in the background looking over a pool on the deck, palm trees, and over to the ocean | Go2Africa
A beautiful way to spend time in Seychelles | Waldorf Astoria Seychelles

Another Indian Ocean giant, the Seychelles is the perfect beach destination with white, powder-soft sand, turquoise waters, and clusters of palm trees. With a combination of luxury, award-winning hotels and resorts, and exceptional exclusive-use villas, it’s an ideal destination for couples, honeymooners, and family travel.

Spend leisurely afternoons on the beach followed by sundowners and a spa treatment or take advantage of all the fantastic activities the Seychelles has to offer. From swimming and snorkelling along shallow reefs and exploring shipwrecks teeming with fish, to discovering unique wildlife, indulging in local cuisine or embarking on hikes around the island.

Best For:

A Seychelles Honeymoon and Africa Honeymoons

Diani Beach

Diani Beach in front of The Sands at Nomad, Kenya | Go2Africa
Beautiful white sand and bright seas | The Sands at Nomad Hotel

The ultimate destination for beach-goers who want an easy-going experience at one of the best spots for water sports in East Africa. Enjoy walks along the glorious, unspoilt stretch of golden sand and refreshing dips in the sand to paddleboarding, canoeing, scuba-diving, snorkelling, and so much more.

Not only is the beach and undeniable attraction, but so are its surroundings; walk through the nearby forest and watch as monkeys swing through lush canopies, mount your steed and venture off on a horseback adventure, or test your handicap on an 18-hole golf course. But most importantly, watch the sun set from the bow of a dhow and watch as the last rays reflect off the cerulean water. Its idyllic locale and ample activities allow for various holiday types from honeymooners and families to those celebrating birthdays in Africa or even anniversaries.

Best For:

Africa Family Holidays, Kenya Family Holiday, Africa Diving Holiday

Cape Town

Dozens of penguins sit along the sand and come out of the water at Boulders Beach in Cape Town | Go2Africa
Boulders Beach in Cape Town | Go2Africa

South Africa’s crowning jewel and ‘Mother City’ has plenty to offer its visitors from one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and its incredible culinary scene to the iconic V&A Waterfront and its world-class winelands. But perhaps most notable, it’s beaches. With a vast, varied coastline, there are ample options and plenty of competition for the best beaches in Cape Town.

In one of the city’s most sought-after suburbs, Clifton 1st to 4th beach offer a vibrant social scene, white sand, and bright blue ocean hues akin to its neighbour, Camps Bay Beach. Just along the scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive is the secluded Llandudno Beach, ideal for body boarding, beach picnics and sunsets. Further afield is visitors’ favourite, Boulders Beach where warmer seas and countless penguins offer a safe swimming spot and constant entertainment. For those who wish to catch a wave, Muizenberg and Blouberg are safe bets for some good surf. Alternatively, discover one of Cape Town’s many tidal pools from Dalebrook and St. James to Saunders Rock and Camps Bay Tidal Pool.

With so much to see and do, the possibilities for travel in and around Cape Town are seemingly endless – enjoy a romantic honeymoon in the winelands, a multi-generational family holiday from the privacy of exclusive-use villa, or even adventure travellers who wish to summit its peaks and join the thriving active scene. The city also plays host to countless weddings each and every year – its spectacular scenery, service and exquisite venues provide an ideal destination wedding trifecta.

Best For:

Africa Self-Drive Holiday, Cape Town Family Holiday, Cape Town Honeymoon, Food & Wine Holiday

Positive Impact: Trips With A Purpose

Positive Impact travel has gained a lot of ground in recent years with an increase in itineraries that include an immersive or hands-on experience related to supporting local communities, conservation, or environmental projects. Each and every safari booked with Go2Africa contributes to funds used for conservation, communities, and restoration, but Trips With A Purpose take that a step further.

This is perfect for the traveller who is looking to do something completely different and combine an unforgettable safari experience with a conservation project. Discover local cultures and traditions, visit and support various projects and research stations, or get physically involved with setting up camera traps, planting vegetation, and more.

