How to Safari in the Serengeti for the Ultimate Honeymoon Adventure

Honeymoons & Destination Weddings
Serengeti National Park Honeymoon

Photo: Getty Images

The Serengeti: For anyone who grew up watching National Geographic specials about the Great Migration and animal life in the African savannah, a Serengeti safari is undoubtedly a bucket-list honeymoon destination. Why not check that trip off the to-do list with your hubby for an African honeymoon?

A vast expanse of plains and varying topography that extends from northern Tanzania into Kenya, the Serengeti is home to hundreds of mammal and bird species. The crown jewel of the region is the Serengeti National Park, established in 1951, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its conservation efforts. In addition to the more than two million wildebeests and hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles that are perpetually on the move as part of the Great Migration — the largest such migration in the world — on a safari in Serengeti National Park you're going to see buffalo and hippos, as well as elephants, lions, giraffes, baboons and warthogs. More elusive, but very much a possibility, are the park's cheetahs, jaguars, and the endangered black rhino. The animal kingdom is alive and well here; there are baby animals galore.

Serengeti Safari Honeymoon

Photo: Getty Images

Ready to pack your bags? Your options include safari packages through such reputable tour providers as Abercrombie & Kent and Micato Safaris, although they require a minimum of eight to 10 days on the ground. Alternatively, connect with an accredited travel agency that specializes in Tanzania, such as The Tanzania Specialists, for a completely customized, bespoke safari itinerary. At a minimum, for an immersive taste of the Serengeti, build an itinerary around a stay within Serengeti National Park, which generally means four to five nights in the park, or about a week total, including travel time.

If you're the sort of bride that's into planning everything yourself, that's doable, too. Your honeymoon lodge or camp of choice should be able to arrange details including airport transport and booking all game drives, spa treatments and any other excursions, such as an unforgettable sunrise balloon safari. Here are some essential details — and savvy traveler tips — for planning a Serengeti safari honeymoon:

Serengeti Honeymoon Idea

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The Fine Print
U.S. travelers aren't required to obtain a visa to visit Tanzania in advance, but upon arrival your first order of business will be to secure a visa with local customs at the airport, which is $100. Make sure to review the CDC's Tanzania guide for the latest health information for travelers, including recommended vaccines.

The Logistics
While it is a long journey to get to Eastern Africa, there are ways to make the trip as comfortable as possible. Turkish Airlines, which is internationally known for its modern fleet of aircraft and excellent in-flight service, has the shortest and most direct route to the region from the States, which includes an overnight flight from JFK to Istanbul (try to get some zzz's) and a second flight direct to Tanzania's Kilimanjaro International Airport. Splurge on Business Class and you'll be able to freshen up with a shower in the Turkish Airlines flagship lounge, considered one of the world's best.

See More: 20 Honeymoon Destinations for Adventurous Couples

You're close, but not quite there yet: Rest up overnight at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, a traveler's favorite, which is conveniently located near the Arusha Airport, where propeller planes known as "bush planes" depart for destinations within the Serengeti and elsewhere in Tanzania.

Safari Honeymoon Idea

Photo: Getty Images

Where to Stay
A majority of properties within the Serengeti National Park are tented camps, permanent platform structures enveloped in canvas that range from rustic to luxe — think "glamping" taken to the next level. There are few actual resort properties within the park, the newest being the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, which opened in 2012. Elegant rooms and suites look out over the vast landscape, where giraffe, zebra and other animals roam and graze freely. A natural waterhole located directly in front of the lodge's main building is a favorite with local elephants. When they're visiting, they absolutely steal the show.

Serengeti Safari Honeymoon Hotel

Photo: Getty Images

The bottom line: There is no such thing as a bad day in the Serengeti. Your first safari is sure to be full of wondrous sights and special moments, your own NatGeo special in real life. It's the stuff of which memories are made that last a lifetime — a worthy honeymoon, indeed!

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