Over the years, Europe, Asia and tropical islands have been the preferred choice for honeymooners the world over. Despite the rugged beauty and amazing safari lodges and wildlife experiences, the African Continent has been a little neglected…. well, it seems that is changing. The world over couples are seeking out the path less trodden.
Here are 5 destinations that have been catching the eye of honeymooners around the globe:
Picture yourself drifting on your private makoro (essentially a wooden dug out propelled much like a gondola in Venice), the sun set reflecting like lightning rods off the canals in the Okavango Delta, as a herd of Elephant feed on the lush grass. Makoro and walking safaris are the norm here and they are an incredible way to soak up the wilderness experience before retreating back to your luxury tented camp to enjoy some champagne. Other amazing places to visit are Gabrone Dam and Mokolodi Natural Reserve.
Ever thought of marking your honeymoon with a personal challenge? Breathing the rarefied air on the stunning Mount Kilimanjaro may not be for everyone, but would certainly be a unique experience for those seeking something very different. Your challenge surmounted, you can then relax and enjoy some African gems, like Lake Tanganyika. The deepest lake on the continent and home to some of the rarest sea animals in the world. Then head to the Zanzibar archipelago a stunning collection of islands with gorgeous beaches and wonderful eco-luxe retreats. The capital Stone Town even boasts, a UNESCO world heritage ranking as one of the most ancient cities of East Africa.
Kenya has long been synonymous with african safaris. Sharing together with Tanzania on elf the most amazing animal migrations on the planet as thousands of wildebeest (sadly they have seen a 80% drop in number sin the past 30 years) go in search of new pastures. Combine all manner of wildlife experience, with some of the most luxurious resorts and tented camps in Africa and you have a recipe for a magical honeymoon. The stunning scenery of the Great Rift Valley, the volcanoes of Hell’s Gate National Park and the Crater Laker Game Sanctuary, should also not be discounted, but the rustic “outpost chic” islands of Lamu will make the perfect conclusion to your honeymoon adventure.
If you are looking for a relaxed beach style honeymoon, then Mozambique with fabulous cuisine and gorgeous beaches should be on your list. It boasts exotic flora and fauna, crystal clear water and luxurious resorts. Consider Manta Reef at Inhambane and if you are lucky you can cement your life together with a sighting of one of the most graceful and elusive rays on the planet.
Wonderful food, wine, beaches, wildlife and one of the most beautifully situated hip cities in the world, if not for your honeymoon, then come here at some stage in your life. Enjoy lazy picnics in the Cape Winelands, hike the Cape Peninsula, watch the famous table cloth descent upon Table mountain and drive the beautiful Garden Route. When you have had your fill of scenery and culture, you can visit some of the best safari parks in the world. Certainly a fantastic option to celebrate your future together.
If you would like to add a give back element to your honeymoon and make it a meaning full shared experience, then contact Hands Up Holidays and one of our consultants will help you plan an unforgettable honeymoon experience.
Out of Africa
“With vowely virtuosity, Meryl Streep tackles Karen Blixen—a.k.a. Danish writer Isak Dinesen—struggling to run a coffee plantation in early-twentieth-century Kenya. Robert Redford plays the big-game hunter torn between his love for her and his need, like his quarry, to run free. In retrospect, you can sense Hollywood on the prowl for Oscars, but scenes of majestic animals roaming the velvety green Ngong Hills inspired countless safaris.” – Sarah Kerr, Conde Nast
This movie certainly made me want to run off to Africa and go on safari. There is nothing that compares to seeing wild game in their natural habitat. The biggest spectacle of all must be the Wildebeest migration.
Why not combine one of these safaris with the opportunity to help young Maasai women who are being ostracized by their tribe, because they are choosing not to have a barbaric procedure that may well leave them with life long pain. To find out more contact us or take a look at our website http://www.handsupholidays.com
The Wild Bunch
“One of the landmark westerns—about Texas outlaws escaping to the harsh, gold-hued beauty of northern Mexico on the eve of the country’s topsy-turvy revolution—The Wild Bunch is best known for upping the ante on screen violence. But director Sam Peckinpah has a feel for Mexico’s rituals and earthy generosity. The finale alone, filmed at the Romanesque ruins of the eighteenth-century aqueduct and winery Hacienda Ciénaga del Carmen, is worth the price of admission.” – Sarah Kerr, Conde Nast
Y tu mama también
“A rich kid, his best friend, and his hot older cousin with a secret all head south from Mexico City to a stretch of sand overlooked by tourists (a lucky find since the area, in Huatulco, Oaxaca, is hardly unknown to development). In the tradition of The Graduate—but with travel instead of Mrs. Robinson as the trigger—this comedy looks at the sexual fumblings of an emotionally adrift, morally uncertain new generation. More recently, director Alfonso Cuarón has taken his characters—and his viewers—even farther from their comfort zones: He just released the acclaimed Gravity. – Sarah Kerr, Conde Nast
Some parts of Mexico have had a bit of bad press in recent years, but fortunately the trouble spots are quite isolated and many of the most beautiful and fascinating parts are still very sat for travelers.
Soak up the winter sun and at the same time make difference, to those less fortunate than yourself, at an innovative complex of homes and centers, each of which cares for a vulnerable and underserved group of people. Though each center is operated by an autonomous specialist organization there are many synergies and so the city is able to help more than 20,00 people each year, including children, elderly, women, the sick, and families in extreme poverty.
This year actually IS the year of the dragon – if you’re lucky enough to be born in a dragon year, you’re considered to be brave, innovative and very highly driven. If the celebrations have piqued your interest in China, we of course offer some wonderful voluntourism projects – perhaps the perfect way to see an authentic side this amazing country. See Beijing the way the locals see it before taking in iconic sights such as the awe-inspiring terracotta warriors, and helping better the lives of precious disabled children. See here for luxury voluntourism in China.
The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.
They believe that the best way to keep forests standing is by ensuring that it is profitable for businesses and communities to do so. That means helping farmers, forest managers and tourism businesses to realize greater economic benefits by ensuring ecosystems within and around their operations are protected, and that their workers are well-trained and enjoy safe conditions, proper sanitation, health care and housing. Once businesses meet certain environmental and social standards, Rainforest Alliance links them up to the global marketplace where demand for sustainable goods and services is on the rise.
Their website has a wealth of information about their vital work, and even has its own section on sustainable tourism. We fully support all their efforts – watch out for updates on Rainforest Alliance week later in the year.
In the meantime, we hope this spirit of environmentalism inspires you to think about the incredible experience that is voluntourism .
Check out our website and of course, feel free to ask us any questions!
As World Responsible Tourism Day takes place on November 9th, what better time to take stock and examine how tourism is affecting our planet?
If you’re looking for inspiration, you could do worse than track down a new book by Leo Hickman, The Final Call: Investigating Who Really Pays For Our Holidays.
See the tourism problems – from coral bleaching to human rights abuses – that Hickman encounters in his analysis. If you’re interested in travelling with a more positive impact on local communities and the environment