Did you know that people enjoy over 12 million wildlife excursions worldwide each year? And based on trends, this number is expected to increase by 10% yearly! Intrigued by TV documentaries, films, and word-of-mouth reports extolling the virtues of an African safari vacation, more and more people are traveling to Africa for the ultimate safari experience. And a part of that trend are honeymooners–couples who want to begin married life in extraordinary ways found only on the African continent.
Imagine you and your forever person floating high over the Serengeti National Park in a hot air balloon, an astounding tableau unrolling below you. Or the profound thrill of observing the silverback gorilla in Rwanda’s rainforest, game drives in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, or a night under a blanket of stars in the secluded oasis of Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
For couples who love nature in all its moods–the serenity of pristine wildernesses, the daily drama of survival for the wildlife of the African bush, and the quiet magnificence of mountains looming in the distance across vast savannas, Africa will exceed expectations. And for couples looking to add that dash of romance to the spectacular, how better than an African safari honeymoon?
We’ve listed some of our favorite African honeymoon safari destinations that will check all the boxes for wildlife enthusiasts, nature photographers, adventure-loving trekkers, and other couples seeking to be dazzled on their honeymoons here:
1. Tanzania Safaris
East Africa is renowned for its unique, abundant flora and fauna and is known as the premier location for wildlife escapades. And within this region of spectacular national parks and World Heritage Sites, Tanzania tops the list.
Tanzania is one of the most popular African honeymoon safari destinations, offering scenic beauty, romance, and adventure across 22 national parks, including the iconic Serengeti, the geologic wonder of the Ngorongoro Crater, the gorgeous beaches and multicultural hub of Zanzibar, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Mahale Mountains National Park. That’s quite a list!
If you’re on a luxury Tanzania safari, there is a high possibility this will be a memorable trip. You and your loved one will have traveled to one of the most magical destinations. Imagine the thrill and excitement when you are at the world’s most famous, beloved destination, the Serengeti National Park. It has it all. Vast savannas stretch to the horizon. Africa’s Big Five, the rhino, lion, elephant, leopard, and buffalo, call it home. The park is a habitat for hundreds of species of birds, animals, and plant life, some rare. Honeymooners can expect to see enormous hippos crowded into watering holes, giraffes gliding through tall trees, and cheetahs prowling through the bush.
So even wildlife enthusiasts will find one of the most spectacular shows on earth, the Great Wildebeest Migration of the Serengeti, a challenge to describe. And as the largest land mammal migration in the world, it’s beyond comparison. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes, with lions and crocodiles lying in wait along the way, move through the Serengeti each year, starting from the south and continuing north into Kenya’s Masai Mara, from one green pasture to the next.
Just east of the southern Serengeti is the Ngorongoro Conservation area. During calving season, almost 2 million wildebeests are massed across the region, with many herds spilling over into the Ngorongoro Crater National Park.
Ngorongoro Crater is another fantastic honeymoon destination for wildlife and nature lovers. As the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera, this ancient site is home to thousands of diverse creatures such as plant and bird life, including the Big Five.
As newlyweds, you can enjoy Ngorongoro Crater’s stunning accommodations along the crater rim, with incredible views of the 100-square-mile crater floor. Honeymooners looking for luxury will find it here, from fantastic swimming pools and fine dining to other excellent amenities.
2. The Okavango Delta, Botswana
Honeymooning wildlife enthusiasts will love the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Its unusual and picturesque labyrinth of waterways is home to rare fauna and spectacularly beautiful birds. And visitors to Okavango will have a good chance of spotting African bush elephants, black rhinos, zebras, warthogs, wildebeests, and hippos.
Besides enjoying Botswana’s wildlife and game experience, remember it is home to some of Africa’s most prestigious luxury lodges, many of which are secluded retreats, ideal for honeymooners seeking a tranquil getaway in the middle of the Botswana wilderness.
For couples who are nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, Botswana will fascinate you and fulfill your heart’s desires. A World Heritage Site and named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, the delta’s seasonal flooding draws one of the continent’s greatest concentrations of wildlife. A favorite of honeymooners is the traditional mokoro (canoe) safari through interlocking canals, lagoons, and small islands where couples have the great fortune to quietly observe nature at its most bountiful.
3. Kenya Safaris
Like Tanzania, Kenya is a premier safari destination in the East African community. Offering a variety of national parks with exceptional wildlife, romantic and opulent lodges, and a beautiful Indian Ocean shoreline with extraordinary marine life, it’s an idyllic honeymoon destination.
The Swahili coast on the Indian Ocean has much to offer to those who appreciate marine wildlife. Travel to Diani on Kenya’s southern shore, and enjoy dolphin tours or spot humpback whales on their migration route off the coast between August and October. Or cruise the shoreline in a dhow before dinner at one of the many restaurants in ancient Watamu.
Combining a beach and bush experience on your honeymoon safari is an excellent way of experiencing Kenya’s many scenic and cultural attractions. Because, of course, there is the world-famous Masai Mara Game Reserve in the southwest. What a spot for a romantic hot-air balloon ride high above Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve!
While the Masai Mara Game Reserve offers excellent year-round wildlife viewing, if you want to witness the wildebeest migration’s river crossing at the Mara River, you’ll need to plan to be in the region from August to October. Lush green pastures await the wildebeests who somehow evade crocodiles and lions crossing the Mara River into Kenya, where the wildebeests stay awhile and rest before heading back south.
A honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation with a lot of expectations riding on it. Couples want it to be romantic, thrilling, memorable, and an experience that deepens their bond and sets the tone for married life. That’s a lot!
The good news is that Africa lives up to the hype. And as home to Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Mauritius, Uganda, Morocco, and a host of other spectacular wildlife destinations, Africa offers an abundance of choices in safari style, wildlife viewing, and gorgeous scenic backdrops.
We hope the three destinations mentioned above will encourage you to explore your options and plan an African safari honeymoon – the answer to your dreams.