Marriage is an adventure, so smart couples begin their life together with the ultimate thrill – an African safari honeymoon. The day begins by rising with the sun and riding out in a guided 4×4 jeep. There are plenty of beaches in Africa, so the ideal safari honeymoon combines beach and jungle. This is where you create the memories of a lifetime. We review the most unforgettable safari honeymoons below.
Masai Mara National Reserve and Lamu Island (Kenya & Tanzania)
The Masai Mara Reserve is one of the best-known safari parks in Africa. There are several unbeatable places to view animals, including a hot air balloon ride to view the untamed wilderness with its plains, wildlife, and acacia trees from above. One of the most incredible events is the wildebeest migration in October which is recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural Word. That’s 2 million wildebeests. And you thought your wedding was exciting!
While in Masai Mara, honeymooners have the option of a number of accommodations – from no-frills camping to authentic glamping (if you can’t survive without the hair dryer) to a luxury stay at an upscale resort such as Angama Mara, where a chef will prepare stunning meals and the staff will help plan your ideal safari honeymoon.
Few adventures can top a Tanzanian safari honeymoon – the Serengeti has incredible safaris all year round. It is one of the most popular destinations and may be more expensive than some others. The Selous Serena Camp within the Selous Game Reserve welcomes newlyweds with fruit, flowers, a private dinner, and a couples’ massage in their private room. Guests can enjoy guided river boat safaris, game drives, or walking tours. Tanzania is a mere few hours from the coastline, so the safari can easily be combined with a beach honeymoon.
And these are just a few of the fabulous African safari honeymoon choices.
Five Hotels and Resorts for an African Safari Honeymoon
Solio Lodge – Solio Reserve, Kenya
Solio Lodge is located by Mount Kenya. The Reserve is a private rhino breeding reserve with approximately 250 rhinos. The Lodge consists of five luxurious cottages with stunning views.
All meals at the Lodge are included in the stay, as are morning, afternoon, and evening drives to view an array of big cats, zebras, giraffes, and antelopes. Guided walks explore the local bird population.
For an added honeymoon thrill, Solio Lodge offers private helicopter tours that land at Lake Bogoria for some flamingo watching and fishing, then return to the Lodge, where guests can indulge in a fireside massage.
Ulusaba Safari Lodge – Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa
Ulusaba Safari Lodge is situated high on a rock, and offers what some consider the greatest view of the South African bush. They have telescopes to enhance the experience to something unbelievable.
The Lodge has ten cozy rooms with all modern conveniences, including a pool. Two suites have a private pool. Ulusaba offers game drives mornings and afternoons. The evenings can be reserved for soothing spa treatments or the tennis court. Dinnertime begins with cocktails as the chef discusses the evening’s menu. The staff caters to honeymooners, whether it be a private meal under the African stars or an evening turn-down with special bath oils.
Singita Explore Lodge – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Singita Lodge in Grumeti, Tanzania, allows honeymooners to rough it in style. Couples stay in individual tents that offer every comfort amid the Serengeti wilderness. Dine beneath the stars and remain cool in the lodge’s swimming pool amid the sounds and smell of the African wilderness. As a special treat, Singita is one of the few lodges with its own sommelier and collection of rare wines (winners of Diners’ Club Wine awards), making the in-tent wine tastings a special event for all.
Explore the Serengeti on guided walking safaris and marvel at the incredible landscape. Enjoy a massage surrounded by Africa’s beauty and take part in the twice-a-day drives that allow guests to be up close and personal with nature, giraffes, elephants, and an array of big cats. The early morning drive, as the sun rises over the treetops, is magical, and the afternoon ride, as the sun dips over the horizon, is unforgettable.
Kwai River Lodge – Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Kwai River Lodge is located in the Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana. Private, secluded suites have plunge pools for relaxing while watching the wildlife pass by. The luxurious accommodations offer air conditioning and a minibar.
The complete lodging package includes an outdoor dining area for breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared by an experienced chef and served by a butler. Champagne and premium liqueur are included. Each game drive can include a gourmet picnic basket.
Sasaab – Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Sasaab in Samburu National Reserve is sure to get the adrenaline flowing. Guests can enjoy an early game drive with breakfast in the wilderness while watching herds of elephants or a group of camels. Or they can watch the sunset during an evening game drive.
Accommodations consist of luxury tents, including meals, a refreshing infinity pool, and private plunge pools. Practice sunset yoga with a view of the animals. Game rides include animals and exotic bird watching in the Westgate Conservancy. The stunning wilderness can be explored by walking, on a camel ride, or in a helicopter soaring over Lake Logipi and its gorgeous flamingos.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, is where to see lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinos, and elephants wander free from the lodge’s platforms. The nearby watering hole brings families of wildlife while you enjoy coffee on your private balcony. Guests have a choice of game drives or hot-air balloon safaris. The private villas have wall-to-wall windows with an incomparable view and an elevated terrace.
