Africa

Out of Africa Come Romantic Retreats

written by | Posted on May 29th, 2012

Pampering is a priority here. Lazy walks, sunbathing by the swimming pools or indulging in a therapeutic massage in the Bedouin tent housing the rooftop spa, highlights its laid-back ambiance. Contact: palmietvalleyestate.co.za

kenya

From balloon flights at dawn soaring over the Maasai Mara to diving into the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Kenya is a wonderfest of romantic options that will have honeymooners gliding gleefully into their new life as a married twosome.

Romance will flower with an African honeymoon at Elsa’s Kopje, a stylish and romantic hideaway named after the famous lioness in George Anderson’s book “Born Free.” Elsa’s Kopje (kopje means “hill”) towers above Anderson’s original camp and each of its nine cottages blends in with the rocky hillside. The honeymoon suite is a 3-level secluded haven shaped around the twists of a giant rock and overlooks the plains of Meru National Park, home to elephants, rhinos, and giraffes, as well as the occasional leopard. The animals can often be spotted from the private terraces in every room.

During safaris, honeymooners receive individual treatment. Guides and drivers will stop the vehicle to pour drinks and serve snacks while the couple watches the scenery at dusk. Rates begin at approximately $625 per night.

Contact: elsaskopje.com

tanzania

Couples who want to experience a unique honeymoon in a far more remote location should consider Tanzania, one of Africa’s most distinctive destinations—very remote and full of names that invoke adventure and romance: Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Ngorongoro, etc. This is a country that offers everything from sun-splashed beaches to mountains, as well as moss-covered ruins of ancient Swahili kingdoms and treks over barren landscapes guided by genuine Maasai warriors. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge sits on the lip of the famous crater, making it one of the most attractive lodges in Africa. The property is designed to look like a Maasai camp. The Tree Camp has six bungalows, while its neighboring South and North Camps are composed of 12 suites each. All offer views of the crater. The property reeks of upscale comfort, with flower petals scenting baths drawn by a personal butler. The floor-to-ceiling windows are dressed with curtains made from raw silk and the accommodations are lit with chandeliers made by local artists.

The main area sits on stilts and is accented with antiques, chandeliers and African masterpieces, giving it a graceful blend of modern European and ancient African styles.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge also overlooks Lake Tanganyika—the longest and deepest lake in the world, which stretches a distance roughly 500 miles. It is a very secluded and romantic property. Rates from approximately $720 per night dbl.

Contact: (866) 356-4690; ngorongoro-crater-lodge.com

Lupita Island by Firelight is Tanzania’s ultimate retreat, a 130-acre wilderness haven with luxury accommodations in the pristine shoreline of Lake Tanganyika.

With 11 luxurious bungalows and two larger cottages, all lavishly decorated, there is no place within the property that does not offer uninterrupted views of the lake. Rates start at about $2,200 dbl for a luxury suite, and include meals and laundry service (game viewing is extra).