Selecting the best place to go on a safari honeymoon in 2020 is not an easy task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to ascertain which is the best. To help you out, we have considered a range of 2-week safari honeymoon ideas and rifled through some of the different choices to work out which is the most diverse and enjoyable experience.
5 of the best African safari honeymoon holidays, compared.
|Location||Recommended Months||Estimated Cost|
|Tanzania & Zanzibar||Jun – Mar||£3,300|
|Kruger & Mauritius||Jun – Mar||£3,355|
|Best of Kenya||Jun – Mar||£3,260|
|Botswana & Mauritius||Jun – Mar||£3,720|
|Simply Tanzania||Jun – Mar||£1,725|
In terms of where the best place is to go on a safari honeymoon, a romantic holiday to Tanzania comes out at the top of the pile every time. Not only does it offer one of the ultimate destinations for an amazing game experience, but the white powder beaches of Zanzibar are just a short hop away, giving honeymooners the best of both worlds.
One of the reasons why Tanzania is the best place for a safari honeymoon is the obvious draw of the amazing Serengeti with its world-renowned game-viewing experience.
In addition to the indisputable allure of the Serengeti, and Kilimanjaro for those with a desire for challenge and adventure, it is also very easy to link through to Zanzibar and incorporate the beach experience with your safari.
First-time visitors to Africa are often concerned about the distance they will need to cover to experience all the destinations they have earmarked. Fortunately, the parks situated no more than an hour and a half’s drive from each other, you won’t have to cover huge distances or spend hours in a vehicle to enjoy all of your safari honeymoon Tanzania highlights.
The drives between the parks also take you through some breathtaking landscapes as well as interesting tribal areas.
Of course, if you have your own private vehicle, you can spend as many hours on the road as you want to. While it is not possible to drive at night within the National parks, you are welcome to go out for a full day, taking along a picnic lunch to enjoy at a scenic point along the way.
With game viewing being the primary reason for many African excursions, the quality and quantity of the wildlife is a number one concern for most people planning a safari.
Within the Serengeti, you are guaranteed a great big game experience, particularly in terms of the big cats as the Serengeti boasts the biggest population of lions anywhere in the world.
If you time your trip for around September/October, the shorter grass means there is a good chance of daytime cheetah sightings, as well as the possibility of seeing the rare Wild Dog. While these exceptional animals are rarely considered as exciting as lion or elephant, they are, in fact, one of the most exhilarating animals to watch as they interact and communicate within a complex social structure.
Leopard are also elusive, but your professional guide will make every effort to find one of these impressive spotted cats for you to enjoy.
Rhino sightings can be a little less dependable, but experienced guides are usually pretty clued up on the routines of all the game and rhino sightings are not uncommon. Tarangire is renowned for its exceptional elephant sightings, and you are pretty much guaranteed plentiful sightings of plains game, such as zebra, giraffe and a wide range of antelope species.
Many of the most popular reserves in Tanzania are public, including the Serengeti, Manyara and Ngorongoro. There are a number of benefits to visiting public rather private reserves. One is that you are guaranteed that the entrance fees to the parks are used to for conservation purposes, protecting endangered animals and safeguarding the traditional way of life in the country. Secondly, entrance is regulated, meaning that the volume of people entering the park at any one time is regulated.
The Serengeti offers one of the best game-viewing experiences because of the exclusivity that is achieved through controlled volumes of guests. The Serengeti is approximately the same size as Wales, and five times larger than Masai Mara, but with only about 20% of the number of camps, meaning you get a truly exclusive game experience, rather than having to share your leopard sighting with a queue of tourists, buses and self-drive vehicles.
While you may consider self-drive as a preferred method of game viewing it can be tiring and means that you miss the vast majority of possible sightings simply due to inexperience and unfamiliarity with the area. Within Tanzania, our safaris are all guided which means you have the benefit of a professional guide’s experience and insight, both in terms of locating animals, positioning the vehicle for the best sighting and photographs, and with regards to your own personal safety.
The guides are well-educated and have completed intensive training to qualify as a safari guide. They also have strong people skills, as well as excellent communication and language abilities so they will be able to explain the behaviour of the animals you see and offer more in-depth knowledge about them. It is often the quality of the guide that really makes the safari experience truly unforgettable.
The guided safaris are not conducted on huge buses packed with camera-crazy tourists either. Within Northern Tanzania, each couple has their own private vehicle with a guide allocated to them exclusively for the duration of their stay.
