Your honeymoon is something that only comes around once in a lifetime, so you want to make sure that it’s a trip that you’ll still talk to your grandchildren about. Now imagine telling them all about the time you went to Zimbabwe after your wedding – on safari in search of the Big Five, bungee jumping at Victoria Falls, boat cruising on the Zambezi River…They’ll be mesmerised! The only problem is that the sheer choice of destinations within Zimbabwe can feel a tad overwhelming. Which is where we come in – read on for our top Zimbabwe honeymoons.
If you want to store as many memories as possible on your Zimbabwe honeymoon then our Ultimate Zimbabwe trip is for you – you’ll be packing all of Zim’s highlights into one beautiful package! First up is the country’s most iconic attraction, Victoria Falls. Get your adrenaline going with a bungee jump, take a bird’s eye view during a heli flip, or admire the thundering roar of the water on a romantic ‘lunar rainbow’ tour during the full moon. Swoon! Then you’re off to spend some time amongst Hwange’s gentle giants – the National Park is renowned for its large herds of elephant (and there are plenty of predators, too). The next few days will offer a varied itinerary in scenic Matusadona, filled with canoe safaris on Lake Kariba, rhino trekking and traditional game drives. Definitely one for the memory books we’d say. And don’t forget to pack your walking shoes – your grand honeymoon finale will be in Mana Pools, which offers some of the best walking safaris on the continent.
Top spots to stay
For a ridiculously romantic spot near Vic Falls, book yourselves into an Island Treehouse Suite at Victoria Falls River Lodge – think contemporary design, butler service and bathtub with river views and you get the picture! In Hwange, Somalisa Camp is amongst our top choices. This beautifully renovated camp is tucked away in a camelthorn acacia island on the edge of an ancient watercourse – you’ll see plenty of game from all parts of the lodge, including your copper-style bathtub. The romance continues at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge on Lake Kariba – treat yourselves to a couple’s treatment in the beautiful spa, then set sail for a romantic sunset cruise on the lake. End your honeymoon on a high with a stay at Nyamatusi Camp in Mana Pools. Set on the edge of a crook of the Zambezi and featuring just six (very elegant) tents, the lodge’s intimate setting means that you’ll be thoroughly spoiled – and you may end up sharing your plunge pool with an elephant or two!
Falls, Bush and Beach
“Bush and Beach’ is an incredibly popular combination for newlyweds – and one that’s perfectly achievable on a Zimbabwe honeymoon (despite Zim being land-locked!), as the tropical Mozambican island of Benguerra is but a skip and a hop away. And as with most Zimbabwe trips, your adventure will kick off in Victoria Falls (where ziplining, sunset cruises and starlit dinners are all part and parcel) – so our Zimbabwe in Style itinerary offers a unique ‘Falls, Bush and Beach’ combo. After the excitement of Vic Falls you’ll head on to safari hotspot Hwange National Park, famous for its large herds of elephant, and wilderness gem Gonarezhou, a rugged and untouched wilderness on the border to Mozambique, before your flight to the picture-perfect beaches of Benguerra.
Top spots to stay
Victoria Falls Island Lodge offers the perfect retreat for loved up couples. The lodge’s Treehouse Suites, all set on the private Kandahar Island, come complete with private decking and plunge pool and are connected by a raised winding walkway – with the hum of the Falls in the distance. For a small, intimate accommodation in Hwange, the unpretentious Little Makalolo Camp gets a big thumbs-up from us. An abundance of wildlife, expertly led walks and nightcaps around the open fire all make for a wonderful safari experience. The glamour factor will be turned up a notch in Gonarezhou, where staff at Singita Pamushana will spoil you rotten (exclusive wine tastings anyone?) But you won’t exactly be slumming it on Benguerra Island either if you decide to stay at Azura Benguerra – set right on a powdery white beach, this is barefoot luxury at its best, all romantic dhow cruises, sand dunes picnics and dinner with your toes in the sand.
