What pictures of honeymoon readily come to your mind—thrilling wildlife safaris, from popular to less crowded and secluded breath-taking beaches; or beautiful lakes, diverse scenic natural landscapes featuring from majestic rocky mountain peaks to the deserts and islands; or is it marvellous heritage sites and enthralling sights of pyramids and more? If your answer is yes to anyone of these, then welcome to Africa! Forget the continent’s often gory tales for a while and sink yourself in the many beauties it has to offer.
From its countless majestic heritage sites, secluded beaches, adventurous wildlife safaris, to its vibrant and popular port cities, Africa has a plethora of diverse honeymoon destinations; so many that making a choice becomes a problem. A lot depends on the interests and preferences of the couples. However, before giving you some of the top destinations you should consider for your honeymoon, here is a piece of advice: choose a honeymoon theme—for example, wildlife safaris, beach honeymoon, cultural and heritage honeymoon tour etc, and let whichever destination you choose sync into it in terms of what it offers. Here is a list of our top 10 honeymoon destinations to consider:
10. Zambia: Victoria Falls
If you adore nature and want to spend your honeymoon exploring its splendour, head to Zambia. Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River. Couples who choose this destination have an array of activities to choose from ranging from canoeing, kayaking, to bungee jumping.
9. Kenya: Masai Mara National Park
Kenya is located in East Africa. It has vast plains, and you will find animals such as the wildebeest, gazelle, zebra, and big cats rooming in its various parks. If you are into wildlife and wants a wild honeymoon vacation that synchronizes into your passion, then consider Kenya; your honeymoon will be brimming with wild encounters! For an adventurous getaway, consider the Masai Mara National Park, it is one of Kenya’s most popular parks, thronging with a stunning variety of animals including the famous “Big 5.” Have you ever heard about the world’s most awe-inspiring animal migration where thousands of ‘beats’ move from a point to the other in almost a single sweep? The Masai Mara is where it happens. In addition, couples can dive into the unique local culture and stay at some of the luxurious bush camps, spend their evenings sipping gin and tonics on the riverside or taking an al-fresco shower while the sun sets over the countryside.
8. Tunisia: Douz
This is an off-the-beaten-path honeymoon trip, something devoid of your typical beach-focused honeymoon. The golden dunes and unparalleled night skies of Tunisian desert are made for a romantic honeymoon as they promise a simple but rejuvenating experience. Douz stands out. Popularly called the Gateway to the Sahara, Douz offer once-in-a-lifetime experience to laze around in the midst of golden dunes and enjoy the unique night sky. Perfect the honeymoon with a time out at a nice desert encampment lined with palms and luxury tents in the area. You can also take an excursion to the Jebil National park from here or go on an off-road trip to the Sahara.
7. Mozambique: Tofo or Bazaruto Archipelago
These destinations are 247km apart and unique in their own rights. It’s hard to make a clear cut suggestion of which to pick, as always, the buck stops with you. Tofo is a sleepy town with rich ingredients for perfect honeymoon. It is nestled on a tranquil bay overlooking the Indian Ocean. Once a fishing village, Tofo is the world’s premier destination for swimming with whale sharks and mantra rays. Tofo also has one of the best beaches on the Mozambique coast and play host to the annual Tofo Music Festival. Bazaruto archipelago on the other hand is a chain of four Islands strung out in the India Ocean, one of which is formerly called Paradise Island. Often described as one of Mozambique’s best honeymoon destination, the inhabited parts of Bazaruto archipelago are places to relax, to escape and to explore. While Tofo is credited as one of Africa’s most responsible and sustainable marine tourism home, Bazaruto has the marine national park that covers most of the archipelago, protecting the exquisite marine life in these turquoise seas.
