In Africa Romance Never Ends

From the kasbahs of Morocco and the mysterious Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, to the breathtaking Indian Ocean beaches of Mozambique and the Seychelles, not to mention the wildlife-filled jungles and savannahs of South Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania, there’s no place in the world like Africa for a honeymoon.

singita lodges There’s probably no better place for a honeymooning couple than a secluded safari camp deep in the bush and none more luxurious than the Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni Lodges found along the secluded eastern reaches of South Africa’s Kruger National Park—a remote wilderness area renowned for its lion prides. Located just down the road from one another, the Sweni—offering six suites for 12 guests and flanking the Sweni River—is a tranquil sanctuary elevated on stilts with decks of timber. Lebombo is the larger of the two with 15 suites, a gymnasium, health spa, wine cellar, traditional boma and pool. Both have luxury air-conditioned suites with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, luxurious baths, indoor/outdoor showers, expansive living areas, mini-bar and fridge and private wooden leisure decks with day beds. Singita honeymoon programs reflect the special nature of their lodges and include one complimentary Swedish massage treatment each for the bride and groom; a bottle of South African sparkling wine to await the couple on arrival or placed on ice in their suite on their first night; and a romantic honeymoon dinner and a personalized gift. The Singita Sweni Sweetheart package includes a complimentary couple’s Swedish massage; private wine tasting in the cellar and a romantic dinner under the stars; romantic turndown with Relais & Chateaux preferred label champagne placed on ice en-suite and a personal tour of the art and interior gallery, and choice of a gift to the value of about $112. Check for rates.

oyster box hotel Tradition, casual elegance and a jaw-dropping beachfront location are always a good combination for an unforgettable honeymoon experience and now you can book just that at South Africa’s Oyster Box Hotel, standing prominently on a prestigious beachfront setting with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean and direct beach access at Umhlanga Rocks near Durban. The property has a reputation for service excellence and stylish comfort stretching back to 1947, made even more so following a recent and extensive multimillion dollar, 2-year rebuilding project to preserve its colonial charm. Recently, in fact, Conde Nast Traveler named the Oyster Box a “Hot Hotel and Hot Spa” on its 2010 Hot List. The stylish decor of this five-star hotel in KwaZulu-Natal’s tropical northern coast is an elegant combination of natural stones and woods, complemented by soothing colors and shades of the beautiful surroundings. The 86 luxurious rooms and suites, including eight Garden Villas—each with its own private plunge pool—and the split-level presidential suite, are designed to provide the utmost comfort and style. The hotel boasts a variety of dining experiences, indoors and outdoors; three bars; The Spa with a traditional hammam; two heated swimming pools, including a rim-flow pool with ocean views; fitness center and children’s “holiday” club; 24-seat movie/screening room; and meetings, events and wedding facilities for up to 120 guests. The hotel is located a short walk from the Umhlanga Village Center and is within easy access to Durban International Airport and shopping centers. The Dreams and Romance package includes 2-night accommodations; complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on arrival; plate of Natal oysters, served in the Oyster Bar; 3-course gourmet dinner in the Grill Room Restaurant; rose petal turndown; and complimentary hammam treatment. Rates start from approximately $450 for two.

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steenberg hotel & vineyards History and heritage is front and center at the Steenberg Hotel & Vineyards, located just outside of Cape Town and, as one of South Africa’s most luxurious hotels, steeped in as much history as it is in five-star elegance. It’s set amidst the Cape’s oldest vineyards and the property’s first owner, Catharina Ustings—one of the most daring and controversial figures to ever settle in the Cape—arrived on the Cape from Germany in 1662 and purchased the new estate in 1682. Legend has it that when one of her five husbands was killed by a lion, Catharina chased the lion on horseback and shot it. Today, the hotel buildings have been painstakingly restored and declared a national monument. The hotel comprises 21 guestrooms in the Manor House and the Barn, outfitted with luxurious and antique furnishings, modern amenities and views overlooking the vineyards, golf course or gardens. The three Heritage Suites were built into the original Jonkershuis or the “young man’s house,” where the original construction could not be altered, so the Steenberg’s design team re-created the suites focusing on its rich, colorful past. All suites enjoy butler service, complimentary refreshment bar, laundry service, WiFi Internet service, working fireplaces, Egyptian cotton sheets and soft duvets, flat-screen TVs, iPod stations and more. The original wine cellar has been transformed into Catharina’s restaurant with innovative cuisine, complemented by an impressive list of Constantia wines. There’s also a luxurious spa, with a wide range of treatments, two pools with pool bar, gym, steam room and onsite hairdresser. Standard rooms begin at $240.