The call of the Wild
Who says a honeymoon has to be all traditional game drives and leisurely boat trips? Not us! Our Walking Safaris and Canoe Expeditions trip is perfect for adventurous souls in search of Zimbabwe’s wilder side. If you’re looking for a Zimbabwe honeymoon packed with excitement and thrills then this one’s for you. First up is of course the inimitable Vic Falls – this spectacular site is known locally Mosi-oa-Tunya – the smoke that thunders. The action continues in Hwange, where an estimated 40,000 tuskers roam the park in search of waterholes. The varied habitats beg to be explored on foot – and Hwange has some of the best walking guides on the continent. Mana Pools meanwhile is hard to beat for water-based activities – it is home to the epic Zambezi River after all. From a couple of hours a day in the morning or afternoon to multi-day expeditions, a canoe safari will give you a different perspective of the area’s wildlife. After all this excitement you might be ready for a bit of relaxation – enter Vilanculos, a tiny, super laid-back village on Mozambique’s southern Indian Ocean coastline where time seems to slow down just so.
Top spots to stay
A short drive from Vic Falls you’ll find the thrillingly positioned Gorges Lodge – perched right on the edge of the Batoka Gorge. The views are some of the best on the continent, while the remote wilderness setting allows you to recover from the day’s heart-pumping activities. In Hwange, Somalisa Camp remains one of our perennial favourites, combining luxury accommodation with walking safaris and night drives – you can even request to sleep out at one of the camp’s hides! Adventurous outdoor sleeping can also be found in a riverine forest in the Sapi Concession, next to Mana Pools National Park. Sapi Springs Camp has only three double-storey tents, with a more traditional safari tent on the ground level and a super romantic star bed on the upper platform – a captivating (and utterly romantic) place to bed down for the night. End your honeymoon in style at Santorini Mozambique, a Greek- inspired sanctuary and the perfect romantic base from which to explore Vilanculos, or head out to sea for a day of snorkelling or scuba diving.
Southern African Walking Safari
Zimbabwe and neighbouring Zambia are both renowned for their fantastic walking safaris, so if you’ve ‘done’ the traditional game drives and are ready to lace up your boots, then our Adventure in Zambia and Zimbabwe trip is a brilliant (and active!) honeymoon option. First up is the original home of the walking safari, Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park – a pristine wilderness area that is famous for leopard, hippo and crocodile sightings and the most excellent guiding. Follow in the footsteps of the explorers of yesteryear, walking along sandy riverbeds and mopane woodland, spotting wildlife as you go. As you cross into Zimbabwe, make a quick stop at Vic Falls before continuing to Hwange. Here, you’ll head out on foot again, wandering amongst those gentle pachyderm giants. End your honeymoon in Mana Pools another great spot to take to your feet or head into the water for a thrilling canoe safari.
Top spots to stay
For your first stop in the South Luangwa we can highly recommend Kaingo Camp – situated in the midst of towering of ebony trees on the edge of the Luangwa River. The wildlife is thriving, plus you’ll have five different photographic hides to choose from. Oh, and did we mention the incredibly romantic Elephant Hide Star Bed in the middle of the Zambian bush? In Vic Falls, the Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel, a short drive from the Falls and located within a large private game reserve, offers bush walks and special black rhino conservation game drives – coupled with a charming colonial-contemporary fusion design. Hwange’s Verney’s Camp is a great option for avid walkers – set in a private reserve in an extremely remote region of the Park, game walks with the camp’s expert guides will turn into some of the richest wilderness experiences of your Zimbabwe honeymoon. And for a super special walking experience in Mana Pools you can’t beat John’s Camp, named after renowned safari guide John Stevens. You’ll be sleeping in one of only five Meru-style tents along the riverbank and be taken on spine-tingling walking safaris off the beaten track by some of the top guides in the business. Wild romance at its best!