South Africa is probably one of the most popular African honeymoon destinations and it’s not hard to see why. From the rolling, vine-covered hills of the Cape Winelands and the wildlife-rich Kruger, to the gourmet-food-packed Western Cape, it’s tick tick tick as far as romance is concerned. With everything there is to do, it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve put together our guide to the top South Africa honeymoons to help you decide!
This trip is everything you’d think about when you imagine taking a South African honeymoon. It does exactly what it says on the tin! You’ll start your adventure living it up in buzzing Cape Town, the home of incredible culture, unbeatable sightseeing, delicious restaurants and next level nightlife – you certainly won’t be short of things to do. Next, you’ll whizz out of town to the beautiful Cape Winelands. There’s a reason this area is so popular, and with its luxury accommodation and award-winning wine (and great restaurants too!) you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Then to top it all off, you’ll jet up to the Kruger which is known as a wildlife wonderland thanks to its incredible diversity and density of game.
Top spots to stay
In Cape Town we love MannaBay for its mid-range luxury, as well as its beautiful new sister property (just up the road) Camissa House. In the winelands you’ll find boutique beauties for every price range; we especially love La Fontaine and Leeu House. The world is your oyster when it comes to Kruger accommodation. The park is divided into different private reserves and we particularly love Sabi Sands for honeymoon couples – Kingston Treehouse at Lion Sands and Dulini River Lodge in particular.
Self-drive and safari
South Africa’s Garden Route has earned a reputation as being a ‘must-do’ for visitors to the country and when you drive this long coastal road, you’ll see exactly why. There are miles and miles of amazing views and the route shows off a huge selection of South Africa’s wild and diverse topography, from the forests of Tsitsikamma to the arid desert of the Klein Karoo. Knowing that the Garden Route and its wildlife are at the top of most our traveller’s lists, we put together our Garden Route with a Spot of Safari trip. This self-drive route will take you from Cape Town all the way across the country to the safari gem that is the Eastern Cape. On the way, you’ll pass through the Overberg region for wine tasting and whale spotting (in the right season – roughly July until November), Knysna and Plettenberg Bay for some time in the water and Oudsthoorn in the Karoo if you’re up for some history and adventure, before finally ending at one of the many reserves we love on South Africa’s East Coast. Who says you can’t have it all?
Top spots to stay
If we’re talking honeymoon accommodation in Cape Town, you can’t do much better than the creme de la creme – Ellerman House. Heading through to the Overberg region, we love both Morukuru Beach Lodge and Lekkerwater Beach Lodge for chic, seaside perfection. In the Knysna/Plett area, Emily Moon River Lodge forever steals our hearts, but we also love the cliffside delight that is Kanonkop House. Where you stay for your safari section will depend on which reserve you choose, but we’d highly recommend checking out Kariega Ukhozi Lodge and Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge – two of our Eastern Cape safari favourites.
West Coast adventure
The West Coast always feels like a little South African secret, and it’s one of those places that only locals seems to travel to. Whilst you might not have heard of Paternoster or the Cederberg, we highly recommend adding them to your South Africa bucket list. Our Road Less Travelled trip will take you through all the highlights, starting with some city time in Cape Town before leading you through the Cape Winelands, the awe-inspiring mountain landscape of Cederberg and ending with some beach time at the beautiful fishing village of Paternoster. Each location is just a few hours from the Mother City but all feel like they’re lightyears away and the scenery ranges from lush vine filled valleys to moonscape mountains. We urge you to explore!
Top spots to stay
If you’re looking to escape the Cape Town crowds on your South African honeymoon then Hout Bay’s waterside Tintswalo Atlantic is just the spot for you (and you’ll experience one of the best sunsets in the city!). In the Cape Winelands our honeymoon hotspots have to be the eternally chic Robertson Small Hotel and foodie delight Babylonstoren. In the Cederberg, Bushman’s Kloof Lodge and Cederberg Ridge are shining examples of remote done right and in Paternoster, the beachside boutiques of Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel and Linhof Boutique Guest House never fail to delight.
