Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

Posted on 25 May 2021

Choosing the right honeymoon can be daunting. As the first holiday, you’ll spend together as a married couple, it’s a trip that needs to be just right. While Africa is often depicted strictly as a safari destination, the continent is also home to some of the most romantic honeymoon spots in the world, all of which offer a perfect balance of solitude, wonder, and excitement. We’ve shortlisted six of our favourites to help you kick-start your lifelong journey together.

Riverside romance at Royal Chundu Lodge, Victoria Falls

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

Royal Chundu, meaning the ‘meeting place of the chief’ in the Bemba language, is a sanctum of quiet solitude and unspoiled beauty. Source | Royal Chundu Lodge

There’s a reason Victoria Falls is one of the most sought-out attractions in Africa. Also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning the ‘smoke that thunders’, the Falls plunge headlong down a 100m vertical chasm that spans over 1.5km, making it the biggest curtain of falling water in the world. By contrast, Royal Chundu Lodge lies peacefully along a stretch of private waterway upstream from the Falls, a sanctum of solitude and undisturbed beauty.

The 14 spacious suites exude elegance and charm, with furnishings inspired by local prints infused with modern design aesthetics. Of these, four are located on nearby Katombora Island. Here, the suites offer a more private and exclusive experience and are surrounded by gentle river channels dotted with ancient baobabs and jackalberry trees. The interiors are splashed with cobalt blue and earthy palettes, reminiscent of the surroundings, and open up onto private decks that overlook river rapids (best enjoyed from the vantage point of your open-air bath).

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

The well-appointed suites on Katombora Island open up onto private decks overlooking the river rapids. Source | Royal Chundu Lodge

While you’ll enjoy soaking up the serene surroundings, Royal Chundu has plenty of activities on offer to enhance your love affair with the Zambezi River. If you are a photographer, you may want to set out on a photographic river safari or opt for a helicopter flight right above the falls. Active individuals will enjoy paddling along the river in a canoe, hiking through Katombora Island, or tiger fishing with an experienced skipper and fishing guide. But whether you’re enjoying a picnic along the river or soaring above Falls, the experience at Royal Chunda will bring you closer to nature, and closer to one another.

Go barefoot at Anvil Bay Lodge in Maputo Special Reserve, Mozambique

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

Guests are accommodated in rustic Casinhas, meaning ‘a little home’, at Anvil Bay Lodge. Source | Anvil Bay Lodge

With its unspoiled stretch of coastal wilderness and rich inland biodiversity, Anvil Bay Lodge offers the best of both worlds: the beach and the bush. The exclusive ‘barefoot beach camp’ blends into the dune forests of the Maputo Special Reserve, which is considered one of the 25 most biologically rich eco-regions in the world.

In order to preserve this piece of paradise, construction was kept to a minimum at Anvil Bay Lodge. Guests are accommodated in rustic Casinhas, meaning ‘a little home’, which are hidden under canopies of coastal forest, only a few steps away from a private stretch of beachfront. Each Casinhas is designed to take advantage of the cooling ocean breezes, and the canvas sides can be rolled down to allow the sounds and smell of the ocean to waft inside.

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

Enjoy miles of untouched coastline all to yourself. Source | Travel Africa Resource

Naturally, honeymooners will enjoy long romantic walks along the beach and the privacy of the Casinhas, but Anvil Bay offers a suite of activities to keep you entertained throughout your stay. Take to the ocean in a kayak, a SUP, or bodyboard, or, if you wish to venture further, opt for a whale-watching ocean safari instead. Guests are also welcome to fish from the shore and out at sea, or uncover the secrets below the surface on a snorkelling trip. We recommend visiting between December and March if you want to help little turtle hatchlings make their way to the ocean.

Sand, Stars and Solace: Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namibia

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

The design of Sossusvlei Desert Lodge takes its inspiration directly from the landscape from which it emerges. Source | Ker Downing Africa

Hidden amidst a desertscape of sand and stone, &Beyond’s Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in Namibia is perfect for couples seeking solitude, save the company of stars. This sustainable, luxury lodge is situated within the 12,715-hectare Sossusvlei Private Desert Reserve and surrounded by some of the largest sand dunes in the world, including the iconic Namibia Star Dunes. And it’s here, where the world feels so vast and expansive, that the small things matter most.

The 10 private stone and glass suites feel like an extension of the desert itself, spread along the escarpment and designed to feel as though poised at the ‘exact moment between heaven and earth’. Each is air-conditioned for your comfort and comes with a private pool, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, and a retractable skylight for ‘in-bed star gazing’.

