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For adventurous couples, there’s nothing quite like a safari honeymoon. After all, it doesn’t get more once-in-a-lifetime than spending your days looking for leopards and watching elephants drink from your lodge pool. But there’s plenty of romance and relaxation to be found on a safari too. Take it from someone who recently went on a safari honeymoon and was enchanted not just by the epic wildlife, but also by the romantic private plunge pools, candlelit bush dinners, and spa treatments for two. Whether you’re hoping to spot the Big Five, horseback ride across desert dunes, or enjoy some R&R together on your private deck with a rainforest view, there’s a safari lodge just right for all your honeymoon needs.
7 Best Safari Honeymoons in Africa
- Best Overall: Singita Lebombo
- Best Luxury: Royal Malewane
- Best Budget: Natural Selection Little Sable
- Best View: andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
- Best Remote: Zannier Sonop
- Best for Privacy: Lion Sands Ivory Lodge
- Best for Gorilla Trekking: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Best Overall : Singita Lebombo
Perched above the N’wanetsi River on a private concession within Kruger National Park, Singita Lebombo is a world-class stay in terms of animal sightings, accommodations, and service.
Air-conditioned rooms, large private terraces, soaking tubs, indoor/outdoor showers, pool, spa, large wine cellar, on-site boutique and gallery
Kitchen will cook you anything
Exceptional safari guides and staff
Personalized and customizable experiences
Great location to see the Big Five game animals
Singita Lebombo is an unforgettable South African spoil. Featuring 13 stunningly designed suites perched like nests above the N’wanetsi River, the lodge offers guests the best of indoor-outdoor living. Each suite is a true room (rather than a tent), with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, a sumptuous king-sized bed, a sizable living area, and a bathroom complete with getting ready stations, an indoor/outdoor shower, and a deep soaking tub. Just slide open the glass doors to enjoy some fresh air on your large private terrace. Lounge on the outdoor daybed after lunch to spot elephants drinking in the river just below, or ask the staff to add cozy bedding and a net to the bed if you prefer sleeping out under the stars and waking up to the sound of lion calls.
Of course, on safari, it’s really all about the game drives, and Singita over-delivers on that front too. Located on a 33,000-acre private concession within Kruger National Park, the animal sighting opportunities are next level. From coy leopards to hippos and regal lions, it’s likely you’ll see the Big Five and then some. Even at the lodge, it’s not uncommon to see monkeys running by the outdoor dining area or to spot a herd of elephants taking a bath in the river below your balcony. The guides are also exceptionally knowledgeable, tracking down shy animals on the twice-a-day game drives and answering questions about everything from the native plants to animal behaviors with ease.
In fact, when it comes to service in general, Singita’s is practically unbeatable. It’s the type of place where everyone on staff will know your name and your go-to cocktail order by the first afternoon. There are no set mealtimes and the kitchen will cook up truly anything you want at any time. Every last detail is curated here, from touches like having sunscreen, bug spray, and several sun hats stocked in the rooms, to lighting candles and leaving your favorite tea out at night. The staff is also more than happy to dream up personalized experiences for special occasions so honeymooners can enjoy custom activities ranging from a private dinner in the bush to a private wine tasting with the on-site sommelier.
While it’s certainly worth the price for those looking for a bucket list trip and the lodge to match, keep in mind that Singita Lebombo is very pricey, especially during peak season, from June to August. Also, be aware that because it’s on a private concession within Kruger National Park, the fastest way to get there is via a short private charter flight from Johannesburg.
Best Luxury : Royal Malewane
You won’t regret splashing out on a stay at Royal Malewane, where luxurious yet intimate suites with private plunge pools offer plenty of romance between game drives spotting the Big Five.
Air-conditioned rooms, private decks, private plunge pools, pool, spa, in-room fireplaces
Smaller, more intimate lodge
Modern comforts like Wi-Fi, TVs, and air conditioning
Kosher kitchen with an excellent selection of South African wines
Fewer rooms means you need to book well in advance
With just six luxury suites (plus three multi-bedroom villas), Royal Malewane is an intimate safari lodge that lends itself particularly well to privacy and romance. Tastefully styled with a nod to old-world charms, suites include divine four-poster beds, Persian rugs, clawfoot soaking tubs, and fireplaces that staff will light for you at night, along with an array of candles for a romantic ambiance. Best of all, each suite also features a private outdoor deck complete with plunge pool—the perfect spot to cheers to your new life as newlyweds.
Set on the Thornybush Private Game Reserve within Kruger National Park, well-trained and highly knowledgeable guides make unforgettable daily game drives for couples to spot giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards, rhinos, and more. Truly lucky guests might even have elephants wandering right up to their plunge pools.
The staff are everything you’d expect at an award-winning luxury lodge, and a private butler is included with your stay to cater to your every whim. The kitchen is also highly accommodating. Not only can menus be tailored to your tastes, but the in-house sommelier will also recommend pairings of local South Africa wines to suit your choices (or, pick your poison from the whiskey bar instead). Plus, there’s even a kosher-compliant kitchen on-site. But for a truly memorable honeymoon dinner, opt for a candlelit experience in the Bush Tent to dine al fresco under the starry night sky.
