A honeymoon in Africa is beyond many honeymooners’ wildest dreams, but it doesn’t have to be. Imagine romancing it up in Morocco, exploring the savannahs in South Africa or living the island life in the Seychelles. The trio of tours we’ve married together for this story allow your newlywed clients to dive right into their wildest dreams.
“The Seychelles,” says Bronwyn Hodge, general manager, IslandsEscapes, a division of Goway Travel, “are a stunning group of islands home to pristine white-sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, a choice of activities and high-quality accommodations, making it a perfect setting for the romance market.
“We recommend this destination to honeymooners as the resorts in the Seychelles often provide exclusive honeymoon benefits (such as complimentary champagne or a private dinner for two), plus discounts (sometimes as much as 30 percent off). There’s a lot of water-based activities (snorkeling, diving, catamaran cruises), plus beautiful national parks, perfect for hiking. Honeymooners can easily ‘island hop’ between the main island of Mahe over to Praslin or Denis Island, and Goway can assist with all the inter-island transfers.”
IslandsEscapes offers honeymooners a range of vacation packages in the Seychelles, which, Hodge explains, are all customizable. Take, for example, the 5-day Romantic Seychelles on Praslin Island, which offers honeymooners an array of accommodation options, including the 86-villa, 30-acre Raffles Praslin luxury resort. Each villa comes with its own plunge pool and outdoor pavilion, and couples can opt for a couples’ treatment at the Raffles Spa or get cozy at the Curieuse Restaurant, the Seychelles’ only Asian restaurant. Couples have plenty of time for cuddling together as leisure time abounds, and, as Hodge points out, you can recommend “special touches such as a romantic candelit dinner for two or VIP transfer.” Rates start at $774, but it depends on accommodations, with Raffles Praslin at a higher price range.
The Imperial Cities of Morocco tour is one of SITA World Tours’ more exciting honeymoon programs in Africa, points out Laudie Hanou, the tour operator’s vice president. There are two options available, either a 7- or 10-day program, with the 10-day one throwing in Erfoud and Ourzazate, and both exploring Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Fes and Marrakech. On this itinerary, couples will wander through souks chock-full of delights, marvel at fairytale-like architecture, stroll through enchanting gardens, and dine on divine Moroccan cuisine. Options on the extension include exploring the road of 1,000 Kasbahs, and newlyweds can even spend a night in a Bedouin tent. Rates for the 7-day program August to November start at $1,750; for the 10-day, $2,850.
However, one of SITA’s most exciting options to celebrate this milestone occasion, says Hanou, is the company’s Wedding Registry. The company makes the first deposit of $200 into a registered newlywed’s account, and then friends and family from across the country or even around the world can contribute to the celebration. SITA manages the registry, assists in the design of the wedding registry information card, and sends guests a thank you card as an acknowledgement for the gift.
Scintillating South Africa
“Few destinations offer as much diversity as South Africa,” says Richard Krieger, president, The Isramworld Portfolio of Brands. “From safari to wine tasting, the country is culturally and historically rich. These combinations, not to mention endless, breathtaking vistas make South Africa ideal for honeymooners.”
The Elite Travel Collection’s 15-day South Africa program, which also includes visits to Botswana and Zambia, offers, as Krieger notes, “luxury from start to finish.” Highlights include a yacht sundowner cruise in Cape Town; an exclusive whisky and wine tasting experience; the viewing of sabrage sauvage, the ancient techniques of slicing open a Champagne bottle with a sword; an exclusive shopping experience with a personal shopper; a helicopter flight over the Victoria Falls; a safari in Zambia at Chobe National Park along with an overnight stay at the high-end Royal Livingstone Hotel; and dinner on the Royal Express train while traveling through the picturesque Zambezi Valley. There’s also a 3-night stay at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, where couples stay in a luxury suite that features a private plunge pool, an en-suite glass-fronted bathroom, and indoor and outdoor shower, and butler service. Of course, there’s lots of game viewing along the way, as well as wine tasting in South Africa’s Winelands.
Yes, the price is a bit steep, $23,990 pp dbl, but sell discerning honeymooners on the fact that their wildest dreams are in fact attainable, and this is their once-in-a-lifetime (we hope!) honeymoon after all.