What to Know Before Planning a Honeymoon Safari?
Couples looking for a fusion of romance and exotic adventure will want to consider an African honeymoon safari. An African safari is adventurous in anyone's book: a once-in-a-lifetime, eye-opening, life-altering experience that will leave you both yearning for more.
A fitting adventure for couples embarking on one of life's great adventures and a tall order that only an African honeymoon safari can come close to delivering. Wild animals can be found nowhere else on Earth. Imagine pristine wildernesses alive with rare birds, unusual wildlife, and plant life. Trek the iconic Kilimanjaro, bungee jump off Victoria Falls Bridge, or quietly stroll among the chimps of the Mahale Mountains National Park.
And as much as an African honeymoon safari can offer one adventurous activity after another, romance doesn't have to take a back seat. Most lodges across East Africa and into South Africa offer all the special honeymoon touches: couples massage, secluded outdoor bathing, and private candlelit bush dinners. After a long day in the great outdoors, newlyweds can return at night to an exceptional turn-down service with champagne and chocolates before cuddling up in their tent under the starry African night sky. And in the morning, still bundled up in their cozy tent, they awaken to birdsong ushering in the new day.
Or if the ideal honeymoon calls for a beautiful beach added to the romantic fusion, island life off the mainland can offer honeymoon stays in locally owned beach hotels or world-class resorts like the Four Seasons.
An African honeymoon safari offers a plethora of exciting activities for newlyweds. But before you step foot in Africa on that greatest of days, here are a few essential points to get straight first.
Know Where You Want to Go
The African continent is magnificent, with diverse landscapes of unimaginable beauty. So how do you narrow down such a lengthy list of gorgeous locales to find the best destinations for your honeymoon safari?
First, think about what you and your spouse-to-be consider the most important feature of a honeymoon in Africa. Is it seeing the Big Five or trekking with the gorillas on a walking safari? Is it a combination of bush and beach honeymoon or just the bush honeymoon? Once you've zeroed in on the must-dos and must-sees, then the "where" begins to come into focus.
For newlyweds who will only be happy if they see each and every animal in the Big Five, then Tanzania and Kenya are the best places to consider with their extensive range of African safari experiences across many spectacular national parks. But if it's gorillas over the Big Five, it's Rwanda or Uganda for sure, all things considered.
And then there are the beautiful beaches of East Africa: Zanzibar, the Kenyan coast, and even the Seychelles farther east into the Indian Ocean, each ideal for a relaxing African honeymoon safari. Beautiful white-sand beaches for sunbathing, crystal clear waters for snorkeling and scuba diving. What form of paradise do you and your spouse-to-be most want to enjoy?
Know When You Can Go
So are you heading on your honeymoon right after the reception, or do you have the luxury of planning your African honeymoon for the optimum safari experience? Which is the most significant determining factor? How flexible are you?
It really is a matter of understanding your priorities and requirements. Some resorts in the African bush have honeymoon specials for newlyweds available up to six months from the date of marriage. And the timing of your safari will significantly impact your overall budget. Going on a honeymoon safari during the peak season will be far more expensive than one during the mid or low season--not to mention that's when the roads are open and the animals are moving about! It's all a trade-off.
And then keep in mind that peak season differs from country to country. For instance, Tanzania and Kenya's peak seasons are from June to September, often a popular honeymooning time for summer newlyweds.
Know What You Want to Experience in Africa and How
For many of us, when we think about going on an African safari, a game drive in a 4x4 comes to mind. And while there are many game drives in 4x4s to enjoy, there are so many other ways to honeymoon safari in Africa.
Have you considered a more active, participatory safari experience? Many national parks, private preserves, and other conservancies have beautiful trails, offering expertly guided walking safaris through pristine landscapes for a far more immersive safari experience. Walk a few hours with an experienced guide who will fill you in on the rare foliage, answer your questions on bird calls, and point out elusive wildlife slinking, crawling, and roaming the bush. Or you can sign up for longer treks, up into high peaks or deep into forests, staying in portable tents along the way. Enjoy an exotic night safari or two when the nocturnal creatures of the African bush stir and come to life.
Or, for something truly novel, a horseback or camelback safari in some parts of East Africa might offer the adventure and romance of your dreams. Imagine going on a popular Botswana boat safari, drifting in mokoros down the Okavango Delta waterways. Or maybe a different kind of drifting is more to your liking--a ride in a hot air balloon across the Serengeti National park! Now that's hard to top!
The 4x4 jeep ride across the savanna is a treasured, iconic African experience, to be sure. But it's worth getting out of the jeep, moving at a slower pace to see, hear, and experience the African bush much more intimately than possible when zooming by in a jeep. Your honeymoon safari experience can have it all once you and yours are clear on what it all is. Once you know just how you'd like to take in the African honeymoon experience, the best locations and timing for your honeymoon safari will unfold before you.
An African honeymoon safari is an experience you'll want to get right. An event in your life that is beyond memorable, beyond spectacular. It will take some planning in a few key areas to ensure your honeymoon safari offers the soul-stirring enchantment of your dreams. An experienced tour operator's guidance and assistance in streamlining the planning process will provide the peace of mind you'll want for a trip of this scope.
We hope we've helped you clarify all that you wish to experience on an African honeymoon safari. Africa offers a richness of choice in activities and spectacular locations, and we can assure you each will exceed your expectations!