6. Namibia: Namib Rand Nature Reserve/ Etosha National Park
This is for the adventurous! Tilt the scale of romantic adventure by experience a quintessential African safari in Namibia. It could include sleeping under the stars among red desert sand dunes, surrounded by a vast mountain range. Make it easy; head to the Namib Rand Nature Reserve, get a hotel room with a skylight above the bed, so you can stargaze while you relax, or head to the observatory and ask the resident astronomer to point out the brightest and most gorgeous constellations. For an active daytime experience, go on a quad biking adventure or hike around the reserve for a breath-taking scenery. Etosha National Park on the other hand offers a pock-friendly wildlife safari and an opportunity to see the famous big five.
5. Nigeria: Obudu Mountain Resort
This resort defines relaxation in a beautiful countryside with great sights and incredible facilities for a perfect leisure. It has Africa’s longest cable line (4km) that runs from the bottom of the mountain up to the resort offering the newlyweds an unparalleled view of the mountain—it is simply a spectacular and breath taking view of the earth. If you want to stay off the cable ride, you still won’t be short of fun, the site offers a lot including lots of dancing, performances, hiking, bird watching and swimming; simply taking in the awesome landscape is also worthwhile. There is a fully equipped gym (for fitness nuts) and natural swimming pool at the resort too.
4. South Africa: Cape Winelands
Here is another less frequently taken path; I am talking about the honeymoon destination at the rugged mountains and rolling vineyards of South Africa’s Cape Winelands. The green valleys that make up the Winelands are wedged between scenic peaks and dotted by historic wineries and estates dating back to the time of the Huguenots. Your honeymoon here will be a leisurely exploration of South Africa’s charming historical wineries, and an opportunity to sample some of the cellars’ best vintages as you experience life in one of the world’s premier wine regions. Cape Winelands is some minutes’ drive from Cape Town and you can extend the honeymoon there if you wish to add that city’s glamorous beaches, big-city buzz and wild landscapes to the experience.
3. Tanzania: Island of Zanzibar
This will be a spicy honeymoon on a spicy Island. A sizable part of Zanzibar is made up of beaches; the Island is also a historic place, with its Stone Town enjoying a UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Here is the catch, head to Nungwi for your honeymoon. It is a quiet touristy village on the northern tip of Unguja Island where you can spend days relaxing next to the turquoise waters, cruising through vibrant mangroves, and exploring the delightful “ghost islands” that appear during low tide.
2. Madagascar: Belo Sur Mer
Here is another choice blending wildlife safari with beach fun. Belo Sur Mer is the destination that captures the essence of this double-barrelled fun. We know that Madagascar is unique for its wildlife, this destination offers a romantic touch to it with its peacefulness and quietness. Belo Sur Mer is a quiet fishing village on Madagascar’s western coast. Plan day-trips to get out and explore the island’s parks, while you complement the fun with a long solitary stroll on one of Madagascar’s gorgeous beaches and a dinner of fresh local seafood.
1. Seychelles: Praslin Island
Our No.1 spot is without a doubt a favourite in the resort tourism destinations and deservedly so. Seychelles is a playground of 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean characterised by lush vegetation, the world’s rarest species of flora and fauna, rarefied resorts and exotic beaches among others. If honeymoon for you is about lazing around exotic beaches, or snorkelling, cuddling, hanging out on a hammock, and looking for those giant Aldabra land tortoises that occasionally mosey on by, and a whole lot more, then I have found you a perfect destination – Seychelles has it all and my pick for you in Seychelles would be the Praslin Island. It is a lesser-populated island with incredible and virtually untouched beaches like Gran Ansé as well as the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site once nicknamed the “real-life Garden of Eden” because of its abundance in incredible variety of plants and animals. Go on and have the time of your life!
There you have it – our top 10 honeymoon destinations in Africa. Honeymoon should be an exotic, romantic, sun-drenched escape and a proverbial trip of a lifetime. It’s an exciting opportunity to go away with no obligations or agendas, don’t make yours anything less.
Usifo Mike-Alvin is a creative writer with a knack for budget traveling and adventure. He travels across Africa and reports for afrotourism.com