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Ultimate South Africa Honeymoon Guide

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I’m not surprised if you’re dreaming of a South Africa honeymoon. This is a country that has it all… From cool cosmopolitan cities to spectacular beaches and sprawling safari parks, South Africa has a lot to brag about!

If you want romance and adventure, a South Africa honeymoon definitely ticks the right boxes.

As a premier safari destination, it obviously delivers on the wildlife front – you can expect unforgettable game drives and cosy lodges that are perfect for a romantic break. 

And, if you want more to see and do, South Africa won’t disappoint. There’s jaw-dropping landscapes away from the game reserves and lots of interesting spots to explore across the country.

I had the absolute best time when I visited South Africa in 2023 – the great weather, friendly people, luxury accommodation, gorgeous scenery and safaris all made it a DREAM vacation.

So, if you’re ready to find out more about this epic destination, here’s everything you need to know to plan your dream South Africa honeymoon! 

Things to see & do in South Africa on your honeymoon

Explore Cape Town 

One of the world’s prettiest cities, Cape Town has much to offer. With direct flights from the UK, Cape Town is a great starting point for your South Africa honeymoon.

Boasting a multitude of things to see and do, you’ll have plenty to fill several days. And, better yet, with hardly a shift in time zone from the UK, there’s no risk of jet lag here either.

Top of your list for Cape Town has to be Table Mountain. Towering over the city, this natural site is beautiful. If you’re up for it, take a hike (or cable car) to the top for iconic views across the city and towards the ocean. 

Within the city itself, you won’t want to miss the atmosphere of the V&A Waterfront where you’ll find cool restaurants, shops and attractions.

Make sure you visit Long Street, too, which is home to boho boutiques and vintage shops – as well as bars and clubs.

If you want more time in nature, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is a serene and romantic spot in the suburbs. Or for beach scenery, visit Camps Bay for its gorgeous sweeping coastline.

A South Africa honeymoon also wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Boulders Beach which is famous for its colony of cute penguins!

Located in Simon’s Town, just 40 minutes from the city, there are lots of companies that offer organised trips to Boulders Beach. If you’re renting a car, consider a road trip to Boulders Beach and on to Cape Point.

Travel via Chapman’s Peak Drive if you want to be blown away by the scenery – this winding route is known for its wild ocean and dramatic mountain views.

Visit Cape Winelands

Even if you’re not into your wines, Cape Winelands still has to be on the list for a luxury South Africa honeymoon. With vast wine estates set against mountain peaks, this part of the country is beyond picturesque. 

As a culinary destination, the region is renowned for producing some of the world’s finest wines. But, it’s also home to several of the country’s plushiest hotels where you can wake up to sun-kissed vineyard views. It’s a real fairytale setting for a luxury honeymoon.

In the area, there are three main towns that you’ll want to visit – Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl. Known for being the capital of the Winelands, Stellenbosch is probably the most famous, but each town has something special to offer.

The good news is – they’re all within easy reach of each other, so you’ll be able to visit them all.

A vineyard in winter with a backdrop of mountains

Super pretty Franschhoek will be a honeymoon highlight – it’s only small but you’ll find a lovely choice of art galleries and boutique shops.

If you’re feeling active, you can spend your days cycling between wineries in the area or you can hop aboard the Wine Tram to experience the best of the Franschhoek Valley.

If you’re a foodie, you’ll definitely be in heaven in the Winelands. As well as wine tasting (which there will be a lot of), you’ll also find food tours and an excellent choice of restaurants. Plus, there are lots of farm stalls in the area where you can buy all kinds of local produce.

Within easy reach of Cape Town, this iconic part of the country is a honeymoon must. If you’re limited on time, you’ll find day trips from the city. But it’s such a magical destination, so try to plan for several days to make the most of your visit!

Travel the Garden Route

If you want to visit several parts of the country, hiring a car is a great idea for your South Africa honeymoon. As such a vast and diverse country, there are endless things to see and do and a road trip will give you total freedom to explore.

The Garden Route is the best-known drive here – it takes in 300km of breathtaking scenery along South Africa’s southern coast.