Grapes and off-the-beaten-track game
More unexplored destinations now, because we really do want you to experience every type of South African honeymoon imaginable. On this trip, you’ll begin at Madikwe Game Reserve. It might not be the name on every traveller’s lips, but once people visit, there’s no stopping them coming back! It’s a magical spot with deep red earth, the Big Five (which becomes the “Madikwe Super Seven” when you include their wild dog and cheetah) and a dramatic backdrop to set it all off. From there you’ll travel to the wild desert of the Tswalu Kalahari in search of an experience like no other – as well as desert black rhino, you’ll find friendly meerkat, cheetah, sable antelope and the rare aardvark and pangolin. Cape Town is up next for some culture, before you round things off with a little vino and relaxation at the much famed Cape Winelands. Quite the adventure!
Top spots to stay
Madikwe is packed full of gorgeous spots but if we had to choose for a honeymoon, we’d plump for the romantic Jaci’s Tree Lodge or Madikwe Kopano Lodge. In Tswalu Kalahari there aren’t an abundance of places to stay but fear not, the lodges (Tswalu Tarkuni and Tswalu Motse Lodge) that you will find are the stuff of honeymoon dreams. In Cape Town, we love the chic boutique property The Cape Cadogan and you’ll find yourself in Cape Winelands heaven at La Clé Country Lodge or La Petite Ferme.
Something for the culture vultures
If your idea of an epic South African honeymoon is exploring the diverse culture and history of this great country then boy, have we got something for you. This trip will lead you through the beautiful KwaZulu-Natal region, one of the most history-rich in South Africa. In Durban, you can go in search of the best Indian food in the country and seek out that local delicacy, the bunny chow. After your foodie delights, head out through the quaint Victorian towns of the peaceful Midlands region, exploring the local shops and breweries on offer, before arriving in the historical heart of the area, the infamous Anglo Zulu battlefields. You’ll stand on the spots where these history-making battles took place, as a guide brings the bloody wars to life and helps you to understand the circumstances that led to them and, of course, how they ended. You’ll finish your trip at the excellent Phinda Private Game Reserve to make sure you get your South African safari fix.
Top spots to stay
If you’re on a South African honeymoon and you find yourself in Durban, then your hotel just has to be the deluxe Oyster Box (it’s even counted Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene of Monaco and Prince Harry and William amongst its guests!). In the Midlands we love the charming and luxurious Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, a country retreat at the foothills of the awesome Drakensberg Mountains. Fugitives’ Drift Lodge is THE place to stay if you really want to immerse yourself in the history of the battlefields and in Phinda you can’t really go wrong, but we think &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge and &Beyond Phinda Rock Lodge are perfect honeymoon fodder.
The best of Southern Africa
We’re ending our top South African honeymoons list with an absolute classic, a country-hopping adventure through some of our favourite destinations. The trip will see you start at that wonder of the world, Victoria Falls. If it weren’t enough to see this incredible sight in the flesh, daredevil honeymooners can get their kicks bungee jumping above the falls, ‘relaxing’ in the Devil’s Pool or taking to the skies in a Microlight. From Victoria Falls to the wildlife wonder that is the Kruger, we always want to make sure you get to see some game one way or another! After that you’ll spend a few days exploring the cultural and foodie highlights of Cape Town before hopping on a flight to that ultimate African honeymoon destination, Mauritius. We love this itinerary for offering a little bit of everything and it’s one of our most popular with honeymooners.
Top spots to stay
Victoria Falls has an absolute plethora of fabulous accommodation but for honeymooners we love the luxury Matetsi River Lodge (think infinity pools overlooking the Zambezi) and the recently refurbished Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel. We’ll probably never run out of delightful options for Kruger, but &Beyond Tengile River Lodge and Royal Malewane Lodge are up there with the cream of the crop when it comes to luxury honeymoon options. If you just need to be near the sea then the panoramas from Cape View Clifton will suit you down to the ground and in Mauritius we love La Pirogue for island dreaming and Constance Prince Maurice for ultimate opulence!