Africa is home to some of the world's most stunning scenery, diverse wildlife and best kept honeymoon secrets. Trekking across huge expanses of desert and jungle, or spening the night in the savannah can be an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience, that should definitely be on your shortlist when you consider your honeymoon destination this winter.
The "rainbow nation" of South Africa is often referred to as a World-in-One country, such is the diversity that you'll find here. In all likelihood your African safari honeymoon will probably start here.
While it's easy to think of broad sweeping plains and rugged mountains, some of the best sights and sounds can be found along the 2,500km coast, making South Africa one of the continent's most romantic honeymoon destinations.
About 150km West of Africa's southernmost point, the Cape of Good Hope is a rugged scenic experience. During the age of discovery it was a prize for sailors to pass on their journey East to the Spice Islands and also the home of the infamous Flying Dutchman.
These days Cape Province has some of Africa's most developed tourism infrastructure, offering amazing tours of the surrounding areas. The variety of accommodation available is seldom found elsewhere in Southern Africa.
Perhaps one of the world's most famous game reserves and home to the Big Five (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino) the Kruger National Park is a must see on your safari honeymoon.
The well developed and maintained habitat is divided into six distinct eco-systems and is home to some of Africa's rarest animals including the Cheetah and Black Rhino. There are plenty of places to stay at the park and you can overnight or even spend a week. Tours are the best way to see the rich flora and fauna.
Zambia is one of Africa's best kept secrets. It has incredible scenery, big game parks and an abundance of diverse wildlife all around. English is the official language and most official business is also conducted in English but Zambia also has a rich cultural heritage and as you travel you'll become accustomed to hearing various native dialects as well.
No honeymoon that includes Zambia can miss the stunning beauty that is the world-famous Victoria Falls. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the falls are located on the Zambezi River which flows between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
One of the most incredible features of this majestic waterway is known as The Devil's Armchair, a naturally formed swimming pool at the top of the falls which between September and December is safe for swimming very close to the edge.
The falls also have a dynamic footbridge that lets honeymooners and other tourists cross the gorge amidst a shroud of mist and spray. This leads to Knife Edge Point and some of Africa's most stunning views.
For many years Botswana has been one of Africa's least known honeymoon destinations, but in recent years increasing numbers of tourists have been discovering the rich natural beauty of the area.
A huge sand basin runs from the Orange River in South Africa North to Angola, almost completely covering the country of Botswana. But the Kalahari Desert is by no means barren. It is a true desert, yes, but it is also home to the desert lion and various hardy adaptable creatures.
At its centre is the Okavango Delta, an isolated honeymoon oasis that is only accessible by air. The birds here are something special. During the wet season, rains bring over 500 different species to the region and the sky is filled with vibrant colour.
The honeymoon safari capital of Africa, Kenya and the Masai Mara are world famous for their savannahs, beaches and inclusion in various western films and documentaries.
An extension of Tanzania's famous Serengeti National Park in the south, the Masai Mara National Reserve is home to one of the world's most spectacular events. The Great Migration (natural phenomenon where millions of zebra and wildebeest migrate south to the Serengeti plains) occurs here each January to March, however this is a continually evolving process that does happen year round.
The best way to see this spectacular occurrence and also the most romantic is from a hot air balloon. Ballooning trips are run out of the reserve regularly and are surprisingly inexpensive. They're truly one of Kenya's must-dos.
Just a short migration south from Kenya you'll find Tanzania's spectacular savannahs and abundant wildlife. Bordered by Lake Victoria in the North West, the Serengeti region is rich with biodiversity and romantic honeymoon destinations.
The largest free-standing mountain in the world and also Africa's highest peak, Kilimanjaro is an awesome sight. The snow-capped Kibo peak rises almost 6000 m above sea level making it one of the largest volcanos ever to be seen on earth.
The Ultimate in Romantic Adveture: There are several trekking routes up the mountain and the entire expedition will take you almost an entire week if you keep up an average pace. Though many trekkers will set out, the intense altitude and lack of oxygen mean that only a fraction will ever reach the summit. Walks around the base reveal diverse wildlife and should not be immediately dismissed in favour of the majestic climb.
Perhaps the best known wildlife sanctuary in the world, Serengeti National Park is home to 35 species of plain animals that regularly appear in western media, including the Big Five. The park is also home to over 500 bird species and is well known as breeding ground for bird species from across Africa and Asia.
Despite many common misconceptions, travel in Africa is not completely backward. Seldom will you have to resort to a buffalo or elephant (unless you choose to) as a means of transportation.
If you're the adveturering type, in South Africa the Baz Bus is perhaps the easiest way to get around. Simply buy one ticket to a final destination and you can hop on and off as you please at over 180 Backpacker hostels around the country.
Around the rest of the countries mentioned there are many options available. While it might seem easiest to fly from place to place (this option does offer some spectacular views as well) there are Rail, Greyhound, Boat and Driving options as well. Consult a tour operator for the best deals and travel advice in the different regions.
And, of course there are all sorts of all-inclussive safary honeymoon packages out there, that will minimise "risk" and effort on your part.. The only trouble will be sorting through them, as most are being provided by local operators, half the way around the work from Canada!
Although it is certainly possible to travel to and from Africa by sea (land is a bit more of a problem) we definitely recommend flying. Most airlines that fly to the African Continent will stop in South Africa or Egypt so consider this when you're planning your trip. Internal flights are quite inexpensive and very reliable as are rail journeys which allow you to see the savannahs up close and at a slightly more relaxed pace.