African-themed meals are available at the lodge’s restaurant. Or elegant bush dinners can be enjoyed during rides. The wine cellar offers a seven-course menu with paired wine, or the chef can prepare a romantic dinner for two by the pool. The spa offers ancient Serengeti treatment as well as a range of massages.
The Four Seasons Lodge can arrange half and full-day safari drives as well as a seven-day itinerary.
Culture of Africa
A honeymoon getaway to exotic Africa will likely be a culture shock to many. There is cultural diversity even between the various countries. A number of tribes, from East Africa to the South, have maintained a traditional lifestyle that has existed for millennia with its individual rites, music, and art. Africa is the original region on planet earth. It is where life began. The story of Africa is the story of mankind.
Several ancient, authentic tribes are still left, and they are happy to share their world with visitors.
The Maasai in Tanzania and Kenya are known for their red wraps and jewelry. Their unique culture involves almost entirely around cattle, which they believe was created specifically for them. Their livelihood involves trading cattle and beef products.
The Samburu live in Kenya and are semi-nomads ruled by elders. They keep moving to assure enough water for their cattle. The Samburu dress colorfully and enjoy lots of jewelry. The best way to meet members of the Samburu tribe is the stay in a lodge in Kenya that has interactive tours.
The Himba have a strange tradition that forbids women to bathe – both themselves and their clothes. This habit began to follow great water droughts. Women “bathe” daily in smoke as they bend over a smoke bowl and sweat. A trip to Kaokoland in southwest Africa by the Kunene River is a good way to meet members of the Himba tribe. Another way is to stay at the luxurious Serra Cafema Camp on the Namibia border, which regularly hosts members of the tribe.
Top Non-Safari Things to Do During an African Honeymoon
Visit Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town in South Africa has the spectacular Boulders Beach, which is protected by boulders and is a great swimming beach. Here, fun-loving penguins wander the beach alongside the human visitors. It’s a great place for a picnic and to be a part of the fun. It’s a fact that penguins are faithful for life, so honeymooners may want to emulate their wisdom.
National Geographic has called the 3.4-mile hike up Lion’s Head in Cape Town “one of the top twenty walks in the world,” with the top offering a 360-degree view of Cape Town. A morning hike promises a surreal sunrise. An evening hike, with a bottle of wine, offers a sunset like no other.
The Azure Restaurant, with its breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean, was voted South Africa’s Best Hotel Restaurant at the 2020 World Culinary Award. From the locally grown produce to the freshly caught seafood, this is fine dining at its best. The Duck with paired wine is a particular favorite.
Hot Air Balooning
Hot Air Ballooning is the definition of romance, and it’s the way to really understand this glorious vast landscape. Some of the best sites over which to fly are Okavango Delta in Botswana, Serengeti, Tanzania, Sossusvlei in Namibia, and Kafue National Park.
Romantic cruises may not be the first thing that come to mind for an African honeymoon, but they are beyond memorable. A cruise up the Chobe River in Botswana provides a relaxing and wonderful opportunity to see the hippos and elephants along the way.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana has cruises through its many lagoons where leopards, wildebeest, rhinos, giraffes, and other wildlife can be spotted.
Island hopping on Lake Baringo in Kenya includes seeing hippos and the local shorebird population.
Best Time to Visit Africa
Africa is a huge continent, and the best time to visit will vary. Kruger National Park has a dry season between May and October, which is the best time to spot the local game. Animals are present the entire year, but the rainy season between March and May makes them hard to see in one place, and the roads can become difficult.
On the other hand, East Africa’s famed migration happens from June and September. Uganda has its gorillas year-round, but viewing is best when it is cooler, from January to February and from June through September,
Southern Africa, Botswana, and Namibia have dry months from July through early November when the wildlife can be seen gathering around watering holes. They tend to disperse in November, making them more difficult to spot.
In Cape Town, the weather is the opposite – November through March are the dry and best month to visit.
Weather in Africa
People tend to think of Africa as a single, hot entity, but it is quite diverse weatherwise.
South Africa has an average temperature of 82 degrees during the summer, which can drop to 65 during the winter months. Uganda is warm except for the mountainous regions. The temperature here remains at a steady 85 degrees.
The Sahara Desert can reach 130 degrees during the summer months. That is usually the highest temperature in Africa.
Kenya’s rainy season in the spring sees temperatures around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. From September to December, the weather is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In the event the honeymoon needs some cooling off, the best place is Mount Kenya. At 17,057 feet, there is snow all year, and the temperature plummets to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.