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A Seasonal Guide to African Honeymoon Safaris

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Susan Swanepoel

Safari Travel Planner

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Susan Swanepoel

Author: Susan Swanepoel - 17 April 2024

Last Update: 2 May 2024

Part of the African Safari Collection

Diverse and often breathtakingly beautiful, Africa is a marvellous destination for honeymoon safaris. It blends vast, unspoiled landscapes with an abundance of wildlife, superb accommodations, and a wealth of activities and attractions that cater to every newlywed’s dream. 

From the rolling plains of the Serengeti and the pristine beaches of Mauritius, to the dramatic red dunes of Namibia and the romantic vineyards of the Cape, Africa’s many honeymoon experiences are as diverse as they are unforgettable. With private bush dinners under the star-filled African sky, magical hot air balloon rides at sunrise, and tranquil mokoro trips gliding through the waterlilies, Africa will assuredly exceed your expectations! 

Here are some of Africa’s unbeatable honeymoon destinations, and suggestions on the best season for a honeymoon safari:

Botswana

Botswana offers idyllic settings for a honeymoon safari with a wealth of pristine wilderness areas.

These include Chobe National Park known for its large elephant herds, the Okavango Delta with its unique water-based safaris, and the Kalahari Desert, home to the iconic black-maned lions. Activities for honeymooners are plentiful: game drives, guided walks, day trips, Kalahari excursions, sunset cruises, fishing, canoeing, private bush dinners and indulgent couples’ spa treatments.

Best Time to Visit: May to October offer Peak Wildlife Viewing 

The best time is during the dry season from May to October with clear skies, cool nights and warm days. Wildlife viewing is at its peak as animals gather around water sources. However, this is the busiest time, so you need to book well ahead. The vibrant green wet season, from November to April, is quieter and more affordable, with spectacular birdwatching opportunities​​​​.

Daunara Camp Okavango Delta, Botswana
Daunara Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. | Photo credit: Duanara Camp

Mozambique

Mozambique is celebrated as an exquisite honeymoon destination with beautiful beaches, swaying palms and the warm blue waters of the Indian Ocean. It offers secluded private islands, private beach huts, luxury hotels and serviced villas.

The Bazaruto Archipelago is ideal for diving, snorkelling, and game fishing. The Quirimbas Archipelago offers luxury, magical private islands, and unique experiences like island-hopping safaris. Activities include scuba diving on the stunning coral reefs, horse riding, sea kayaking, and romantic sunset cruises.

Best Time to Visit: Top Game Viewing from June

Mozambique is pretty much an all year round destination, but the optimum time for a beach holiday is during the drier winter season from May to October, offering ideal conditions for lounging on the beach and water activities. Game viewing is best from June through to October​​​​.

Aerial view of &Beyond Benguerra in Mozambique | Photo credit: &Beyond Benguerra
Aerial view of &Beyond Benguerra in Mozambique | Photo credit: &Beyond Benguerra

Namibia

Namibia offers unique and romantic settings for honeymooners, combining breathtaking desert landscapes with luxurious safari lodges and intimate experiences. Couples can enjoy five-star luxury at stylish lodges situated in remote, serene settings​​​​.

Key attractions for honeymooners include Sossusvlei‘s towering dunes, wildlife-rich Etosha National Park, the rugged beauty of Damaraland, and the haunting remoteness of the Skeleton Coast. These destinations offer a blend of adventure and relaxation, from game drives and hot-air balloon rides to private picnics and romantic candlelit dinners under Namibia’s blazing stars​​​​.

Best Time to Visit: A Year-round Safari Honeymoon Hotspot

Namibia can be visited all year round, though the summers can be extremely hot. Your Namibia honeymoon is best scheduled during the dry winter season from May to September, when the weather is cooler, though it is the busiest time. The summer season from October to March offers a quieter alternative​​​​.

Exterior view of Wolwedans Plains Camp, Namibia | Photo credit: Wolwedans Plains Camp
Exterior view of Wolwedans Plains Camp, Namibia | Photo credit: Wolwedans Plains Camp

South Africa

South Africa is a prime honeymoon destination offering a blend of romantic luxury and adventurous outdoor activities. With its diverse landscapes, from the bush luxury of private reserves such as the Sabi Sands in the Greater Kruger, the vibrant city environment of Cape Town, the superb beaches of KwaZulu-Natal and the serene beauty of the Cape Winelands, South Africa caters to every taste. 

