By Lauren Maker
The thrill of an African safari never disappoints.
From great wide-open spaces dotted with herds of elephant, flocks of white-backed herons and candy floss coloured clouds, to exceptional luxury camps and lodges, Africa is the perfect place for a dreamy honeymoon or romantic getaway. It’s also ideal for a naturally socially distanced holiday, where all you need to focus on is sharing your days with your loved one and nights under the African night sky.
If you’re planning an African honeymoon in 2021 or 2022, here is our list for our top 5 most romantic safari destinations.
Masai Mara – Kenya
Home to the Big 5, and well known for its prolific big cat populations, the Masai Mara is widely recognized as the pinnacle destination for one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth: The Great Migration. The best time to visit the park to get the full migration experiences is between June and October. Spending time immersed in a landscape filled with massive herds of animals, brings sensational game viewing and electrifying river crossings.
Kenya offers the traditional ‘Out of Africa’ experience, and is best known for romantic safari experiences, such as romantic picnics, hot air ballooning and sundowners watching the African sunset, in the most beautiful part of Kenya.
We Recommend: Stay in an intimate lodge such as Angama Mara, located high above the floor of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, with just fifteen tented suites, a private airfield and access to the Mara below, tailor-made safari days and a famously warm Kenyan welcome. Your suites floor-to-ceiling glass spanning all along the front, makes for the most dramatic views,
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Ngorongoro Crater – Tanzania
Situated in Tanzania and forming part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area which also encompasses the Serengeti, this ancient volcanic crater is the largest unflooded caldera in the world made extraordinary by its prolific animal and birdlife.
This spectacular crater acts as a natural inclusion for endless numbers of game, including the Big 5. The crater also has a few soda lakes, that host flocks of pink flamingos, pelicans and other water birds. Descending into the crater at dawn is a most special experience; animals can be spotted as far as the eye can see, from lazy elephant herds, lions twitching their tails in the grass and zebras kicking their heels in the sun.
We Recommend: andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is called the game lodge at the top of the world. With expansive views from the rim of the crater down into the valley below, you’ll certainly find yourself speechless. Ideal for a romantic safari, you can be expected to be treated to luxury room service and rose petal bubble baths drawn for you after your full day of activities. Dine the night away under the bright stars of the Milky Way.
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Kruger National Park – South Africa
The Kruger National Park, South Africa’s flagship reserve, is home to the Big 5 and is well known for its excellent sightings of cheetah and wild dog. It is an ideal first-time safari choice; the accommodation is top class, from 5-star luxury lodges to deluxe tented camps, and the likelihood of seeing large game is high. Start your days off with an early morning game drive before sunrise and end with a sunset safari, allowing you and your partner time to relax and rejuvenate at camp during the heat of the day. Night game drives are thrilling experience, where you may come across nocturnal species such as bush babies, leopard and porcupine.
Experience fine dining, in-house sommeliers and even a pampering private spa treatment on your private deck. Relax in the lodge pool or slip into your private plunge pool with a pair of binoculars, you never know what you may see in the riverbed below!
Summer and winter offer different Kruger safari experiences. The dry winter season between May and October is ideal for game-viewing, while the wetter season sees an eruption of birdlife and baby animals being born.
We Recommend: One of our most special lodges in this region must be Tanda Tula Safari Camp. Tanda Tula is the meaning ‘to love the quiet’ and its inspired by the people and wildlife in the Greater Kruger National Park. Found in the Timbavati, this magical tented camp embodies grounded African elegance and the romance of the wild.
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The Okavango Delta – Botswana
This unique inland water-based destiantion is rich with incredible safari activities, and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the world’s most fascinating natural destinations. The Okavango Delta in Botswana is an emerald-green paradise, and nowhere else in the world, can you experience the serenity of being poled along in a traditional dugout canoe – or mokoro – as herons and jacanas walk among the lilies, elephants enjoy the soft grass on the river banks, sitatunga antelope hide in the long reeds and hippos wallow in the shallow waters.
A mokoro is a calm, quiet way to slowly go through the Delta, but other activities are also available, such as horseback safaris, speedboat trips, and guided island walks. Game viewing in the Okavango Delta is at its peak between May and October.
We Recommend: Xigera Safari Lodge offers just 12 beautiful suites, each resting effortlessly in this wild landscape. In this outstanding setting, Xigera’s design is a celebration to African artists, design, and creativity. This beautifully appointed lodge is dedicated to romance and luxury, and includes the unique Baobab Treehouse, where you can sleep beneath the stars enveloped by the calls of the wild.
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Etosha National Park – Namibia
Etosha’s striking landscape is Namibia’s flagship game-viewing destination, with a diverse grouping of environments arranged around a massive salt pan. Herds of white-dusted elephants are a common sighting, and you are also likely to see predators, such as lion, hyena and cheetah. Overlooking Etosha Pan (the ‘Great White Place’) is Onguma Private Game Reserve, which is the perfect base from which to explore the park either on a guided game drive or interpretive bush walk.
The best time for game-viewing in Etosha National Park is generally during the dry season (May – August) when animals flock to the waterholes. Consider combining Etosha with other top Namibian destinations, such as the giant ochre dunes of Sossusvlei, the wild Skeleton Coast and the haunting landscapes of the Kaokoveld.
We Recommend: Onguma Tented Camp lends itself to long restful afternoons in the rim-flow pool, watching the animals pass by. This camp is a charming mixture of stylish sophistication and relaxation, inspired by the earth. With only seven tents, this camp oozes romance providing private, exclusive accommodation.
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The best way to end your safari is on a secluded beach or private island. Consider combining a Zanzibar beach holiday with a trip to Kenya or Tanzania, or add a trip to Mozambique’s beautiful Quirimbas or Bazaruto Archipelago’s to your Botswana or Kruger safari. It’s just another way to get your vitamin D under the African sky!
Contact one of our dedicated Travel Planners to start planning your romantic safari for 2021 or 2022 now.