Also not to be missed is getting a treatment at the Royal Waters Spa. The extensive spa menu includes treatments ranging from African fusion massages to collagen recovery facials, and even gel manicures. In addition to the treatment rooms, the wellness area also includes a heated lap pool, gym, steam room, hot and cold baths, and four shaded casitas for the ultimate tranquil setting to get some R&R between game drives.
Best Budget : Natural Selection Little Sable
Affordable still means bucket list-worthy at Little Sable, where eight cozy tents starting from under $600 per night make the ultimate basecamp for exploring Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
Pool, lounge, bar, complimentary laundry service
Private viewing decks
Mokoro (canoe) excursions
En suite bathrooms
Tents are small
For those on a budget, an all-inclusive lodge with luxe trappings set on a private reserve of over 490,000 acres and starting from under $600 per night is just the ticket. Set along the Okavango Delta, the landscapes in this part of Botswana are more tree-filled than areas like Kruger National Park, but safari goers are still likely to spot jaw-dropping wildlife like elephants, lions, leopards, wild dogs, emus, and hippos. But thanks to the river location, the unique value add here is seeing animals from the water. Beyond just traditional vehicle game drives (where the cars have snorkel-esque features so they can drive through deep water), you can also go out on mokoro (traditional canoe) safaris for a stunning new perspective.
Tents at Little Sable are small but well appointed. Each features a king-size bed (or two twins), a comfy leather chair, a writing desk, a ceiling fan, an en suite bathroom complete with your choice of an indoor or outdoor shower, and a small private viewing deck off the front. While tents feature electricity and full plumbing, be aware that there’s no Wi-Fi at this lodge, though that can be a plus for those looking to truly disconnect.
The lodge offers three set meal times per day, including a breakfast buffet before early morning game drives, and typically a couple of choices for your main course for lunch and dinner. There’s also a communal lounge area and fire pit, where you can mingle with other guests or look for zebras and elephants grazing in the grasslands. During downtime between game drives, cool off at the lodge pool after grabbing a G&T from the friendly bartender.
Best View : andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Soak up sweeping caldera views from lavish accommodations at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge before heading off on game drives on the crater floor and engaging in unique cultural experiences.
Butlers, private viewing decks, in-room fireplaces, in-room massages, large wine cellar, safari shop, complimentary laundry service
Maasai and Hadzabe tribe experiences
Gorgeous setting with diverse wildlife
Numerous unique activities beyond game drives available
Crater and concession fees not included in price
Food isn’t as wow-worthy as other lodges at similar price points
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge bills itself as “the game lodge at the top of the world,” and for good reason. Lush sweeping views are just one of the many selling points of this Tanzania showstopper that’s perched atop the largest intact caldera in the world. Soak it all in with a sundowner cocktail on the viewing deck while listening to the sunset chant of the Maasai warriors or with a romantic banquet dinner on the crater floor.
Within the caldera rim, you’ll find a rich haven teeming with diverse landscapes and wildlife, including endangered black rhinos, elephants, lions, flamingos, and more. In addition to game drives, guests can also engage with the stunning surroundings and deep culture of the area on hikes, spend the day with lion conservationists, visit a traditional Maasai boma (homestead), or even take beading lessons.
The lodge comprises three intimate-but-interconnected camps, each with its own dining area and viewing deck. All camps feature all-suite rooms that are positively lavish, with silk trappings, crystal chandeliers, deep soaking tubs, and wingback chairs around the in-room fireplaces. Thoughtful touches like banana leaf-thatched roofs and local artwork accents keep you firmly rooted in the location. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows allow you to enjoy the iconic crater views right from bed or with a morning cuppa on your private viewing deck. Personal butlers ensure your every need is met, from drawing bubble baths to arranging romantic private experiences.
Best Remote : Zannier Sonop
If horseback riding and fat-tire biking across otherworldly red dunes sound more up your alley than spotting big cats, there’s no better stay than Zannier Sonop to immerse yourself in Namibia’s remote desertscapes.
Outdoor infinity pool, spa, air-conditioned amenities, private decks, open-air cinema, cocktail and cigar lounge
Remote location in a gorgeous desert setting
White-glove, five-course dinners
Unique adventure experiences like hot air balloon and helicopter tours
Requires a long drive or expensive charter flight
Fewer animal viewing opportunities
Well off the beaten path, Zannier Sonop is a seven-hour drive from the closest main airport (though there is a private airstrip if you’re willing to pay for a charter transfer). But the long journey is more than worth it for the ethereal desert setting. In the heart of 13,800 acres of private nature reserve, the remote lodge includes just 10 billowing canvas tents among jutting boulders.