The list of attractions and activities available for honeymooners is truly endless: wildlife safaris, hot air balloon trips, whitewater rafting, hiking, cruises, paragliding, snorkelling, cage-diving with sharks, bungee and bridge jumping. SA has a vibrant night- and cultural life, with theatres, museums, cinemas, bars and excellent restaurants abounding. Why not visit the Sudwala Dinosaur Park at Sudwala near Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, which is a fantastic holiday destination.

Best Time to Visit: Kruger Safari Love from April

South Africa is really a year-round destination. The wet summer season from November to late March offers lush landscapes and hot weather, and is perfect for the higher-lying regions of the country. The perfect beach getaway along the KZN coast in places like Umhlanga Rocks, Durban and Ballito is best during the drier and cooler months from April to September when it’s less humid. This is also a good time for visiting the Greater Kruger when the bush is less dense, and the searing heat of the summer months is over. 

Gwe Gwe Beach Lodge Wild Coast
A view of Gwe Gwe Beach Lodge, along the Wild Coast, South Africa. | Photo credit: Gwe Gwe Beach Lodge

Zambia

Zambia is an exceptional honeymoon destination for couples looking for both adventure and tranquillity. Zambia’s iconic Victoria Falls, the ‘smoke that thunders’, offer a mesmerising backdrop for romance and a vast range of activities. Zambia’s rich wildlife and national parks, like South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi, provide exceptional safari experiences.

And if you want to blend romance with adventure, there are guided walking safaris, canoeing excursions, sunset boat cruises, candlelit bush dinners, stargazing on your own private deck, and sumptuous couples’ spa treatments. 

Best Time to Visit: Optimal Dry winter Season from May

The dry winter season, May – October, is widely regarded as optimal. Wildlife viewing is great as animals congregate around water sources. It’s also the best time for a walking safari that South Luanga is so famous for. April to May offers lush, green landscapes and stunning photographic opportunities. Victoria Falls is at its most spectacular. The heavy rainfall from November – March often lead to parks being closed due to flooding. 

Sunrise over Busanga Plains, Kafue National Park, Zambia | Photo credit: Bobbushphoto, Getty Images via Canva
Sunrise over Busanga Plains, Kafue National Park, Zambia | Photo credit: Getty Images, Canva

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and wildlife encounters, make it perfect for honeymoon couples. Victoria Falls and national parks like Hwange, Matusadona and Mana Pools offer exceptional holiday experiences.

Hwange is renowned for its elephant population, and Mana Pools offers tranquil beauty, walking safaris and canoeing adventures. Lake Kariba is ideal for water-based activities, and relaxing on a dreamy houseboat! Further activities include bungee jumping, white-water rafting, zip-lining, sunset cruises, visiting the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, golfing and horseback riding. Intimate private dining experiences, spa treatments and tranquil stargazing nights complete the most memorable, romantic honeymoon. 

Best Time to Visit: Game Drive Bliss from June

This is generally considered to be the dry winter season from April to October when clear skies, mild temperatures, and minimal rainfall are the norm. Wildlife viewing is excellent with sparser vegetation and animals gathering around water sources. The cooler months of June to August are pleasant for walking safaris and game drives. Rainy November to March is the least busy time, and some areas and lodges may be closed. Vic Falls is awe-inspiring during this time!

Elephant herd drinking from Kanga Pa Watering Hole. Photo credit: African Bush Camps
Elephant herd drinking from Kanga Pa Watering Hole. | Photo credit: African Bush Camps

Kenya

Kenya is a time-honoured honeymoon destination. The savannahs of the Maasai Mara is home to one of the great wildlife spectacles on the planet, the Great Wildebeest Migration. Amboseli provides stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, and is renowned for its large elephant herds. Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline, with pristine beaches like Diani and Watamu, offer unbeatable beach experiences.

Nor does Kenya’s array of activities disappoint: safari drives offer intimate encounters with the Big Five, hot air balloon rides, snorkelling, diving, and cultural tours are all on offer. The superb Kenyan lodges and camps complete the ultimate romantic honeymoon experiences. 

