Africa’s Most Romantic Safari Adventures
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Picture yourself waking up to the sound of wilderness next to that special someone, spending the day crossing vast plains in the dramatic landscapes of Africa, quenching your thirst for adventure. Return to your not so humble abode in the evening to sip a glass of bubbly on the porch while watching the sun set over the savanna, enjoy a candlelit dinner under the stars and end the day with an outdoor bubble bath.
The excitement of observing incredible wildlife, dangerous, endangered or simply intriguing, together with the laid-back atmosphere of a luxury safari holiday makes a perfect combination. Love has no boundaries. Therefore, it shouldn’t depend on location. However, planning a romantic safari can be tricky. There’s simply no room for errors, so sit back and relax as I share my top picks for romantic safari destinations in Africa:
Masai Mara National Reserve
One of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves, Masai Mara National Reserve in southwest Kenya boasts a spectacular ecosystem, home to about 40% of the continent’s large mammals. The Mara is perhaps the best game viewing destination, thanks to its high density of wildlife.
Do you want to discover other great countries for a safari? Check out the Top 8 countries for an African Safari: How to choose the right one for you !
Hot air ballooning over the savanna
Exploring the vast plains of the Mara from a hot air balloon is an experience to last a lifetime. Just imagine watching the Big Five from a bird’s eye view, not to mention giraffes, elephants, baboons, hyenas, gazelles and African leopards. Flying over the Mara River, you might even see hippos bathing and Nile crocodiles stalking their next prey. On a clear day, you’ll even get to sneak a peek or two at Mount Kilimanjaro.
Kruger National Park
If it’s wildlife you came to South Africa for, look no further than Kruger National Park, the world’s largest game reserve. Spanning over two million hectares, it is almost the size of Belgium! With an astounding density of wildlife, including around 12,000 elephants, it’s a great place to see the Big Five. If you’re looking to add a little romance, a self-drive safari or a walking safari are the best way to explore Kruger Park’s sheer wilderness and awaken your senses.
Camping in the Mara during the Great Migration
Photo credit: Viva Safaris
Home to an impressive variety of wildlife, Maasai Mara National Reserve can get crowded during the Great Migration. People from far and wide come to see the impressive display of brute force each year between July and October, a mass movement of around two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle.
Despite the crowds, your Maasai Mara safari can be quite intimate. A private tented safari will take you in the middle of the African bush, right in the heart of the migration, all the while enjoying luxury amenities like hot outdoor baths, butler service and gourmet dining. Not too shabby!
Serengeti National Park
You’ve come to Africa for the safaris, right? A stone’s throw away from Zanzibar lies one of the world’s most popular safari destinations – the Serengeti National Park. How could it not be? Alongside Maasai Mara, it is the setting of the annual Great Migration. It is also home to the honey badger and an impressive number of Nile crocodiles.
In southern Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is said to be the best place in Tanzania to see the Big Five. A UNESCO Conservation Center, the 14-mile (22.5 km) wide volcanic crater is a natural wonder and the only place on Earth where mankind and wildlife coexist in harmony. It is also a great place to spot black rhinos.
How is this romantic? Well, imagine the vast plains of Serengeti stretching far under the deep African sky, the snow-capped summit of Kilimanjaro rising in the distance. And you two camping in the middle of this enchanting wilderness, letting go and releasing the beasts within yourselves.
Victoria Falls National Park
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Long before Dr. David Livingstone “discovered” these restless waterfalls in 1855, the Kololo tribes inhabiting the area called them Mosi-oa-Tunya – the Smoke that Thunders. At the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is neither the highest nor the widest, but it is certainly the largest and one of the most spectacular in the world. Moreover, it has earned itself a reputation as one of the most romantic locations on Earth
Nature’s incredible strength is revealed right before our very eyes. Its noise can be heard 25 miles (40 km) away and the spray and mist can be seen 31 miles (50 km) away. Nonetheless, the postcard-perfect scenery and lush rainforests aren’t all that makes this place special.
Rafting the Zambezi River
To make your visit truly unforgettable, think big! Go rafting on the Zambezi River, widely considered as the best whitewater rafting in the world. No prior experience is required, only a strong stomach.
Bungee jumping at Victoria Falls
Falling in love? How about free falling against the backdrop of the gushing Victoria Falls? Literally! If you’re thinking about adding a little bit of spice to your romantic African getaway, the whopping 364 ft (110 m) drop off the Victoria Falls Bridge might do the trick. It may not be the world’s highest, but rushing down towards the foamy Zambezi River sure is hard to top.
Swimming in Devil’s Pool
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Spending a day at the pool is always a good idea. But how about a natural infinity pool? Located on the edge of the Victoria Falls, Devil’s Pool is not for the faint-hearted. Plunge in and have a peek over the waterfall – guaranteed to give you goosebumps! This is only possible during drier months, usually between August and January.
Take that special someone on a helicopter ride over the falls to admire them in their full splendor. And when you’ve had enough of an adrenaline rush, you can’t go wrong with a sunset boat cruise or a candlelit dinner on the riverbank.
The largest country in East Africa, Tanzania has a thing or two to brag about: Africa’s highest peak – Mount Kilimanjaro rising at 19,340 ft (5,895 m), more than 120 ethnic groups and the largest concentration of animals per square mile in the world are just a few of the highlights.
The white-sand beaches of Zanzibar
Zanzibar, the Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa, with its pristine beaches and mouthwatering cuisine, is perhaps one of the best honeymoon destinations out there. Its many lagoons and coral reefs offer excellent snorkeling and diving, it is a great destination for whale watching and swimming with dolphins, and home to the largest crab in the world – the coconut crab. In addition, there’s no better way to end the day than by enjoying the sunset on board a dhow – (handcrafted wooden sailing vessel).
With so many adventure-packed activities to choose from, you don’t necessarily need to pick the most romantic but rather the one that gets you closer to your significant other. This can be anything from whale watching, surfing and cage diving with great white sharks to kayaking with crocodiles, seeing hippos on a river cruise and embarking on a horseback safari. South Africa has it all!
Explore Garden Route
Go off-the-beaten-path and drive through the rolling vineyards of Cape Winelands or hike the Wild Coast Trail. Book a private safari and explore the lush indigenous forests of South Africa’s Garden Route. You might spot elusive Knysna forest elephants and see giant 700-year-old Outeniqua Yellowwoods. While here, you can check out the world’s highest commercial bungee jump - Bloukrans Bungy. Jumping from the 709-foot (216 m) high Bloukrans Bridge might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it could be an interesting way to pop the question.
Regardless of the occasion, be it your honeymoon, anniversary, a chance to pop the question or simply the occasional romantic getaway, Africa is always a good idea. Now let’s go over the list one more time. Warm weather? Adventure? Romance? Check, check and check!
Planning to surprise your loved one? Try something different. Choose a private safari in one of Africa’s most romantic destinations to combine adventure, sightseeing and relaxation all in one.