Romantic Safari in the Kruger National Park
There is something intrinsically romantic about the African savannah, one of the last vestiges on Earth where the majesty of nature so effortlessly inspires a sense of connection. It’s no wonder the Kruger National Park is the quintessential South African safari destination for couples.
The park’s proximity to the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg (only a 5-hour drive away) means that you could arrive in South Africa in the morning and watch the sun set over the African savannah by the end of the day.
All major car rental companies have counters at the airport, and self-driving allows adding other scenic destinations, like the Blyde River Canyon, on the way to the Kruger. Alternatively, scheduled flights to local airports near the Kruger cut travel time significantly.
The budget-conscious traveler might choose to stay at one of the various self-catering chalets, guest houses, or lodges and do self-drive game viewing in a rental vehicle.
However, for the ultimate in privacy and luxury, it’s best to head to one of the dozen-or-so private concession lodges within the Kruger or the collection of private luxury reserves on the western edges of the park.
Here you’ll enjoy opulence to the finest detail. Secluded suites with sensational views, private pools, outdoor rose (or champagne!) baths, and exquisite cuisine set the scene for the best romantic getaway.
Several private game reserves offer treehouse experiences: a night under the stars on a secluded raised platform in the bush. There’s no better way to spend an evening with a loved one, not to mention the fine dining provided by your own personal chef.
Speaking of meals, why not try traditional gourmet cuisine under the open African sky? Various lodges offer a bush banquet set in the open bush framed by lantern light and the Milky Way overhead.
Many couples-orientated packages at the luxury reserves include personal game drives and bush walks with an experienced game ranger who will tailor the experience to your preference, such as photography, birding, or spotting rare species at night.
Spa treatments are a quintessential luxury on any honeymoon, and when you stay at one of the luxury lodges, you can expect the very best. Want to keep active during your stay? Most lodges offer gyms, yoga classes, and wellness centers.
Travel Tips for a Romantic Safari in the Kruger National Park
- Most of the luxury lodges offer all-inclusive packages specifically aimed at couples. Book one of these, and you won’t have to worry about a thing from start to finish. Honeymoon packages that include activities and experiences aimed explicitly at couples are often offered at a discount.
- Combine a trip to the Kruger with a visit to one or more of Southern Africa’s other top attractions like Cape Town, Victoria Falls, and Mauritius. Several lodges and tour operators offer such combo packages.
- Scheduled flights from OR Tambo arrive and depart daily from local airports (Hoedspruit, Nelspruit, Phalaborwa, or Skukuza) near the Kruger, which cut travel time to under 2 hours. From here, a short transfer gets you to your lodge. Several lodges have private airstrips, so direct flights are possible too.