Best Time to Visit: Great Migration Season from June

The best time is during the dry season from June to October. This period coincides with the Great Wildebeest Migration, an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. It’s Kenya’s busy season, so book well in advance.  January to March is also good, with warmer weather for beach and water activities. 

Great Plains Mara Toto Tree Camp.
Great Plains Mara Toto Tree Camp in Kenya’s Maasai Mara.| Photo credit: Great Plains

Rwanda

Rwanda, ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’, combines adventure and relaxation. It offers the chance to meet one of the most remarkable species on earth in their natural habitat – the endangered mountain gorilla. Gorilla trekking is undoubtedly one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions. Rwanda’s Akagera National Park offers more traditional safari experiences as it’s home to lions, rhinos, elephants, and a variety of birdlife.

Nyungwe Forest enables you to see chimpanzees, and do a magical canopy walk! Activities and attractions in Rwanda include beautiful beaches, cruises on the tranquil waters of Lake Kivu, as well as kayaking, paddleboarding and swimming. Kigali, the friendly capital, offers vibrant markets to add to a varied honeymoon experience.

Best Time to Visit: Gorilla Trekking from May

A honeymoon in Rwanda is best planned for the dry season from May to October, also the best time for game viewing and gorilla trekking. It’s the busiest tourist time of the year with clear skies and comfortable temperatures. The short rainy season from November to December offers an attractive alternative. January to February offers a mix of rain and dry, warm days, and is particularly appealing to birdwatchers with many migrant species around.

Mountain Gorilla in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda | Photo credit: Nyiragongo from Getty Images via Canva
Mountain Gorilla in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda | Photo credit: Getty Images via Canva

Tanzania

Tanzania is a premier honeymoon destination thanks to its natural diversity, range of wildlife, pristine beaches, and the exotic magic of Zanzibar. The country is home to the world-renowned Serengeti, famous for the annual Great Wildebeest Migration.

Additionally, the Ngorongoro Crater offers a unique safari setting with its high density of wildlife. Tanzania’s many activities include guided safari tours, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, diving, snorkelling, spice plantation tours, or simply relaxing on a pristine beach! For ocean lovers, the Zanzibar Archipelago offers a blissful paradise. 

Best Time to Visit: Great Migration Hotspot from June

The best time for your honeymoon in Tanzania will largely depend on your preferences. January to March is dry and very hot, but it’s a good time to experience the wildlife in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The drier season from June to October is a good time to see general wildlife as animals frequent water sources to drink. This period also coincides with the Great Wildebeest Migration’s dramatic Mara River crossings in the northern Serengeti. However, please note that this is the busiest season, so early bookings are essential. November starts the ‘short rains’ period, with March ushering in the ‘long rains’ period. Both offer lush green landscapes, superb birding, fewer people and lower rates, but accessibility could be a problem. 

Tanzania's Serengeti at sunset.
Tanzania’s Serengeti at sunset. | Photo credit: Hu Chen, Unsplash

Uganda

Uganda, often dubbed the ‘Pearl of Africa’, is renowned for its gorilla trekking experiences in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Couples undertake guided treks through the misty rainforests to observe the magnificent mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to elephants, lions, leopards, and a plethora of bird species including the rare shoebill stork, offers classic safari experiences.

Activities include boat cruises,  white-water rafting, hiking, community visits and challenging afro-alpine treks through the famed Rwenzori ‘Mountains of the Moon’ Uganda’s lodges and campsites provide intimate and secluded honeymoon accommodations, romantic dinners, cosy campfires and spa treatments set in nature.

Best Time To Visit: Optimal Gorilla Trekking from June

Your preferences will obviously dictate, but if you’re looking to enjoy outdoor activities and wildlife viewing, the dry seasons – June to September, and January to February – are best, with June to September considered the optimal time. The weather is generally sunny and dry, making it ideal for gorilla trekking and wildlife viewing. 

Gorillas in Uganda | Photo credits: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Gorillas in Uganda | Photo credits: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

We’re well aware that Africa offers a staggering wealth of safari and honeymoon options! Let Discover Africa be your guide. For more information, and to tailor your perfect honeymoon safari, feel free to get in touch. We’ll advise you on the best times to go on honeymoon safaris, and help you plan your perfect African honeymoon that you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. 


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Copyright © Discover Africa Safaris | A Seasonal Guide to African Honeymoon Safaris | Last Updated: 2 May 2024