Thinking of a romantic getaway to pop the question? Or simply looking for a unique experience with someone special? Then have a look at some of our favourites and you could make that dream a reality!
Listed in no particular order:
1. Tongabezi Lodge, near Victoria Falls, Zambia
Nestling on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, just a few kilometres upstream from Victoria Falls, Tongabezi Lodge oozes with romance; offering all you could dream of in the way of privacy, intimacy and simple luxury. There are only six spacious, secluded units or you can opt for the indulgent Honeymoon House with a personal valet service.
Enjoy a romantic dinner for two in The Lookout – a candlelit sampam (flat-bottomed boat) floating on the Zambezi. Each delicious course is personally delivered to you by canoe.
2. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, Sabi Sand, South Africa
Lion Sands Ivory Lodge has to be right ‘up there’ with the best-loved honeymoon destinations in Africa. With views looking over the tranquil Sabie River to the Kruger National Park, Ivory lodge has only six ultra-luxury suites, each with its own private deck and plunge pool, an inside and outside shower and a sumptuous lounge area complete with romantic fireplace. A thoughtful touch is the discreet serving hatch which ensures you total privacy if you’d like to order breakfast and dinner in your room.
For a unique and exhilarating experience, book the romantic treehouse, towering overhead on an elevated platform from where you can watch the wealth of wildlife pass idly by. The treehouse is equipped with every luxury, including a splendid four-poster bed and private dining table. Enjoy a night-to-remember in absolute privacy, with only a mosquito net separating you from the star-studded African sky.
3. Londolozi Private Granite Suites, Sabi Sand, South Africa
One of the most famous private safari lodges in Africa, Londolozi has carved a niche for itself as excellent leopard and unsurpassed game viewing country.
Its flagship is the Private Granite Suites: three luxurious suites built into the granite rock on the banks of the Sand River, each with uninterrupted views over the river, a private natural rock pool (heated in winter) and enormous windows that give you the feeling of living ‘in’ nature.
Come back from a game drive and you’re likely to find an outdoor bubble bath on the rocks, followed by an intimate, candlelit dinner for two. Here you can do things at your own pace and style: book an exclusive ‘honeymoon safari vehicle’ for the two of you with your own private guide and tracker or enjoy a picnic lunch with a delicious spread in a quiet, shady spot miles away from the lodge. There’ll be romantic turn-down service, champagne to witness spectacular sunsets, intimate bush yoga experiences, relaxing couples massages – anything to make your romantic safari experience unforgettable.
4. Madikwe Hills, Madikwe, South Africa
Malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the largest and most diverse private reserves in South Africa. It’s a Big 5 safari destination and home to a wide variety of wildlife. Madikwe Hills is one of the best positioned and most romantic of its safari lodges.
The lodge overlooks an active and popular waterhole where game come to drink and bathe. You’ll have front-row seats to this natural theatre from the comfort of your own private suite and viewing deck or while you’re cooling off in your own plunge pool.
The suites are luxurious and sumptuous. Get cosy in front of the crackling fireplace or snuggle on the oversized four-poster bed and enjoy an uninterrupted view over the African bush. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors neatly fold away to bring you closer to nature. At the end of another perfect day, enjoy a rose petal-strewn bubble bath overlooking the surrounding plains tinted golden with the last rays of the setting sun, followed by a delicious dinner for two by lantern-light.
5. Chiefs Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Chief’s Camp is one of only two lodges on this remote inland island. The game viewing here is arguably amongst the best that Africa has to offer (it’s known as the ‘predator capital of Africa’), and the scenery is, well … breath-taking!
There are 12 luxury thatched suites, spacious and exquisitely appointed. Your every comfort is catered for including overhead ceiling fans, mosquito nets, hair dryers, and a fully-stocked mini bar. The thatched suites are cool, spacious and beautifully appointed, each boasting lavish en-suite bathrooms with both indoor and outdoor showers.
When you’re not snuggling together in a hammock on your own private viewing deck, you can enjoy cosy dining-for-two or an open air, romantic slipper bath by soft lantern-light or share some couple pampering by the in-house beauty therapists.
6. Little Ongava, near Etosha, Namibia
Within its own private game reserve, Little Ongava is just outside Etosha National Park. This intimate, romantic lodge has only three luxurious suites and offers some of the best game viewing in Namibia. Set on a hill with magnificent views of the surrounding bush, you’ll be able to watch the myriad wildlife that comes to drink at the waterhole below from wherever you are in the comfort of your own room: bed, sitting area, viewing deck, private plunge pool or even the bath.
But beware! You may find yourself feeling far too comfortable and cosseted in these luxury surrounds that you won’t want to venture out on a game drive. Little Ongava is part of the Wilderness Collection, so you can be assured of world-class service, exceptional guiding and perfect attention to detail to make your romantic getaway extraordinary in every way.
7. Dulini Game Lodge, Sabi Sand, South Africa
There are just six suites, designed to give you perfect privacy and luxury. Each has an indoor and an outdoor shower, your own private viewing deck with plunge pool, excellent views and enormous windows that make sure you never miss a moment’s game viewing opportunity.
The service and cuisine at Dulini is out-of-this-world. Your game drives are romantic affairs with a maximum of six guests per vehicle so you’ll have your own row with a personal storage cubby and courtesy binoculars.
Then return for a romantic dinner by candlelight on your own private deck or in an intimate bush setting with some of Dulini’s exceptionally fine wines: perfect to set the mood.
8. Changa Safari Camp, Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
A relative newcomer to the shores of Lake Kariba, Changa Safari Camp is within Matusadona National Park. It has eight luxury tented suites, each roomy and sumptuous with expansive views over the lake.
One of Changa’s most charming features is its remoteness. The cares and stresses of modern life will be left far behind as the staff do their utmost to spoil you with sumptuous comfort and lavish luxury. Take a romantic boat ride on Lake Kariba, enjoy spectacular sunsets or enjoy a game drive along the lush floodplains of the lake.
9. Zarafa Camp, Linyanti, Botswana
For the ultimate in modern luxury with old-fashioned values, Zarafa Camp is hard to beat as one of the most intimate, exclusive safari camps in Botswana. Situated at the source of the mighty Savute Channel within the Selinda Private Game Reserve, Zafara offers some of the best game viewing, too.
What could be more romantic than this private, secluded camp with only four sumptuous safari tents, with every luxury and minute attention to detail, each with its own indoor and outdoor showers and private plunge pool. For the duration of your stay, you’ll have your own pair of Swarovski binoculars, a powerful Nikon telescope for stargazing (some of the most clear and bright night skies you’re ever likely to see!) and a superb Canon DSRL camera to shoot up-close-and-personal images of the spectacular sightings in store for you.
Award-winning Zarafa offers you a flexible schedule and impeccable level of service. It’s not the cheapest on our list, but it’s worth every penny if you’re looking for something way out of the ordinary. Meaning ‘beloved’ in Arabic, Zafara is the perfect destination to make your partner feel like the most special person on earth.