Best For:

Eco-Travel In Africa, All-Inclusive African Safaris, Trips With A Purpose

Candles & Canvas: Classic Tented Safari Camps

Exterior view of the luxurious Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp in Botswana | Go2Africa
Pristine tented magic | Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

Milestone holidays honour the years behind you and deserve to be remembered for years to come. If there is any continent that specialises in truly memorable ‘bucket list’ experiences, it’s Africa. Witness spectacles like a hundred thousand wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti’s endless plains. Go on mokoro (traditional canoe) excursions to explore the intricate waterways of Africa’s truly great wilderness, the freshwater wetland paradise of the Okavango Delta. Gaze through the moonroof above your bed at a gigantic, never-ending starry sky in Namibia’s internationally recognised ‘dark sky reserve’, located in the oldest desert on Earth.

Africa is the last frontier for authentic adventure with a range of safari destinations to make real the dreams of travellers from around the world. Our top criteria for an anniversary or honeymoon holiday are big experiences and intimate lodges where your preferences determine the daily pace and exploring the wilderness happens in the care of a private guide.

Memorable experiences that make for unforgettable holidays come in all shapes and forms. Sometimes the landscape is so unusual that it captures your heart, sometimes the people or wild creatures you encounter change your life. One of the most endearing and unforgettable experiences you can have in Botswana’s Okavango Delta is exploring the pristine waterways and floodplains around Stanley’s Camp, or taking a helicopter flight from Linyanti Bush Camp for a bird’s eye view of Chobe’s gigantic elephant herds. Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is a serene oasis set close to the mighty and magical sand dunes of the Namib Desert. Each luxurious villa has a moonroof in the main bedroom for private stargazing!

South Africa

A leopard standing on a rock is spotted by a game vehicle seen in the background | Go2Africa
Keep an eye out for leopards in the Kruger | Lion Sands Ivory Lodge

From the contagious energy of Cape Town and the world-class wineries to the spectacular malaria-free safaris in the Eastern Cape and the lauded wonders of the Kruger National Park, South Africa has it all. Its diverse landscapes and unique safari and beach combinations create the perfect environment for almost any special occasion holiday. Discover Africa’s wild heart on a romantic holiday or honeymoon, say ‘I do’ in the midst of a National Park, or embark on a sensational safari with your entire family.

Malaria-free reserves offer a safari sojourn for the whole family and is the perfect example of African trips to take for a birthday. Close enough to Cape Town to create the ideal city and safari combination, and wild enough to still discover safari big hitters and the Big 5. Further north, the Kruger National Park is also a popular multi-generational destination, but is also one of the best places to travel for honeymooners. Quaint tented camps, sleep-out treehouses under the starts, and lantern-lit dinners in the bush come together to create the ultimate romantic escape.

Best For:

Kruger Honeymoon, Malaria-Free Safari, Big 5 Safari

Kenya

A gold and green hot air balloon floating above Kenyan plains | Go2Africa
Hot Air Ballooning in Kenya | Kate McIntosh, African Safari Expert

Journey to the birthplace of safaris, the perfect place for special occasion African vacations given its Big 5 game viewing, diverse landscapes, and proximity to both Tanzania and Rwanda. If you’re searching for an Out of African birthday safari,the luxury accommodation throughout Kenya –  varying from opulent, colonial-style camps and lodges and amenity-heavy modern retreats to more rustic options – offer the perfect base from which to experience it.

Perhaps Kenya’s biggest draw card is its own annual special occasion, the Great Migration, where mega-herds of wildebeest tackle their migratory gauntlet with nail-biting river crossings, predatory evasion, and a test of sheer endurance. No matter the occasion, Kenya offers a holiday suited to every traveller type and celebration.

Best For:

Safari & Beach Holidays, Kenya Luxury Safari, Migration Safari, Kenya Honeymoon, Kenya Family Holiday

Tanzania

A river crossing in Tanzania along the Great Migration route | Go2Africa
Enjoy front-row seats to the Great Wildebeest Migration | Go2Africa

As East Africa’s second largest country, Tanzania has an enviable wildlife population as well as captivatingly diverse landscapes. Its varied environments have created an exemplary safari and beach destination – from the unbroken volcanic caldera of the Ngorongoro Crater and the yearly migratory gauntlet across the Serengeti to the pristine beaches of Zanzibar and chimpanzee trekking in untouched rainforests.

A true world in one country, Tanzania lends itself well to a destination wedding followed by an unforgettable beach- and safari-based honeymoon or simply a way to celebrate a graduation or birthday. The country also provides ample opportunities for family and multi-generational travel.

Best For:

Kenya & Tanzania Safaris, Tanzania Honeymoon, Tanzania Luxury Safari, Tanzania Family Holiday

12 days
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