Having a private vehicle gives you complete freedom in terms of how long you wish to be out on safari for and what animals you particularly want to see. Guest satisfaction is of paramount importance for the highly-qualified guides who double up as your personal chauffeur.
In the Selous, Southern Tanzania, safaris tend to be more camp based meaning you use the camp vehicle, often open sided, starting from returning to camp. As in other destinations, such as Botswana or Kenya, vehicles usually take up to eight guests allowing social interaction with fellow game enthusiasts which can be fun. For those seeking a more private experience, we are able to arrange your own private vehicle in most camps.
If you want a close encounter with the game, then you can choose to incorporate a walking safari into your itinerary. Many visitors to Ngorongoro highlands choose to take this alternative, as it gives them the chance to see some of the smaller creatures that might be missed on a game drive. It also means you can stretch your legs and walk off some of the delicious meals you have been enjoying during your safari honeymoon.
Popular walking safaris include a 2-hour trek past the Oloirobi viewpoint which takes you through some indigenous forest and then out onto grassland, allowing you to enjoy breath-taking views into the Crater, as well as over the Gol mountains.
You can easily include this and other more challenging walks into your itinerary without having to forego either of the daily game drives. Simply ask your guide to arrange a suitable time for your excursion.
Within the game reserves, most of the activities are focused on wildlife, whether it be animal viewing from a vehicle or on foot. It is also possible to get a birds-eye view of the Serengeti by booking a hot-air balloon experience.
This will give you the opportunity to float over the rivers and see the huge herds of wildebeest and other game species from the skies.
Zanzibar offers some incredible snorkeling, kitesurfing, as well as diving and swimming with dolphins. If you want a more adventurous trip, you can arrange a scuba diving course and then, once qualified, get the most out of the warm, clear waters and their inhabitants.
If history appeals to you more, you can go into Stone Town and explore the markets and discover some of the Portuguese trading history and even dip into the murky depths of the old slave trade.
You can also take a trip out to Prison Island where giant land tortoises roam. These tortoises were brought to the island as a gift from the Seychelles government during the late 19th century and the colony now includes some giant tortoises who are over 100 years.
While on the island, you can also explore the interior forest where a diverse array of colourful birds and butterflies flit and flutter through the canopy.
The accommodation available in the safari camps is a little different to that in Zanzibar, and are of an excellent standard, with comfortable en-suite bedrooms and honeymoon suites available in most locations.
5 of the best African safari honeymoon accommodation, compared.
|Fundu Lagoon||5 Stars||£270|
|Naona Moru Camp||5 Stars||£190|
|Sand Rivers||5 Stars||£535|
|Elephant Pepper Camp||5 Stars||£420|
In Zanzibar, it is possible to upgrade to a truly romantic space with your own chef, plunge pool, and beach, as well as inside and outside showers.
Within the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, the décor is consistent with the traditional safari feel while Zanzibar offers beach style accommodation with neutral shades and sea views.
Most accommodation locations in Tanzania and Zanzibar, even the remote ones, now offer Wi-Fi or internet connectivity in some form. Some of the smaller or more out-of-the-way locations may only have limited Wi-Fi, possibly just in one public area, rather than in each bedroom. In general, all the lodges have become aware of the demand for connectivity so have made an effort to provide some sort of internet connection.
Some of the smaller or more out-of-the-way locations may only have limited Wi-Fi, possibly just in one public area, rather than in each bedroom. In general, all the lodges have become aware of the demand for connectivity so have made an effort to provide some sort of internet connection. Inevitably, being in such a remote location, the availability may be limited or inconsistent but your guide or other staff members should be able to make arrangements if you need it.
Inevitably, being in such a remote location, the availability may be limited or inconsistent but your guide or other staff members should be able to make arrangements if you need it.
Deciding what to pack for your safari honeymoon is always tricky, especially if you are incorporating both safari and beach into your itinerary. Obviously, beachwear is pretty universal but it is important to remember the strength of the African sun and to have light, long-sleeved tops available to cover up with if you are beginning to burn.
There are very few places that require you to dress up for dinner, but, equally, if you want to don some fancy clothes from time to time, that is also perfectly acceptable. As a destination, Africa is very laidback and the people are friendly and accommodating, so you really have the freedom to make the experience your own.
Although Africa is perceived as a very hot country, it is often cool in the early mornings and evenings, especially if you are out and about in an open safari vehicle.