Often described as one of the world’s best drives, you’ll love the journey as much as the places you get to see along the way.

Stairs and boardwalk heading down to a golden beach in Plettenberg Bay

Officially running from the town of Mossel Bay through to Storms River in the Eastern Cape, the trip can be done in as little as a few days. But, it’s best to give yourself a week or more to have enough time for everything there is to see.

It’s also worth having extra days to continue on via Jeffreys Bay to Port Elizabeth – this is the  gateway to the Big 5 game reserves in the Eastern Cape.

If you’re starting your South Africa honeymoon in Cape Town, it’s possible to drive from here to Mossel Bay to start the Garden Route – it takes about 5 hours on the highway. Or, you could fly to the city of George and rent a car from there. 

Once you’re on the Garden Route itself, you’ll find charming towns as well as beaches, lagoons and forests.

Following the Indian Ocean, highlights of the trip include Wilderness, Plettenberg Bay and Tsitsikamma National Park – it’s South Africa’s largest marine reserve and is known for its wild scenic trails. 

You’ll also want to spend a few days in Knysna. A popular holiday spot, Kynsa is set on a shimmering lagoon and offers opportunities for hiking and cycling, as well as lounging on the beach.

Looking out towards crashing sea on a sunny day in Knysna

Wherever you decide to stay on your drive, you’ll definitely be amazed by the scenery – this is a route that flaunts natural beauty at every turn. It’s also a great option that caters to every traveller’s style.

From glittering gold beaches and water activities to hiking, rock climbing and ziplining, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

If all you want to do is relax and take in the scenery – you won’t be disappointed either. The Garden Route absolutely deserves to be on the list of best places in South Africa – it’s a picture-perfect paradise!

Go on safari

Going on a safari is obviously one of the big draws of a South Africa honeymoon. As one of the continent’s best safari destinations, there are so many reserves and national parks to choose from to get your wildlife fix. 

If you’ve followed the Garden Route into South Africa’s Eastern Cape, you’ll have a brilliant choice of Big 5 reserves to visit here. This is a part of the country that also boasts being malaria-free – so it’s a great alternative to Kruger.

Top safari spots in the Eastern Cape include Amakhala Game Reserve and Shamwari Private Game Reserve. Each offers incredible, ethical safari opportunities and luxury accommodation that’s perfect for a honeymoon.

It’s in the Eastern Cape that you’ll also find Addo Elephant National Park which is well worth a visit.

This conservation area is the third biggest park in South Africa and is home to over 600 elephants. You can choose to do a self-drive tour or have a guide.

On the other side of the country, you’ll find Kruger National Park. Located on the border of Mozambique, Kruger is South Africa’s biggest and most famous park. As expected, it has amazing game viewing with all the Big 5.

Kruger also has around 150 species of mammals, which is more than any other park!

A rhino with its baby in Kruger National Park

Whichever safari you go for, you’re in for a treat. A safari is definitely one for the bucket list – a breathtaking and truly unforgettable experience, it will be a favourite part of your South Africa honeymoon!

Where to stay during your South Africa honeymoon

Labotessa Luxury Boutique Hotel, Cape Town

There’s a really great choice of hotels in Cape Town, but Labotessa Luxury Boutique Hotel is one you’ll want to make a note of for your honeymoon. With just seven suites, this intimate setting is perfect for a romantic break.

Inside, the hotel is gorgeous with decadent decor that blends art and history with cutting-edge tech. It’s a seriously sophisticated choice – and is located in the heart of the city, so it’s close to everything, too. 

Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch

The beautiful Delaire Graff Estate is one of those places that’s probably on your vision board. With idyllic, sweeping views across the Stellenbosch Valley, this is a property that epitomises perfection.

This is a hotel that’s all about privacy – you’ll find 17 lodges, complete with butler service. Treat yourself to a Luxury Lodge for all the romantic vibes. You’ll have a private deck, heated plunge pool and the most blissful panoramic views.

Amanzi Island Boutique Hotel, Knysna

The tranquil Amanzi Island Boutique Hotel is a lovely spot to stop along the Garden Route. Boasting spacious suites decked in seaside hues, it’s the perfect setting for a few days by the coast.

