Honeymoons are always a tricky thing to plan and whilst they’re a lot of fun, you can get yourself in a twist trying to do everything you want to whilst still enjoying some time to just relax after the fun of the wedding! Sometimes the location is the hardest bit, but if you’re looking for somewhere that ticks both your boxes, how about Kenya? This beautiful and vast country in East Africa really does have something for everyone, and whether you’re after wildlife, luxury, beaches or adventure, you will find it all here. Keep reading to find your dream Kenya honeymoon…
Bush and Beach
If you’ve done any sort of research into African honeymoons, we’re almost certain you’ll have heard of a ‘Bush and Beach’ break. The classic honeymoon combination, it does exactly what it says on the tin – 10 days of post-wedding bliss split between safari and sun-lounger time. There’s a reason it’s a popular choice! Our favourite trip takes newlyweds through some of our favourite Kenya highlights: relax at Lake Naivasha as you watch candy-floss pink clouds of flamingos drift by, enjoy front row seats to the safari action in the iconic Masai Mara, and then finish your trip sprawled on the beach, book in one hand and a cocktail in the other. Honeymoon heaven you say? Well, quite.
Top spots to stay
Perched on the shores of Lake Naivasha, we love Loldia House for its 1930s charm and prime spot on the glistening shores of the water. If it’s wall-to-wall luxury you’re after, then Mara Plains Camp in the Masai Mara is the spot for you. This Hemingway-worthy nook is the last word in safari-luxe with its Persian rugs, copper baths and unbeatable access to the park’s remarkable game viewing. For low-key beach chic in Diani, we love the peaceful and stylish Diani Blue.
Those newlyweds in search of more of an adventuremoon, we’ve got something for you too. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track, don’t-know-anyone-else-that’s-been-there, bragging-rights escape, let us introduce our ‘Wilds of Northern Kenya’ trip. Whilst you’ll still get to explore the safari wonderland that is the Masai Mara, you’ll also get a taste of a slightly more unexplored side of Kenya. Seekers of something ‘wild and remote’ need look no further than Matthew’s Range (also known as the Lenkiyio Hills) in the north of the country. Adventurous couples can spend their days hiking the slopes, always keeping an eye out for some of the incredible wildlife that call the mountains home. Here you’ll spot everything from elephant to giraffe to oryx, gazelle and zebra! And if all that weren’t enough, you’ll also get a chance to meet the local Samburu tribe and understand their culture and way of life. It’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Top spots to stay
You’ll probably have to stop for a night in Nairobi when you arrive in Kenya, so why not make your layover a memorable one at the ever-popular Giraffe Manor? Being as remote as it is, Matthew’s Range doesn’t offer an abundance of accommodation, but Kitich Camp and Sarara Tented Camp are both excellent (and romantic) options. With its 12 spacious tents and astonishing river-side locations, Elephant Bedroom Camp is forever a favourite in Samburu.
All in one
You may have heard or read about all the incredible destinations Kenya has to offer, and if you don’t know how you’ll ever possibly choose, try our ‘All the highlights, all in one’, trip and tick off those must-visit spots. This 13 night adventure will take you across the country in a whirlwind of wildlife, romance, adventure, unparalleled scenery and sandy white beaches. Enjoy walking and horseback safaris in Laikipia with your beloved, search for the Big Five in the Masai Mara (yes the magical Mara comes up again and again – and for good reason!), spot huge herds of ellies Amboseli in front of the incredible backdrop of Kilimanjaro, before finally flopping down on a beach for a few days of well earned rest in Msambweni. If you’re a couple who just can’t make up your minds, then this is the perfect Kenya honeymoon for you.
Top spots to stay
Lovely Laikipia has something for every budget. On the shoestring side of things, you’ve got the Sweetwaters Serena Camp with tents facing directly onto an active water hole, but for those with a little more money to burn, the romantic clifftop Ol Malo Lodge offers charming luxury like no other. Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp is the perfect midrange escape in the Masai Mara and offers long game drives and a setting far from the madding crowds. The charming beachside village of Msambweni isn’t short of boutique spots either: Mbuyu Beach Bungalows is the perfect no-frills beach lodge and The Ocean Spa Lodge is ideal for those looking for a touch of coastal magic.