Bearing these practicalities in mind, we have put together a suggested packing list which should ensure you don’t stick out like a sore thumb and remain comfortable in different climates and conditions.
Tanzania is a predominantly Muslim country and this should be kept in mind when dressing to venture out of the tourist areas, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan (In 2020 this is expected to run from April 23-May 23). When away from the tourist resorts, women should avoid wearing items such as shorts or sleeveless tops so as not to cause offence to locals.
Other customs and advice on behaviour during Ramadan can be found here
If you are staying at a private lodge and feel you want to wear something a little smarter in the evenings, then take one set of more formal clothing but otherwise keeps it simple and informal.
Bear in mind that lighter colors are cooler, although white is not ideal for game viewing as it tends to attract the animals’ attention and can make it difficult to get a closer experience.
Long-sleeved shirts and trousers are highly recommended as it can be chilly in the early mornings and evenings and they will also help to protect against mosquitos and other biting insects.
If you are particularly concerned about insects, you can also look at mosquito repellent clothing. There are several companies producing bug repellent clothing which is made from specially impregnated material to deter insects.
SafariEqip are a well known supplier of insect repellant equipment in the UK
This is going to be the holiday safari honeymoon of a lifetime so you will want lots of photos to remember it by. Make sure you take extra memory cards as you don’t want to be having to delete pictures to make room for the latest incredible shot!
Also, don’t forget the charger – there is nothing worse than running out of battery power before the end of your holiday.
A wide-brimmed hat or cap is a very useful item for keeping sunstroke at bay and for preventing burning. The afternoon sun is often very hot and a wide-brimmed hat will protect your head and the back of your neck, which is often prone to burning.
Similarly, a pair of sunglasses is highly advisable as the sun’s glare can make it difficult to see and hurt or strain your eyes if you are not used to it.
Here’s a pic of David Beckham protecting himself from the sun with son on a recent Tanzania Safari holiday.
A decent pair of trainers or hiking boots is an excellent idea, especially if you are planning on doing a walking safari during your holiday. A comfortable pair of sandals is also good for strolling around Zanzibar or wandering over to the lodge pool in the heat of the afternoon.
Well, most people will pack sunscreen when heading to Africa but that’s not always enough. Suntan lotion with a factor of 30 or over is the only effective sunscreen for the hot African climate. Anything less than this will leave you burning within 20 minutes!
Despite all that sunshine, you should also pack a lightweight rain jacket as this can double up in terms of protecting you from a chilly early morning breeze and keeping you dry in the event of an unseasonable shower.
A small torch is also an excellent idea. Some more remote lodges do experience electricity failure from time to time and it’s useful to be able to find your shoes and socks when all the lights are out!
For a honeymoon in Tanzania, British passport holders need a tourist visa. You can get these before you travel from the Tanzanian High Commission or, an easier option is to apply for an ‘e-visa’ which can be submitted and approved online. Make sure your passport is up to date and has plenty of time left before it expires and your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of your visa application.
If applicable, make sure you take enough prescription medicine to last for the duration of your 2-week honeymoon safari. While most lodges will have a comprehensive medical kit, it’s still a good idea to take insect repellent, vitamins, anti-bac gel and other basics that might come in handy while traveling between your various camps.
Some medicines might not be available in Tanzania or may go under a different name, making it difficult to find them, so take your favourite over the counter drugs with you – you know they work and you know their side-effects so it gives you peace of mind while travelling.
Tipping is recommended as the normal practice throughout Africa and particularly within the safari industry so it’s useful to have some cash on hand.
It is normal protocol in most African countries and has been a part of the tradition of safari since the beginning.
The usual amount to tip is around 15% of the total bill, although the protocol in safari lodges is a little different.
Most lodges recommend that you tip your guide separately as they are key to your enjoyment. There are also the behind the scenes staff, such as the chefs, kitchen staff, and housekeeping team.
These are usually given a general tip which is collected by the managers on behalf of the team and distributed equally. It is not normal for lodge managers to be tipped but, if they have gone out of their way to accommodate you, you might want to reward this good service.
After announcing a ban on plastic bags in Tanzania in 2016, In June 2019 the government announced they would also be banning all tourists from bringing plastic bags into the country. As part of the country’s efforts to reduce plastic waste, all tourists entering Tanzania will have any plastic bags confiscated at check points on entry. The only exception will be Ziploc bags used to carry personal items.
The chefs throughout the lodges in Tanzania are well-qualified and experienced and the lure of working in such an amazing wilderness means there’s plenty of competition, ensuring only the most proficient are employed.