There’s a choice of 15 bedrooms – but you’ll want to check out the Kingfisher suite. This is the hotel’s honeymoon suite and is the most romantic one going!

Overlooking golden sands, you can enjoy the views through panel-free windows or outside from the pool on your own private deck.

Amakhala Safari Lodge, Eastern Cape

A South Africa safari honeymoon wouldn’t be complete without a stay at a luxury lodge. Set on the northern reserve of Amakhala, Safari Lodge is a serene option surrounded by nature.

It’s everything you’d imagine from a safari lodge with authentic tribal style, gorgeous detailing and individual suites with private plunge pools. It’s a true wilderness retreat – and you might even wake up to animals grazing by your door!

A woman (me!) sat on the edge of a private plunge pool at Amakhala Safari Lodge

Singita Boulders Lodge, Sabi Sands

If you’re looking to splurge on your accommodation, you’ll want to check out Singita. Renowned for its luxurious properties, Singita is a leader in hospitality.

If Kruger is on the list for your South Africa honeymoon, Singita has several options nearby. Boulders Lodge is a favourite – it’s set along the river in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which is right next door to Kruger.

This award-winning lodge has 12 suites and all boast a private plunge pool, cosy fireplace and glorious game viewing deck.  

Best time to visit South Africa

As such a vast country, South Africa has a few different climates. It’s still a destination that’s great year-round, but each season brings different opportunities. 

For the best game viewing at Kruger, May to October is recommended when it’s the dry season.

But if you’re focused on Cape Town and the Garden Route, November to March is great when it’s the height of summer. You’ll find hot and dry weather with plenty of sunshine for enjoying the beach. 

The Eastern Cape has year-round sunshine with fewer extremes than other parts. The dry season (May-August) is supposed to have the best game viewing conditions, but I visited in January and the safari drives were great. We had lots of sunshine and warmer mornings, too.

Getting to South Africa

There are regular direct flights from London to both Johannesburg and Cape Town. From there, you’ll find domestic flights connecting to other areas.

For the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth is the best airport. Or, for Kruger, you’ll want to transit through Johannesburg to Nelspruit or Hoedspruit airports. You can also drive from Johannesburg in around 5-6 hours. 

Direct flights from London to Johannesburg and Cape Town take 11 hours and you can fly with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. Economy prices start from around £900.

FAQs about honeymooning in South Africa

Is South Africa a good honeymoon destination?

South Africa in my opinion is one of the very best honeymoon destinations. This is a country that offers so many bucket list experiences so it will give you a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

Not only will you get some of Africa’s best safari reserves, but you can hire a car for an epic road trip, visit cool cities and spend time at great beaches, too.

You’ll also be able to stay at incredible, luxury hotels and lodges that are extra special for a honeymoon.

Is South Africa expensive for a honeymoon?

In general, South Africa is a relatively affordable country, so things like eating and drinking can be inexpensive. When I was there, we had meals for as little as £6, with wine at £2 per glass!

Flights, safaris and accommodation are where you’ll see your costs increase. It’s possible to have a South African honeymoon on a budget but, more often than not, you’ll be paying around £500 per night, if not more, for an all-inclusive safari lodge.

Flights can also be on the expensive side depending on where you’re travelling from. My return flights from the UK were £985 direct with British Airways.

Is South Africa safe for a honeymoon?

So many people are worried about South Africa being a dangerous country. And yes, there is crime and violence in South Africa, however – you’re unlikely to be at a high risk on your honeymoon.

A lot of the crime takes place in South Africa’s townships and away from the tourist spots. I didn’t feel unsafe in South Africa but, that said, you’ll want to keep your wits about you when visiting (as you would in any destination!).

Pickpockets can be a problem so keep your valuables safe and obviously don’t go wandering around in a city or township at night. 

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South Africa is an amazing choice for a luxury vacation – it has everything you could want and more. I hope this post has helped you plan the South Africa honeymoon of your dreams!

READ MORE: 3 Week South Africa Itinerary (+ Map)

Looking for more honeymoon inspiration? You can check out my guide of best African honeymoon destinations, here.

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