Nature’s very own sensual and romantic hotspots await you in a honeymoon experience only Africa can deliver. To cite Africa as an idyllic destination is quite the understatement, from its wild sweeping plains to its stunning coastlines, it’s the ultimate honeymoon heaven. This is a place where the mass tourism of the Caribbean or Europe simply doesn’t exist and you can relax in peace. Africa’s unique and sensational locations remain hidden, unpopulated and shrouded in an aura enigmatic and mysterious.
To guarantee honeymoon bliss, sunny clear blue skies and romantic sunsets should be top of the list; weather can be a great mood setter after all. Luckily for honeymooners, at any time of year, there is always a country in Africa where you can enjoy Africa’s famous warm weather. How to structure your holiday is another very important aspect to consider. Twin centre honeymoons are an extremely popular choice in which you can combine a safari with a beach stay on the coast or a nearby island such as Seychelles, Zanzibar or Mauritius.
Experience the wild side of the continent
To kick off your twin centre experience and infuse you with the buzz of the wild, a safari never fails to work its magic. This is romance incarnate, an infusion of imagery you find only in films and the imagination. Soar into the morning air on a hot air balloon ride, high above the seemingly infinite plains of Kenya’s Masai Mara or glide through the still and burgeoning waters of the Okavango Delta, carried deftly through the channels on a moroko (dug-out canoe) built for two. Feel the soothing breeze of the Serengeti whispering on your skin as you enjoy dinner under a ceiling of stars or share cocktails from your safari vehicle as you watch the blazing sun merge into the horizon of the Kruger National Park. End your day by falling asleep in your luxury canvas tent; the overture of your dreams the sound of crickets and the symphony of the African bushveld.
Enjoy the mild side of Africa
The only experience capable of complementing a luxury safari in Africa and perhaps pursuing thoughts of paradise further is a tranquil stint along Africa’s East Coast, or one of her Indian Ocean Island hideaways. These tropical destinations incur the allure and charm of romance at every turn, personified by luxurious accommodation, candlelit dinners for two on soft white sand, massages and Jacuzzi baths, with sunset cruises drifting you away into a sleepy night. Each location maintains its own appeal, whether it’s Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Zanzibar or the Maldives, but the ideal of cocktails on palm lined beaches, lapped by sapphire waters can easily become a reality.
A myriad of activities await
While adventure and the passion of the African sun may warm your body there is far greater warmth found within Africa’s people. They are renowned for their homely welcomes and their rich variety of cultures and traditions.
The scent of adventure is rampant in Africa, marked by the anticipation of discovery; there is still so much of this vast land to explore and endless adventures to share. Experience the impenetrable rainforests of Uganda and track the majestic mountain gorilla, or take to the waters of the Zambezi River and canoe against the rapids. From surfing the highs of the Namibian sand dunes to shark diving in the deep waters off the coast of Cape Town to soaking up the intensity of a walking safari in Zambia, this is a once in a lifetime destination tailored for couples imbued with the spirit of adventure. However, if your idea of adventuring is uncovering the secrets of what the shops have to offer then Cape Town can accommodate your every need, a place where you can shop ‘till you drop!
Whatever you may be looking for in a honeymoon, Africa holds the key to it all. A luxury beach and safari honeymoon will provide pulse-racing adventure, abundant culture, vibrant romance and lasting memories of Africa to share for a lifetime.
This article is brought to you by Mahlatini, specialists in luxury African travel. Their knowledgeable team is dedicated to tailor-making your perfect holiday itinerary.
More African adventures
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Getting up close and personal with the fabled big 5 in Africa is the dream of many a traveler, but long believed to a privilege only reserved for the seriously wealthy. Botswana, even if it is the base of some of the most pristine game viewing on the entire continent, is also the most expensive safari destination. This is due to the government’s policy of keeping the tourist footprint at a minimum, thus focusing on high quality and highly cost lodges.
Other than Botswana, South Africa is traditionally one of the best choices promising a high quality safari, at a fraction of the price – assuming of course, that you know when to go. Timing is everything. You can expect to pay an average of $3 000.00 per week on safari costs, excluding your initial flight expenses. By planning your trip during South Africa’s low season, you can save up to a staggering $1400.00 per week! If you fly off peak, and book your seats well in advance, you can also save roughly around 40 percent on the price of your plane ticket.
Now, don’t get confused by the South African seasons. The “low” safari season is in fact the peak time for optimum game viewing. Low season in the country is during the colder winter months between April and September, when the Cape is cold and rainy, while the inland areas are sunny and dry. The peak season that correlates with the summer months and school vacations is rather linked to when South Africans prefer to take holidays as opposed to when foreigners prefer to plan a safari trip. For the sake of consistency, safari lodges joined suit by offering low season specials.
It is important to remember that the peak season is just that; the most popular time when the locals prefer to go on vacation. Lodges and camp sites will be booked out months in advance, and seeing that it is prime season, they can charge just about whatever they feel like. A safari in low season offers a much more affordable option, and not at the expense of experiencing awesome wildlife.
A less strenuous budget aside, what else can you expect from a safari during the low season, and what are the numerous benefits?
Winter months in South Africa are typically dry and vegetation is sparse. Consider this a bad thing? Think again. The animals are much easier to spot, since they cannot hide away in the thicket. Trees don’t have as many leaves to obstruct the view, and remaining watering holes will attract animals from miles in vast numbers. These holes become hives of activity, and your chances of spotting wild life in the early mornings and late afternoons are excellent.