Each 1920s-inspired tent includes a four-poster bed, cozy armchairs, a writing desk, a vintage chest of drawers, and whimsical touches like a classic telescope and globe. The roll-up canvas allows you to enjoy panoramic views at any time from your room, including from the soaking tub or rain shower in the en suite bathroom.
Start your days with sunrise yoga, get some sun lounging on a chaise by the pool, and enjoy elegant communal dinners, where you can swap stories about your day with the other guests over a delectable five-course meal. Not to be missed is the nightly outdoor cinema experience, where you can curl up and watch a classic film under the night sky with a cocktail in hand. For a bit more outdoorsy adventure, Zannier Sonop offers a variety of additional experiences away from the lodge, including exploring the desert with guides by electric fat-tire bike or on horseback, and 4x4 adventures to the towering dunes of Sossusvlei.
Best for Privacy : Lion Sands Ivory Lodge
Between game drives spotting the Big Five in Sabi Sands, Lion Sands Ivory Lodge offers secluded and ultra-luxurious digs along the riverbank, with the option to spend an evening fully immersed in nature while sleeping in a kitted-out treehouse.
Spa, in-room fireplaces, private viewing decks, private plunge pools
Secluded, all-suite villas
Outdoor treehouse sleeping experience
Great location to spot the Big Five
Can be very hot during summer months
Nestled on the river bank on a private concession within South Africa’s other world-renowned game reserve, Sabi Sands, Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is another supreme choice for travelers hoping to see the Big Five on daily game drives with well-trained guides.
Lion Sands offers travelers a choice of four lodges, but Ivory Lodge is the idyllic choice for honeymooners looking for ultimate privacy. With just eight one-bedroom villas, Ivory Lodge rooms feel highly secluded, with at least 70 feet between them. Villas offer spacious bedrooms and living areas with fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling glass so that you can see animals right from your sofa. Step outside to your sweeping private viewing deck and take a dip in the private heated plunge pool before settling into your sumptuous quarters. Rooms are decorated with modern black and ivory accents, with marble bathroom countertops, deep soaking tubs in the middle of the en suite bathrooms, and walled-in outdoor showers.
For a truly romantic experience, spend a night surrounded by nature at the Kingston Treehouse, a private outdoor sleeping area outfitted with a cozy feather bed situated on an elevated platform. Lit only by candlelight under the moonlight, enjoy a picnic dinner, fall asleep with a gentle breeze, and wake up to distant animal calls and a fiery sunrise.
The food options are also endless, including bush breakfasts, traditional-style dining in an African boma, and lantern-lit riverbed dinners. The kitchen is also happy to accommodate special requests or dietary restrictions and has kosher options available.
Best for Gorilla Trekking : Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
If glimpsing endangered mountain gorillas is at the top of your must-do list, there’s no better base than the cottages at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, set right at the entrance of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Personal butlers, spa, in-room fireplaces, private decks, complimentary laundry service, Wi-Fi
Prime location for seeing mountain gorillas
Gorilla trekking requires special permits
Hiking requires some fitness level
Built from volcanic stone, 10 spacious cottages at the edge of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest set the tone for romance and adventure. Bedrooms feature soaring ceilings, comfy king beds, big picture windows, and artwork by a local Ugandan artist. Meanwhile, separate living areas are decked out in cream-colored couches and armchairs positioned around cozy wood-burning stoves. Munch on snacks on your private deck brought to you daily by your personal butler while enjoying views that extend all the way to Virunga Volcanoes on clear days.
Of course, the real star of the show here is access to the mountain gorillas, which you can track on foot daily with experienced guides. Nearly half the world’s mountain gorilla population is housed in this forest, so it’s the prime place to catch sightings of gorgeous silverbacks as you hike through the spectacular rainforest setting.
Other activities available include waterfall hikes and cultural visits with the Batwa tribe for a respectful learning opportunity about their traditional way of life. Between outings, indulge in a massage and dine on delicious food made with fresh, local ingredients.
For adventurous couples seeking a one-of-a-kind experience, a safari honeymoon is tough to beat. Our top choice for the best safari lodge is Singita Lebombo, though you can’t go wrong splashing out at Royal Malewane for another option in Kruger National Park. Those on a budget will still find comfy accommodations and exceptional animal sightings at Little Sable in Botswana, while honeymooners hoping to track gorillas should opt for Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Uganda. If remote desert adventures in unique landscapes feel more up your alley than daily game drives, consider a stay at Zannier Sonop in Namibia.
To find the best safari lodges for honeymoons, we researched dozens of properties across Africa and visited some on this list firsthand. Every property on this list is all-inclusive and has an exceptional staff and knowledgeable guides for daily game drives and other adventures. Nearly every lodge is also located on a private concession or reserve, so you won’t have to fight any crowds for prime animal viewing opportunities. We also kept a special eye out for luxurious and comfortable accommodations in remote and wild settings, as well as notable amenities and romantic offerings. Additionally, every lodge on this list has an excellent five-star rating and stellar reviews from other guests on independent review sites like Tripadvisor.