If you’ve grown up loving animals, watching Nat Geo, and can’t stop dreaming about elephants, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, and all the other exotic animals, a safari honeymoon may just be the perfect option.
Someone once told me that choosing which safari to go on, is a safari in itself. There are both popular and famous locations, dozens of tours and guides, and all kinds of advice to read. With social and environmental responsibility first, I’ve done some research for you and shared some stories from my own 3-week safari experience in the hope it will inspire you and help with your decision!
1. Pace Yourselves
Safari honeymoon-goers tend to try and do too much. If you have a week, two destinations will be about right. If you have two weeks, then you can try to get in up to five. We spent 2 weeks traveling and the 3rd week went back to our favorite spots.
2. Don’t expect to be emailing or using your cell phones
Outside of Nairobi, Capetown and a few other big cities, the internet will be spotty and cell phones may not function. Just enjoy the scenery and make sure you’ve got binoculars and a great camera! You’re on a safari honeymoon adventure!
3. Best time to go
Africa is truly a year-round destination for luxury safari travel. Fresh fruits, vegetables and meats arrive daily to most of the lodges and camps from the surrounding area’s rich farmlands. The food is exquisite with influences of Indian, French and Indonesian cuisine. Africa is heaven for vegetarians, with so much talent in the kitchen!
4. Don’t worry: The tents aren’t what Dennis the Menace slept in
When I heard we were going to be sleeping in tents I had a few second thoughts. Once we arrived I was blown away. The tents are “en suite” with the bathrooms built right in. You cannot drink the water so bottled water is provided for brushing your teeth.
We arrived back to our camp towards evening to cozy beds heated by hot water bottles tucked inside during the nightly turn-down service. Our guide assured us a Masai would stand guard against the lions during the night just outside our tent (we heard them roaring loud and clear). And they suggested we tie the strings of the tent’s zippers shut so that the dexterous monkeys couldn’t pry them open. They’ve already mastered the zippers! We enjoyed the best coffee we’d ever tasted while on safari even though the monkeys did manage to get to the sugar cubes on the tray left outside our tent in the mornings!
5. Visas, immunizations, etc.
Well, you will need visas to enter Kenya & Tanzania. Visas to enter Zimbabwe and Zambia can be obtained upon arrival. US Passport holders don’t need a visa to enter South Africa, Botswana and shorter stays in Zanzibar. Wedaways travel specialists will give you more info on CDC recommendations before you depart for your trip.
The highlight of my Safari
The entire trip was magical. The short haul flights from one location to the next, although a bit scary for the anxious flyer (like me), are very safe. The jeeps that held up to six passengers gave us all ample room for unobstructed views and great photographs. Going to the Masai tribe grounds, meeting the locals, entering their dung huts and hearing their stories was fascinating. But for me, the hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti was the highlight. I’d never flown in one before and had no idea what it takes to get off the ground, how many people can ride in the basket, and how incredible the views would be once we reached altitude.
Magic in the sky
We saw our giant shadow as we soared high in the sky and were amazed at the herds of ostrich, giraffes and elephants as they ran across the plains. The sheer numbers were outstanding and we felt like angels gazing down at the wonders of the world. Now you two go and enjoy your safari honeymoon adventure!