Although some visitors might wish to experience the lush landscape of the summer months, the tall grass will obstruct your visibility immensely. Muddy roads and bogs will make the experience less rewarding, unless you seek the adventure.
Mild Weather Conditions
The summer months in the African bush can be scorching with temperatures reaching up to 45 degrees Celsius, depending on the area. If you are a camping enthusiast, you will find it extremely unpleasant during these times.
Except for the month of June, winter temperatures are usually mild, with cool evenings. The days are mostly sunny, and if there is no wind, it can be quite toasty during the daytime hours. And dare I mention that snakes and other creepy crawlies do not typically come out to play in the winter?
Remember, the summer months are synonymous with the raining season, so if the heat does not force you indoors, the humidity will.
No Humidity = No Bugs
Speaking of rain and humidity, bugs thrive in these conditions, so if you are bug bedeviled, here is another good reason to plan a safari during the dry season. Another big plus point is the absence of Malaria mosquitos. Mosquitos tend to breed and congregate around stagnant water pools, which you will find in abundance during the raining season. Mosquitos are not active during the winter months, even if you find yourself in a high risk Malaria area.
Still, for posterity’s sake, do take at least some mosquito repellent with if you are going to high risk area during this time, just to cover all bases.
Lose the Crowds
As mentioned, you can expect fewer people at the safari lodges and base camps during the off-peak season, so your safari experience will be less crowded. No queues waiting for game drive, and no mauling masses scaring off the wildlife. This holds true to the locals anyway. Chances are, you will run into quite a few people from abroad, so the camp or lodge will not be completely desolate, allowing you to socialize and indulge in traditional dancing around a fire without feeling awkward.
Leave the rainy summer months for the locals who are used to the conditions. They are accustomed to the Big 5, so they crave the challenge and adventure of seeking them out in the thicket. A safari trip during the dry season is most definitely highly recommended for the first time safari newbie, especially if you have high hopes of seeing lots of wildlife
The quality of the lodges and wildlife sightings can vary from park to park, so it is always advisable to seek out the opinion of unaffiliated websites or forums before your trip. When in doubt, the Kruger National Park, South Africa’s most famous wildlife reserve, is an excellent place to start. Motswari, Kambaku and Arathusa Lodge are but a few of the lodges scattered across the reserve that offers very attractive discounted packages for the enthusiast on a budget.
My thanks for this guest post to Jeff Cammack at Safari Guide Africa - a safari and travel tour operator in for South Africa. Safari Guide Africa builds custom South African safari tours and advises groups and individuals on vacations in the region. You can connect with Jeff Cammack on Google +
You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey
My guest post today is for lovers of wildlife and the great outdoors who dream of a safari in Africa. Ker & Downey, the luxury holiday company for exotic locations, offer their advice on the best game parks to visit in South Africa.
Many of us dream of taking that once in a lifetime vacation to Africa, to experience a safari and see all of the unique game and wildlife along the way. When beginning to plan your trip to Africa, there are many things to consider, many areas of the country to look into, countless possibilities of trip locales. South Africa has an abundance of game and nature reserves, and is considered to be one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. If you have been looking for some game reserve options in the area, here are a few to consider:
Timbavati – Along the western edge of Kruger National Park is one of South Africa’s prime wildlife viewing areas. Established in 1956 by a few game farmers, the reserve encompasses 680 sq km. No fences or barriers separate Timbavati from the Kruger National Park, so the animals are allowed to roam freely between the two. 40 different mammals, including the Big Five: elephant, lion, leopard, black rhinoceros and buffalo can be seen within the park’s boundries. A rare breed of lions with a recessive gene which causes their coats to be snow white reappeared in the reserve in 2006 after being absent for many years.
Mala Mala – Mala Mala Game Reserve is the largest private game reserve containing the big five animals in South Africa . Mala Mala shares 19 km of unfenced border with Kruger National Park and lies in between the national park and the Sabi Sand Reserve. The reserve ensures the finest game viewing on the African sub-continent and is regularly used as the subject matter for a vast collection of international and local wildlife documentaries, including some for National Geographic. 33,000 acres are undisturbed, save two safaris which travel through the wild with no more than 6 silent passengers per vehicle each day. Only guests from at one of the Mala Mala camps enjoy this privately-owned game land.
Phinda – Sitting in the Maputaland region in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Phinda borders the iSimangaliso/Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Phinda is made up of 23,000 hectares of prime conservation land. Seven distinct habitats shelter a myriad of wildlife including the Big Five and over 380 different bird species, and the marine diversity off the nearby coast of Sodwana is said to rival the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Samara – With four of the country’s seven biomes contained in it’s borders, Samara’s abundant wilderness preserves an intricate and diverse ecosystem, providing habitat for over 60 different mammals. While traveling in the reserve, you’ll see more common species like the Kudu and Duiker but the secretive Aardvark and the once-endangered white rhino roam. Samara also houses one of the world’s most endangered species: the cheetah.
Manyeleti – Located in the western portion of Kruger National Park, Manyeleti means “Place of the Stars” in the local language of Shangaan. The reserve is tucked away from the mainstream tourist areas and managed by the Mnisi tribe, who are committed to retaining the integrity of the game reserve and unlocking the tourism potential to the benefit of the Mnisi people and surrounding communities.
There is so much to see and do in South Africa, you have plenty of choice when it comes to taking that safari of a lifetime. You don’t have to rough it either! Many luxury travel experiences await you on safari in South Africa
Ker & Downey is a luxury travel company servicing not only Africa, but other exotic locations around the world. For more information visit Ker & Downey