With years of experience in catering for overseas safari honeymoon guests, the lodges offer a wide range of international fare and are used to accommodating guests with unusual allergies or specific dietary requirements – although we do request ample notice. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals are provided at all the establishments and chefs are more than happy to accommodate your tastes and preferences.
The food in Tanzania is of an incredibly high standard given the remoteness of the some of the locations and the chefs make a big effort to provide a top-quality culinary experience, integrating international trends as well as local specialties. Of course, Zanzibar is famous for its spices and seafood and much of the food is fresh and locally sourced.
One of the first reactions of many people hearing about safaris is, “Will I get eaten by a lion?”. Obviously, this is highly unlikely or the safari industry would have collapsed years ago, nevertheless, a certain amount of caution and common sense are useful items to take with you on your trip.
On your arrival in camp, either a manager or guide will explain the camp’s protocol to you, which will include a safety briefing, primarily focused on how to behave in case of an unexpected animal encounter and when it is safe to walk alone through the camp and when you should seek an escort.
While some camps are fenced, others have animals roaming through at any time of day or night. In these instances, it is usual that a member of staff will escort you around the camp, particularly at night. Each camp has its own set of rules and how the design of the camp fits into the wildlife structure within the area.
Tanzania and Zanzibar are both politically stable and have been for some time. If this changes for some reason, we will advise you accordingly.
In terms of medical safety, there are a few aspects to take into consideration, including routine vaccines, travel vaccinations, malaria prevention and medical travel insurance.
It is important to ensure that all your routine vaccines are up to date before travelling. Consult a doctor or travel clinic who can advise you based on where you are going and how long you will be staying. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have a recommended list of vaccines for international visitors entering Tanzania.
You should also discuss malaria prophylaxis with your doctor and follow their recommendations.
It is highly recommended that you travel with insurance and most agents will not make a booking with you without seeing proof of your travel insurance. Many of the camps in Tanzania include flying doctor insurance as part of the accommodation fee as, in case of emergency, you would need to be evacuated to nearest medical facility. The guides and managers at the majority of lodges have comprehensive first aid training, as well as having a direct line to a qualified doctor who can advise and assess telephonically.
The best time to embark on a 2-week safari honeymoon to Africa is around September/October as the weather is cool but dry and you will miss the peak period in terms of flights, which tends to be around July/August.
Many airlines offer flights from the UK to Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is the closest to Serengeti, although there are no direct flights available. With some airlines, you can fly via Amsterdam or Paris, while others take routes via Nairobi or Addis Ababa.
On arrival at the airport, you will be met either by your guide or another allocated driver who will then escort you either to your overnight accommodation or straight to the camp of your choice. On every step of your journey, there will be a professional on-hand to ensure your safety and comfort.
Well, if you’re looking a two-week holiday, taking in both the northern part of Tanzania and a few days in Zanzibar, prices start around £3,000 including flights.
From there, the costs can escalate depending on the type of experience you want. For a typical 2-week safari honeymoon, it is around £4,000 per person, which includes all your meals, accommodation and activities so you won’t be shocked by any hidden or unexpected expenses.
The only extras during your time in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro will be tipping your guide and camp staff.
In Zanzibar, most of the accommodation is half board, so includes breakfast and dinner but leaves you free to eat lunch at one of the many popular spots in the local vicinity. There is an option to go for a fully inclusive experience if you prefer, although this does mean a little less freedom in terms of how you spend your day.
For an experience, such as this, you will normally be required to pay a 25% deposit, with the final balance payable two months before your departure date. The prepayment is fully protected by the agency.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about lions or other potentially dangerous animals – you will be escorted by a professional guide whose job depends on keeping you safe.
Remember to appreciate the small things as well as the big five. Termites are one of the most fascinating creatures and listening to your guide’s explanations and descriptions will make your experience 100 times more interesting and enjoyable. It’s not just about the photos you take home – it’s about the knowledge too.
Leave your preconceptions at home and travel with an open mind and an open heart. Africans are friendly, accommodating people so try to leave your fear at home and embrace the African experience, even with its occasional moments of discomfort or confusion. Take a deep breath and let the drums of Africa beat in your heart.
Above all, make your honeymoon experience together the most memorable one you can. See you there!
Nick Jenkins and the team at Safari and Beach will help you create the perfect safari holiday for you. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact Safari and Beach here or call 01548 854125