Freefalling 100 metres in tandem through the spray of the tallest waterfall on earth?Romantically floating above the Serengeti in a balloon-basket at dawn?
Cracking open a vintage, single-vineyard Shiraz to accompany your picnic amidst the vines?
Holding hands in awe as you witness the arched body of a majestic Southern Right Whale plunge dramatically back into the ocean?
Bathing together in the moonlight of the Masai Mara as the awesome sky reveals its vastness above – just for you?
Honeymoon in Africa
We’re sure that for every pair of newlyweds there’s a perfect honeymoon – you just have to discover yours. If you believe the traditional hype, then you’ll head for a white sand beach on a tropical island, but as wonderful as that is, it’s not for everyone. Your honeymoon is the beginning of life together, of discovery, of sharing. We’ve taken a look at five African experiences that we think give you all of this and more, live life to the full, together, discover something new, together, share a magical experience for the first time, together.
The Smoke that Thunders
Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River, between Zambia and Zimbabwe, is the greatest curtain of falling water on earth. In the rainy season over 500 million cubic metres of water per minute plummet the 100 metres into the gorge below. As the falls span 12km, there are plenty of angles to see and to view them from, a favourite is the path along the edge of the forest at the top of another sheer wall of basalt. Knife-edge Bridge provides a fine view of the Eastern Cataract, Main Falls and Melting Pot whilst Falls Bridge, Devils Pool and the Lookout Tree are perfect for the Main Falls. If you both have true nerves of steel, then you can bungee from Victoria Falls bridge and descend head-first into the raging Zambezi River or abseil, gorge-swing or zip line across the Batoka Gorge – tandem options are possible. Still hairy but without the height, is white water rafting below the falls, guided by an expert over 23 rampant rapids is an exhilarating experience and awesome way to appreciate the intense of the falls.
Dawn Balloon Launch
If taking a safari honeymoon in Africa floats your boat, then leaving your lodge before dawn to be airborne in the basket of a hot air balloon for sunrise may also be your idea of heaven. Even as you travel to the launch-site in the dark you may catch glimpses of nocturnal creatures. With a billowing balloon, your sturdy basket ventures skywards, witnessing the magical sunrise – that much is predictable! But each flight is individual, governed by the direction and speed of the wind and therefore guaranteeing a unique experience. Your pilot will use varying altitudes to navigate around this astounding region over wildlife including migration animals such as wildebeest, zebra and elephant plus hippo and big cats. Breakfast in the bush on landing is a regular feature of many balloon flights, giving you the opportunity to share the moment with your crew and fellow flyers!
Under the stars in Botswana
A safari holiday is by definition, romantically unpredictable, each day bringing with it new experiences to appreciate together. To enhance your stay even further, we suggest you take a look at the intimate Sanctuary Baines’ Camp in the Moremi Game Reserve. Your arrival into their private airstrip is a spectacular flight over the delta, followed by a thrilling 50-minute boat transfer along the Boro River. This safari camp’s accommodation is built on raised platforms high above the river and, in addition to game drives, offers a unique ‘Living with Elephants’ activity. For honeymooners however, the pinnacle of your stay is the totally divine bathing and sleeping. Sky Baths are situated on your suite’s private deck from where you can gaze at millions of stars in the clearest of skies whilst your opulent 4-poster bed can be wheeled out nightly to allow you to peacefully sleep to the tune nature.
Gourmet Vineyard picnics
Sharing wine and food – what could be more romantic that that? We reckon we can add icing to the cake of most dinner dates! Only a stone’s throw from Cape Town, in the Constantia Valley, you will find hundreds of wine estates conveniently linked by walking, cycling and driving trails. The first thrilling quandary is planning a route; choosing your wineries is like pick and mix in a sweet shop – there are no wrong decisions – or you can opt for an organised tour - the ‘lucky dip’ equivalent. Next is how to get between them – walking is an obvious one, although travel can be slower, cycling is easy to organise with high quality bikes for hire, hop-on, hop-off buses run along popular routes. But for that real wow factor, treat your partner to a trusty steed, you can ride or take a horse-drawn carriage, but either way keeps you anchored to nature. Stopping at your last winery before lunch, you can collect a fully-loaded picnic basket, complete with ground mat, plates and glasses, trot on ‘til your find your perfect, private spot then indulge in gourmet picnic fare and fine local wine surrounded by the vines that produced it – perfect!
A whale of a time in Hermanus!
Life is a drama so at the start of your new life together why not start with a truly dramatic encounter! Hermanus is situated along the Western Cape about an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town and is recognised by the WWF as one of the 12 best whale watching destinations in the world. Sightings are common between July and November; the last three months pretty much guarantee you success, whilst July and August can possibly be sketchy if low numbers gather in Walker Bay.
You have several choices when it comes to viewings, ‘dry’ options include walking along the Cliff Path, a stretch of 12km, from where you may see whales playing as close as 5m from the shore, Dreunkrans, Windsor Bay, Gearing Point are also great viewing points. Scenic flights offer an aerial view which can be quite spectacular. ‘Wet’ routes to the whales can be taken on board a medium size boat that departs from the New Harbour in Hermanus around three times a day, they last around two hours and search for Southern Right whales, Bryde’s whales, penguins, seals, dolphins, humpback whales - a distance of as close as 50m may be achieved. Possibly the pinnacle of a whale watching expedition, and only for adventurous, adrenaline-seekers, is sea-kayaking. In groups, you will be taken by experienced guides and chaperoned along the coast to view rare marine birds and, of course, watch the awesome whales as they play and breach above your eye-level.
Whatever honeymoon adventure or experience you choose, you can be assured of a memorable, inspirational and life affirming stay in the beautiful and vast lands of Africa.