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

The lodge integrates sustainable solutions into its design, such as state-of-the-art water-saving mechanisms, water harvesting and recycling systems and photovoltaic power generation for every room. Source | Ker Downing Africa

Star-gazing is far from restricted to your room, and guests are encouraged to peer through the state-of-the-art telescope at the observatory where they can ask the resident astronomer about the constellations above. There are also ample daytime activities available to connect to the desert, including specialist-guided experiences shaped around your personal interests, helicopter or hot air balloon trips for a birds-eye view of the ancient landscape, and hikes along the winding tailbone of a dune crest followed by a picnic at the peak.

Gorilla trekking at Bisate Lodge in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

Inspired by the rolling hills of Rwanda and the thatched design of the King’s Palace at Nyanza, Bisate sits woven between the lush growths adjacent to Volcanoes National Park. Source | Wilderness Safaris

If a honeymoon doesn’t offer the perfect excuse to tick off your bucket-list gorilla trek, then we’re not sure what else will. And where better to go than Bisate Lodge? Bisate was the first lodge in Rwanda to marry luxury travel with gorilla trekking experiences and is located in the heart of an ancient amphitheatre formed by an eroded volcano.

The lodge consists of six intimate thatched villas, which are tucked into the lush forest setting and resemble bird nests from afar. Their spherical design is rooted in Rwandan tradition and boasts sophisticated interiors that maximise comfort and warmth, as well as the dramatic view of the Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes.

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

Bisate’s interiors are designed to reflect the colourful life and culture of the Rwandan community. Source | Wilderness Safaris

Bisate is an exceptional luxury base for anyone going gorilla trekking, although activities in the area also include visits to the lesser-known golden monkeys, trips to the lava tunnels of the Musanze Caves and tours of the Twin Lakes of Ruhondo and Burera, to name a few. Importantly, Bisate is a model of sustainable ecotourism. Through its reforestation and rehabilitation project, each guest has an opportunity to contribute towards local conservation and community upliftment.

Romance among ruins at Chuini Zanzibar Beach Lodge

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

Located on the very edge of Unguja Island, Chuini is no short of expansive ocean views or balmy sunsets. Source | Newmark Hotels

Built around the age-worn ruins of Chuini Palace, the modern finishes of Chuini Zanzibar Beach Lodge breathe life into the historical site. The white-washed, open-plan lodge can be found along a sliver of paradise in Tanzania’s Zanzibar Archipelago, only 12km away from Stone Town, and perched on low cliffs that overlook the turquoise Indian Ocean.

Guests are accommodated in private bungalows, which feature touches of local decor dusted with a white palette that gives off a soothing ambience. The honeymoon suite is ideally situated for couples looking to simply indulge in one another’s company. This unit is located mere metres from the beach and features a wooden deck shaded by a tree growing right through it – we recommend the private dinner that can be set up on this romantic balcony upon request.

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

Built amidst the ruins of the ancient Chuini Palace, the lodge possesses a distinctly historic air. Source | Teagan Cunniffe

Speaking of dinner, Chuini is famous for its delectable dishes. Zanzibar is often referred to as ‘The Spice Island’ as it once enjoyed international acclaim for its selection of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and cardamom. This aromatic history, along with international influences on traditional cuisine, has led to local fare that is varied and exciting. Chuini’s dishes in particular are infused with the rich flavours of traditional Swahili cuisine. Dinners here are served by candlelight in a range of romantic locations, such as the ancient palace ruins or overlooking the ocean. Beyond the spice route, guests can relax at the spa or opt for adventures like snorkelling, scuba diving, sunset cruises, and big game fishing.

Eco-friendly luxury at Mumbo Island, Lake Malawi

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

Mumbo Island is located within an exclusive concession area, guaranteeing privacy in a tropical island paradise. Source | Wanderlust Movement

Protruding out of the southern reaches of Lake Malawi, Mumbo Island in Lake Malawi is a deserted tropical escape with no electricity, no internet, no gas supply, and no mains water. And yet, it still manages to provide the essential luxuries – everything you need and nothing that you don’t. Perfect for eco-conscious honeymooners.

The intimate camp sleeps a maximum of 14 guests in rustic chalets that overlook the lake and are constructed entirely from wood lashed together with rope. Each is kitted with a shaded deck, hammock, and en suite hot bucket showers and eco-loos. The whole site is built to be dismantled with ease (placing very little pressure on the environment) and blends into the African bush to give off a Robinson-Crusoe-like charm.

Wildly Romantic: 6 dreamy destinations to spend your African honeymoon

The camp at Mumbo has a Robinson Crusoe feel, creating a rustic getaway with beautiful views over the lake | Source: Wanderlust Movement

The entire island, only one kilometre in diameter, is engulfed by Lake Malawi National Park, which was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The lake itself is about two million years old and contains the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world. While there is a 100m no-fishing zone around Mumbo, it makes for a perfect snorkelling spot. Other water activities include kayaking, cliff jumping and a sunset boat tour, or you could explore the island’s interior on one of the many hiking trails.

Source: The African Insider

PICTURE: Unsplash

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