Wildlife and white sandy shores
Just because we’re talking top Kenya honeymoons, it doesn’t mean you can’t do a little country-hopping and see a bit more. Our Mara to Mahe trip is perfect for those that want to combine some of Kenya’s magnificent wildlife highlights with the unparalleled beaches of the Seychelles. Visit one of Kenya’s most abundant wildlife wonderlands in Lewa Downs, a small but mighty area that packs a punch with both black and white rhino, elephant, giraffe, hippo, lion, leopard, buffalo, cheetah, wild dog… we could go on, but do we need to? Then, spend a few days in the Masai Mara before heading off to the cloud-like beaches of the Seychelles. If you want guaranteed tropical island life then this is where you need to be. Located just south of the equator, the Seychelles enjoys blissful temperatures for almost 365 days of the year, so whether you’re jetting off in the middle of a drizzly winter or hit-and-miss summer back home, you’re almost certain to find some sunshine here.
Top spots to stay
One of our favourite stopover spots in Nairobi, Ololo Safari Lodge is easy on the eye and the wallet! Lewa Wilderness Lodge is a perfect jumping off spot to explore Laikipia Plateau. It’s stylish and unpretentious and has everything you’re looking for. If you want to see the Mara in style, then it has to be the beloved Angama Mara, easily one of our favourite lodges on the continent and set on the very hillside featured in the film Out of Africa. The Seychelles has a reputation for being home to some incredible luxury (hello North Island and Six Senses Zil Pasyon) but there are some deals to be found if you look for them. We love Mahe Island’s Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove for providing all the creature comforts you’ll need, right on the water’s edge.
If you’re the sort of couple whose perfect night in involves a box set of David Attenborough’s Planet Earth, then our ‘A Big Five safari in Kenya, with the magic of Madagascar’ is the honeymoon for you. Whilst a lot of our top Kenya honeymoons involve wildlife, this is for the real animal lovers and you’ll come face to face with endangered species that you’ve probably only seen on screen. The trip is a Kenya/Madagascar combo and you’ll start in the Masai Mara, meeting the famous tribe who are at the very heart of the region and spotting a plethora of magnificent beasts on game drives. And how about upping the honeymoon ante with an unfathomably romantic hot air balloon ride over the national park landscapes? Next, head off to the quirky island wonder that is Madagascar! Immerse yourself in the rainforest of Andasibe for an encounter like no other as you meet the 13 lemur species the country is renowned for, including one of the largest in the world, the indri. After all that, take a break on the white sandy shores of Nosy Be and discover the wildlife wonders living below the water.
Top spots to stay
If spotting the Great Migration is top of your Masai Mara must-see list, then the Elewana Sand River Masai Mara Camp might be the place for you. You’ll find it on the banks of the Sand River, one of the main wildebeest crossings, right in the heart of the action. We also love Andasibe’s Vakona Forest Lodge, an eco-friendly spot set in its own private reserve, where wildlife (aka lemurs) are rife! Onto the tropical beaches of Nosy Be and here we love the Tsara Komba Lodge. Set on a hillside slope, with views across the water, this is what you think of when you imagine an island paradise.
Unbeatable bucket list
A honeymoon is usually the trip of a lifetime, so why not take it to the next level and tick off some major bucket list items? If you’re the sort of newlyweds who want to experience something completely unique and the kind of thing others usually only dream about, then our ‘Gorillas & game parks‘ trip is the one for you for you. Despite topping our Kenya honeymoon list, this adventure actually begins deep in the heart of Rwanda, in Volcanoes National Park to be exact. It’s here that you and your beloved will come face to face with one of the most extraordinary creatures on this planet: the mountain gorilla. To trek through a rainforest and see one of these beautiful beasts in the flesh is an experience like no other and it’s no wonder it regularly tops the must-do-before-you-die lists for most travellers. And if that wasn’t enough of a bucket list adventure, you’ll then hop on a short flight to, yes you guessed it, Kenya’s Masai Mara! Spend a couple of days soaking up the magic of the Mara, before heading to the luscious Amboseli & Chyulu Hills for more wildlife and incredible views.
Top spots to stay
Your one night stopover in Kigali can still be extremely chic and The Retreat by Heaven is a stylish, eco-friendly and more-than-satisfying spot to rest your head for a night (or two!). Volcanoes National Park has a great selection of lodges and no matter what your budget is, there will be something for you. We love the Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel for their excellent post-hike massages and the incredible service given to all their guests, but if you’re looking for luxury, you can’t do better than opulent, glamorous, architecture-like-you’ve-never-seen-before Bisate. Back in the Mara and onto one of our favourites, Speke’s Camp. Sprinkled with ancient artefacts, its a return to the safaris of old but with modern-day luxuries like Wifi and flushing loos – the best of both worlds! Our must-stay spot in Amboseli & Chyulu Hills has to be Ol Donyo Lodge with its grand, sweeping views of a well-populated water hole, lush green backdrop and Mount Kilimanjaro residing over it all.