This is an update to my previous blog on Safari Honeymoons. I just returned from South Africa with a stack of fantastic resources for the best destination wedding venues & honeymoon experiences in Africa. Read on and contact us to help you with your upcoming nuptials!
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 destination wedding in Africa and/or safari honeymoon will make your dreams come true!
Truth be told, choosing which African destination for the wedding or honeymoon safari is an adventure in and of 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. Africa as a wedding destination
Africa is a huge continent, and each country offers luxury in its very own way. From hotels, lodges, resorts, and camps, there truly is something for everyone. Travel between one destination to the next can sometimes be a bit expensive, but there are also trains that can deliver you in style from point A to point B, specifically in the south. The landscape varies from lush green gardens and rivers to dense bush with game grazing the area. Exploring the options is part of the fun. The average destination wedding party in Africa is around 30 people. Just enough for the exclusive use of many properties giving you full run of the place for at least two nights.
2. Pace yourselves
Destination weddings here and safari honeymoon-goers tend to try and do too much. The wedding celebration may be over a 2 1/2 – 3-day period. If you have a week for the honeymoon, two destinations will be about right. If you have two weeks following the wedding, then you can try to get in up to five. We spent 2 weeks traveling and the 3rd week we relaxed at the game lodge and watched the animals at the watering holes while we enjoyed cocktails nightly as the sun set over the horizon.
3. Don’t expect to be emailing or using your cell phones
Although technology has certainly progressed, outside of Nairobi, Capetown, and a few other big cities, the internet will be spotty and cell phones may not function well. Just enjoy the scenery and make sure you’ve got binoculars and a great camera! The wedding will be awesome and you’ll be on a safari honeymoon adventure!
4. 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 and so much more. Africa is heaven for vegetarians, with so much talent in the kitchen! Everyone here makes a huge effort to please.
5. Don’t worry: The tents aren’t what Dennis the Menace slept in
Our safari took us to Kenya and Tanzania. 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 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!
6. Visas, immunizations, etc.
Well, you may need visas to enter Kenya & Tanzania. Visas to enter Zimbabwe and Zambia can be obtained upon arrival (at the time of this writing). 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 for us and will be for you and your guests, as well. 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. We’ll help you select the perfect destination in Africa, and get you in the right direction to design, plan and produce the destination wedding of your dreams! Then you two can go and enjoy your safari honeymoon adventure!