We’re a starry-eyed bunch at Timbuktu and love nothing better than a mind-bogglingly wonderful honeymoon. And in our eyes, there isn’t a better place to spend your first days as Mr and Mrs than Africa. Endlessly wild and beautiful, dazzling landscapes peppered with wildlife and some seriously cool camps along the way make for a truly romantic trip. But which country? Which route? What time of year?! We’ve chosen our best Africa honeymoons below to give you a helping hand…
A Safari Sandwich
Mafia, Selous, Zanzibar
If a honeymoon to you is a secret bolt-hole preferably in the middle of nowhere with not another being in sight (aside from maybe an animal or two), then this is the honeymoon for you. Tanzania’s Selous is the ultimate off-the-beaten-track destination, where days are spent viewing some of the most incredible wildlife on the planet before candlelit dinners are served under twinkling skies. Sandwich it between a few days at the dreamy Mafia Island, where the only fruit is high up in the trees and not on the back of an electronic device and the ultimate beach dream Zanzibar and you have one of the best Africa honeymoons around.
When to go: July to January
Luangwa and the Lake of Stars
Vic Falls, South Luangwa, Lake Malawi
For wildness of a different kind (stop it!), let us introduce you to Zambia and Malawi. Slightly less groomed than its East African counterparts, Zambia is wild, adventurous and full of hidden spots that are Honeymoon with a capital H – you just have to know where to find them. With accommodation ranging from grass-topped bandas in the heart of the bush with smiling, never-too-much trouble waiters, to luxury lodges complete with open-air spas amid the tree-swinging monkeys, there’s something for every taste and budget. Top it all off with a few nights in one of Lake Malawi’s castaway-chic lodges and watch the stars shimmering above the water – did someone say honeymoon?
When to go: June to October
Cape to the Azure Islands
Cape Town, Winelands, Kruger, Mozambique
With towering mountainscapes and powdery beaches, chic cities and no less than 20 game reserves, South Africa is an all-round winner when it comes to best Africa honeymoons. Start your trip in Cape Town and the Winelands for a lesson in romance (gourmet restaurants and sublime views included) before jetting up to the Kruger for a spot of wildlife-watching. There are no chilly tents here either – South Africa is the home of high-octane safari glamour and whiskey snifters under crimson sunsets and multi-course meals on private tree-decks are quite the norm. If you can handle any more, add on a few days at your own private island in Mozambique. Truly the stuff that honeymoon dreams are made of.
When to go: September to November; March to May.
Wild East Africa in Style
Rwanda, Tanzania, Zanzibar
Step into married life with a bang on this grand journey through East Africa that covers just about everything a honeymoon should. Ramp-up the thrill factor with a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trek through the forested slopes of Rwanda’s Virunga mountains, before heading to the continent’s wildlife super-bowl, the Ngorongoro Crater, where there’s something to discover around every corner. Romance is covered in the Serengeti with spectacular game drives a deux through the waving grass plains. Oh and did we mention the beach part? Choose Mnemba Island, just off the coast of Zanzibar, for unparalleled island luxury and a spot of indulgence.
When to go: June to September; Feb/March
Highlights of Southern Africa
Vic Falls, Delta & Mauritius
Baffled by the endless choices for best Africa honeymoons? Then stop right here and have a look at this gem. Quite possibly our favourite once-in-a-lifetime Africa itinerary, this trip has a bit of everything (and a little bit more) and shows off our favourite continent at its absolute best. The mesmerizing beauty of Vic Falls, one of the greatest wonders of the natural world, gets things off to a good start but swishing through the glassy waterways of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, spotting elephant as you go, is hard to beat. Then it’s to Mauritius for jungle-enshrined hotels and blindingly brilliant beaches, empty save for a pair of sunloungers just for you….
When to go: June to October