The Most Romantic Honeymoon Resorts in South Africa

Enjoy a special stay in an open-air treehouse at the Lion Sands River Lodge in South Africa
Enjoy a special stay in an open-air treehouse at the Lion Sands River Lodge in South Africa | Courtesy of Lion Sands River Lodge / Expedia

Whether you prefer a beach resort, a spa hotel in the Western Cape or a luxury safari experience in the Kruger National Park, newlyweds have unlimited honeymoon resort options in South Africa.

Adventurous couples will certainly appreciate a honeymoon in South Africa. You can choose from a traditional safari within a private game reserve, white-water rafting through the bush or turtle spotting at a beachfront lodge. Some hotels even allow you to combine the lot. Read on to discover Culture Trip’s top picks.

1. Kilima Private Game Reserve & Spa, Gravelotte

Resort, Spa Hotel

Kilima Private Game Reserve & Spa
Courtesy of Kilima Private Game Reserve & Spa / Expedia

Overlooked by the Murchison mountain range, the Kilima Private Game Reserve is owned by the Schutte family, who welcome you with their motto “courage above and beyond”. Start your holiday in the luxurious Honeymoon Suite, with its super-king bed and generous bathtub. A myriad of activities await: experience a game drive at dawn, listen to the song of the bush, indulge in a couple’s massage at the Kukura Wellness Spa, and finish your evening under the old baobab tree, sipping on cocktails and gazing at the stars.

2. Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa, Paarl

Resort, Spa Hotel

Santé Wellness Retreat and Spa, South Africa
Courtesy of Santé Wellness Retreat and Spa / Expedia

A tranquil sanctuary in the Western Cape Winelands, Santé is where honeymooners come to unwind. This retreat is marked for its passion for wellness. All the ingredients at Nourish, the resort restaurant, are fresh and locally sourced, with no refined foods. The award-winning day spa is full of rejuvenating natural treatments, such as Vino Therapy, utilising the skin, pulp and seeds of red grapes. Spend quality time wandering through the garden, or relax in the Jacuzzi after a long day of pampering.

3. Etali Safari Lodge, North West Province

Resort

Etali Safari Lodge
Courtesy of Etali Safari Lodge / Expedia

The thatched-roof suites at this intimate lodge are built into the tamboti trees and hills for a fully immersive experience. From the seclusion of your private deck overlooking the watering hole, keep watch for the Big Five (lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalo) while sipping a cocktail in your plunge pool, enjoying the outdoor shower or a relaxing massage. The food is delectable – think fresh seafood, local game meat and organic vegetables. Create unforgettable memories on a dawn or dusk safari.

4. Gorah Elephant Camp, Addo

Resort, Luxury

Gorah Elephant Camp
Courtesy of Gorah Elephant Camp / Expedia

Honeymooners wanting to be close to nature will adore this sophisticated take on glamping. Gorah Elephant Camp features opulent tented suites in Addo National Park. Each spacious tent has a private deck, ensuite bathrooms and solar-powered lighting. Observe one of the many magnificent elephants on a game drive, or watch the local birds while taking a dip in the pool. Dine at the sophisticated historic Manor House or under the stars overlooking the watering hole.

5. Flycatcher Castle, Graskop

Hotel

Flycatcher Castle, Graskop
Courtesy of Flycatcher Castle / Hotels.com

Flycatcher Castle, situated on the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment, is close to scenic wonders, such as Blyde River Canyon, and Kruger National Park is less than an hour’s drive away. From zip-lining to white-water rafting, adventurous couples will appreciate the outdoor activities on offer here. There are a variety of rooms, but the Mozart Suite is the most opulent. The room is decorated with beautiful antique furniture, from velvet curtains to ornate frames, and boasts awe-inspiring views of the wetland.

6. Great Fish River Lodge at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

Hotel

Great Fish River Lodge at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, with a rustic, cosy and luxurious interior under a thatched roof
Courtesy of Great Fish River Lodge at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve / Expedia

At Great Fish River Lodge, you truly get a feeling of the enormity of the African continent. The lavish suites have been designed to complement the surrounding landscape. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the suites reveal uninterrupted vistas of the private game reserve. Take part in the twice-daily game drives and walking safaris to see rhinos and elephants. Come nightfall, dine in the boma under the starlit sky.

7. Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, Cederberg

Hotel

Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve
Courtesy of Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve / Expedia

Kagga Kamma in Cederberg allows you to get close to nature in the most unique way possible. The hotel’s private, natural Open Air Suites, approximately 7km (4mi) from the main lodge, are set between rock formations overlooking the fynbos plains. Sleep under the stars, awake to an African sunrise, and spend lazy days in your own private rock pool or “star bath”. Onsite, there is also a spa offering treatments under an outdoor canopy.

8. Kosi Forest Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, KZN

Lodge

Kosi Forest Lodge
Courtesy of Kosi Forest Lodge / Expedia

Kosi Forest Lodge is a tranquil honeymoon destination, where you and your partner can lounge in the pool while watching hippos in the nearby lake. The secluded forest cabins have outdoor bathrooms set in soft, white sand under magnificent tree canopies. There are also romantic boat cruises on offer, perfect for a sundowner or two. You can combine a stay here with a few nights at the Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge as part of the honeymoon packages.

9. Lion Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park

Resort, Hotel, Lodge

Lion Sands Game Reserve
Courtesy of Lion Sands Game Reserve / Expedia

Lion Sands is set between the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and world-famous Kruger National Park. A guided safari is a must while staying here. Choose between six luxurious private lodges, each with its own distinct style – from contemporary to rustic. We recommend staying in one of the open-air treehouses, high above the canopy, where you can enjoy a candlelit dinner on your private terrace. Likewise, the view from the shower is something to behold.

10. Madikwe Game Reserve, North West

Hotel, Safari Lodge

Madikwe Game Reserve
Courtesy of Madikwe Game Reserve / Expedia

Madikwe’s ultra-luxury lodges offer a five-star experience with some of the finest accommodation in South Africa. Honeymooners can look forward to private plunge pools, outdoor showers and private viewing decks, all set within the African bush. There’s also a first-class spa for those looking to completely unwind. Book the Makanyane Safari Lodge, and you might just wake up to an elephant outside your door.

11. Marataba Safari Lodge, Marakele National Park

Lodge

Marataba Safari Lodge
Courtesy of Marataba Safari Lodge / Expedia

Marataba Safari Lodge is an all-year-round safari destination within Marakele National Park, Limpopo. The park is situated in the Waterberg Biosphere, home to all of the Big Five. The canvas-and-stone tented suites are all beautifully furnished, with a combination of modern and traditional elements. Your stay includes all meals, two game drives per day as well as guided water safaris and hiking tours.

12. Thonga Beach Lodge, KZN

Lodge

Thonga Beach Lodge
courtesy of Thonga Beach Lodge / Expedia

Thonga Beach Lodge is a perfect destination for an idyllic beach honeymoon, where you can enjoy candlelit dinners on the deck and swim with tropical fish in one of the top snorkelling spots in South Africa. 12 thatched rustic cabins peek out from behind the trees overlooking the water. The beach outside is quiet and pristine, home to nesting turtles between November and February. Should the ocean-facing views become tiresome, complimentary sundowners are served each day at Lake Sibaya.

Christy Taylor contributed additional reporting to this article.

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