If you ask us, you'd be hard pressed to think of a more spectacular honeymoon experience than going on safari in the dramatic landscapes of Africa. Daydreaming of seeing some of Mother Nature's most incredible creatures on a once-in-a-lifetime getaway? Whatever your honeymoon style, we've found an exceptional post-wedding escape for you...
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For couples seeking… old-world romance
Karen Blixen Camp, Kenya
For a whirlwind safari getaway full of romance, spend your honeymoon at a seriously iconic lodge. Named after the author of one of history's most famous love stories, Out of Africa, Karen Blixen Camp is truly marvellous. Here, 22 spacious luxury canvas tents built on wooden platforms dot the scenic Masai Mara (one of Africa's most popular parks). Each featuring fabulous touches like daybeds, Persian rugs, private en-suites and plush furnishings, the tents take in breathtaking views of the Mara River and feel completely private.
If you do feel like mingling with the outside world, while away the hours at the camp's Lounge. With an excellent restaurant, bar and lounge area, it also overlooks the resident hippo pod – no need for Netflix here. Swimming pools and a spa up the glamour, while unique cultural experiences like community visits and cooking classes help couples discover more of the wonderful destination. Want more? Intimate candlelit dinners, helicopter and hot-air balloon safaris, and game drives promise an excitement-filled escape.
For couples seeking… postcard-perfect views
Gorges Lodge, Zimbabwe
Okay, this lodge does't actually offer its own safari experiences but it's still definitely worth noting. Thirty minutes' drive from the world-famous Victoria Falls (an absolute must-see while in Zimbabwe), Gorges Lodge is for those who want to live life on the edge… quite literally. Built on the edge of the Bakota Gorge and looking out over the Zambezi River, the gorgeous (see what we did there?) hideaway is known for its heart-stopping views – arguably some of the best in Southern Africa!
Four double-storey and six single-storey chalets with verandahs and sweeping gorge views make for an utterly enchanting escape here, while the main lodge provides a fantastic spot to hang out, just moments away. Toast the sunset at the lodge's bar and feast on mouthwatering cuisine in the dining room before settling in for the night, ready to explore Zimbabwe the next day. Book a safari experience with one of the local tour groups nearby and leave time for enjoying some of the activities that Gorges Lodge offers. From local village visits and school tours to guided walks along the Bakota Gorge and spotting the illusive Verreaux's Eagles at sunset, there's no shortage of unforgettable experiences to be had.
For couples seeking… the ultimate luxury escape
&Beyond Phinda Homestead, South Africa
If you're seeking the latest in luxury, treat yourselves to a stay at the newly refurbished &Beyond Phinda Homestead. Situated on the sensational &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province, this sumptuous exclusive-use hideaway has been decked out in lavish style that pays homage to the local Zulu culture.
As beautiful as the homestead's interiors are, outside is where you'll want to be. With a spacious verandah dining space, sleek infinity pool and an intimate fire pit, Phinda Homestead boasts uninterrupted bushland views – keep an eye out for the wildlife! There's also plenty to do here, with twice-daily game drives, bush walks, Zulu village tours, night turtle drives, scuba and ocean safaris, black rhino tracking and participative conservation projects all on offer. PSA – a stay here is for those wanting to really spoil themselves, with the entire villa only available for one booking at a time. Now that's what we call a secluded honeymoon escape!
For couples seeking... an adventure-packed honeymoon
Zambezi Sands River Camp, Zimbabwe
Love the idea of being surrounded by extraordinary wildlife? Set in the scenic Zambezi National Park, Zambezi Sands is a haven for animal-loving couples. With a wealth of game viewing opportunities on both land and water, the dreamy escape is where you can spot elephants and hippos from your private splash pool and hear lions in the distance after nightfall.
Also ideal for couples that love glamping, the camp features 10 private luxury Bedouin tents along the quiet river bank. A stay here is far from 'roughing it', with touches like a lounge area, ensuite bathroom, outdoor shower, spacious deck and private splash pool keeping things fabulously luxe. Take it easy during your stay with an in-tent massage or seek out adventure with game walks, game drives, canoeing (look out for hippo and crocodiles), fishing and sunset wildlife-spotting cruises.
For couples seeking… a hassle-free getaway
Zarafa Camp, Botswana
After the all-important wedding planning process, we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to keep things as fuss-free as possible for your honeymoon. The perfect match for couples dreaming of a remarkable safari getaway (minus any planning stress, of course), Zafara Camp in Botswana is fully inclusive. When you book your accommodation, you'll also be covered for all wildlife-viewing activities, meals, park fees and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages – no need to stress over the details!
The accommodation at Zarafa Camp is also enough to make your worries melt away. Located on the private 130,000 hectare Selinda Reserve (the area linking to the Okavango Delta and the Chobe/Savute corridors), the exclusive hideaway is home to just for luxury tents with views of the Zibadianja Lagoon. Colonial-inspired styling, private plunge pools, outdoor massages and in-tent massages make staying in an enticing option, but don't miss the camp's exciting activities. Early morning, late afternoon and early evening game viewing in open 4x4 vehicles makes for brilliant memories, as do guided walks and lagoon cruises. The only challenges here? Spotting creatures like elephant, hippo, leopard, lion, zebra, giraffe, cheetah and buffalo along the way. Challenge accepted.
Related article: 3 reasons to honeymoon in Kenya
Image credit: www.karenblixencamp.com and www.greatplainsconservation.com/zarafa-camp/