Everyone enjoys a bit of luxury coupled with adventure ... I know that was on our minds when we planned our two week honeymoon from Cape Town, where we were married, to Victoria Falls, where Nick had proposed just over a year earlier.
We had lots of friends and family who had travelled to be at our destination wedding, so instead of rushing off on our honeymoon we wanted to stay a few extra days and spend more time with everyone who had gathered.
We found a spacious Caps Bay house with 180 degree views of the ocean which was available for short term hire – we jumped at the chance of a little luxury. We had everyone over for drinks, went out for lovely seafood dinners with close family and joined in on sight seeing trips around Cape Town with friends who had never been to this spectacular part of the world before.
Leaving beautiful Cape Town behind us, we embarked on the more adventurous aspect of our honeymoon. Normally, an over-lander tour is not the first thing that comes to mind for a romantic honeymoon, but when we looked at all the options, a group tour fitted in perfectly with our must see list (the Okavango Delta), dates and budget. The nine day camping tour was to depart from Johannesburg, stretch up through Botswana and finish off in spectacular Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Now I will admit, camping is not a regular activity Nick and I partake in, so there may have been a bit of novelty or denial involved – or both. Really, it offered us the chance to get further into the Delta and see the more remote, untouched areas.
Early on our fourth morning, we set off from our camp site, about three kilometres within the Delta National Park. We took a short mokoro ride over to a larger island where our local guides said we had a good chance of spotting some wildlife. We set off on foot following our experienced guides and about an hour into the walk as we rounded a thicket of trees we encountered three large male elephants in the distance. You can’t help but hold your breath in wonder. As the guides led us a little closer, I was struck by how unique walking in the bush truly is – a very different experience to a game drive.
Another true highlight was the sunset mokoro ride. Gin and tonic in one hand, the other draped in the cool clear water, we drifted along watching the reflection of the sunset ripple as we passed. The Delta was amazing!
We continued up through Botswana into the Chobe National Park. Our tour guide informed us that the Chobe area has a large elephant population. Setting up our tent that afternoon, I noticed clear elephant foot prints in sandy soil around our camp. That night after dinner we had to wait at the main bar before we could return to our tent as a herd of elephants we had been watching at the water hole over dinner had decided to exit though our camp site. Breathtaking.
Next we crossed the border from Botswana into Zimbabwe, my home country, which is always nice to come back to. As we approached the town of Victoria Falls, mist rising from the falls appeared in the distance. We left our tour here and checked straight into a favourite lodge of Nick and mine, the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. It is a leafy oasis with large wooden decks overlooking a water hole frequented by many animals. This last bit of luxury and true time together was the perfect way to end our honeymoon journey.
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Lauren & Nick's African Fact File:
WHERE TO STAY
For great apartments in Cape Town go through capsol.co.za. We stayed at the ‘White House’ in Camps Bay. On the outskirts of the Chobe NP stay at Elephant Sands Lodge. The best spot to stay in Vic Falls is undoubtably Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.
One Australian dollar buys around 10 Rand (South Africa) and about 8 Pula (Botswana). Zimbabwe uses the US dollar, which is always a good currency to have with you in Africa.
Australian passport holders visiting South Africa and Botswana do not require a visa for up to 90 days of holiday travel. You will need to purchase a visa to enter Zimbabwe. The cost will depend on number of days and if you want a multi-entry visa.
COUPLES WILL LOVE // Sundowners, whenever you get the chance – it is an African tradition to find a good spot, pop open a bottle of something nice, look out and take it all in...
DON’T MISS // A moonlight tour of Victoria Falls. The rainbow created by the sunlight hitting the rising mist by day is duplicated at night by the by the full moon revealing an eerie lunar rainbow. Just remember your rain coat!