If there is one holiday that you want to get right, it’s your honeymoon. But with so many incredible destinations to choose from, how do you decide which country is best for a honeymoon?
While there are many romantic places around the world, very few can offer an unforgettable experience like an African honeymoon. With soft-sand beaches, expansive savannahs bursting with wildlife, and some of the most picturesque scenery on the planet, Africa has all the ingredients for a honeymoon you'll never forget. African honeymoon destinations are as diverse as the continent itself and can be experienced as stand-alone destinations or in combination with each other.
We chatted to Stephanie Aboujaoude, Senior Area Director, Marketing and Communications, Middle East & Africa of Radisson Hotel Group - a group rapidly expanding across Africa - for some ideas on where to honeymoon on this beautiful continent. Here are her suggestions.
Made famous for its romantic charm in the 1942 film Casablanca, the beauty of this country extends beyond just the silver screen. Morocco offers newlyweds one of the most unique honeymoon experiences on earth. You will undoubtedly be spoiled for choice, from indulgent hammams to luxurious, hidden riads embellished with elaborate design details, fine dining experiences in historic palaces, a sweeping coastline and mesmerising rolling deserts. With so much to offer, Morocco is a paradise of exploration that will inspire a couple’s nomadic spirit.
“As the gateway from Europe to Africa – with a wealth of legendary cities, Saharan dunes, snow-capped mountains, Mediterranean sun, sea, unspoiled beaches, and ancient history - Morocco is a dream destination for newlyweds in search of an unforgettable, all-year-round adventure,” Aboujaoude shares. “With hotels and resorts in Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir/Taghazout Bay, Saïdia and Al Hoceima, we provide couples with an enchanting oasis across the country to explore all that Morocco has to offer, from surfing bliss and the ultimate resort retreat to the culturally rich urban getaway”.
The list of reasons for why Tanzania should top your honeymoon bucket list is endless. Home to the best and biggest parks in Africa, and some of the most varied and unique landscapes that you’ll ever see, Tanzania makes for the perfect honeymoon safari destination. Tanzania is also the location of the famous Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania where over 1.5 million wildebeests, zebras and gazelles brave the raging Mara River in search of fresh pasture every year. The Serengeti National Park holds the title of being a World Heritage Site. This is just one of the country’s seven World Heritage Sites. Others include Ngorongoro Crater, Songa Mnara Island, Selous Mapumziko Lodge, Stone Town, Kilwa Kisiwani, and Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. World famous, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, the highest freestanding mountain in the world and home to almost every kind of ecological system there is - from cultivated land, to rainforest, alpine desert, and arctic summit - making it a magnificent sight to behold. And with Zanzibar within easy reach, Tanzania is the perfect 'bush-and-beach' African honeymoon destination. Zanzibar, consisting of four main islands, is a popular honeymoon destination for travellers who seek an idyllic mix of cultural exploration, water sports and white sand beaches. This paradisal archipelago, located about 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa, offers something for everyone.
Popularly referred to as, “the real Africa”, Zambia is one of Africa’s most beautiful countries. Apart from being voted as the safest country on the continent to visit, Zambia boasts some of the most unspoilt and wild landscapes in Africa, an abundance of wildlife, culture, food and a myriad of intriguing attractions, which all make it an incredibly attractive destination for honeymooners. There are plenty of unique and wonderful things in Zambia, starting with termite hills, which have been reported to stand as tall as a small house. One of the highlights, of course, are the Victoria Falls. Known by the locals as Mosi-Oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), Victoria Falls, is one of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Seven Wonders Of The World with a rich archaeological history dating back over three million years. Many attractions in the area have taken inspiration from the Victoria Falls.
For example, the recently-launched Radisson Blu Mosi-oa-Tunya, Livingstone Resort, takes its name from the Falls by the locals and rests on the banks of the Zambezi River. The resort is ideally located close to the Falls, as well as to the town of Livingstone. This town is known as the tourist capital of Zambia and it offers incredible experiences for adrenaline junkies, romantics, and explorers. There is even a steam train ride over Victoria Falls bridge that you can experience, making it any honeymooner’s dream destination. For those wanting to honeymoon in the area, Radisson Blu Mosi-oa-Tunya, Livingstone Resort, offers couples with access to locally-inspired restaurants, soothing spa treatments and a romantic river cruise experience.
If you and your partner want a little bit of everything then South Africa is for you. From seaside escapes to romantic winelands tours, remote mountains, bustling cities and authentic African safaris - a honeymoon in South Africa will give you a chance to explore everything. Newlyweds itching to spot all of the Big Five will want to put Kruger National Park, an African safari destination with wild natural beauty and modern luxury,on their honeymoon itineraries. Johannesburg, South Africa's largest city, will top the list for couples who appreciate history and value activism. Once home to Nelson Mandela, couples honeymooning in Johannesburg can visit his former residence, which is now known as The Nelson Mandela National Museum.
Those wanting a seaside escape can enjoy the waters of the Western Cape that will allow couples to enjoy both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean beaches, depending on where you are based, while the Cape Town CBD and the V&A Waterfront are bursting with chic restaurants for the foodie couples. The Western Cape is also known for its rich wine regions such as Constantia, Stellenbosch, the Helderberg and more. If you’re the type of couple that wants to explore South Africa’s hidden gem, then the Eastern Cape is for you. With fewer tourists than its Western counterpart, the Eastern Cape is equally bursting with fun activities for newlyweds to enjoy. Brave the waves at Jeffrey's Bay or visit Addo Elephant National Park. Even better, take the road trip of a lifetime from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape along the Garden Route. Meandering along a nearly 200 km stretch of coastline, honeymooners will observe lush forests and dramatic seaside cliffs during the ride.
While the allure of Europe or Asia might tempt you into honeymooning off the continent, it’s clear that Africa has plenty to offer newly weds if you know where to look.