There is no doubt that Africa is a sought after destination for honeymooners. Whilst weddings are a once in a lifetime celebration, the honeymoon could be considered an investment and Africa provides the goods. Epic landscapes, experiential safaris, fascinating culture and some seriously slick camps, the continent is as three-dimensional as it is complex to navigate, especially when the stakes are high. Which country? Which camp? What route? The mind boggles.
So if you're seeking some starting points for a honeymoon in Africa, we have handpicked the best countries in the continent for the ultimate romantic escape. Organising a wedding is chaotic at the best of times but the honeymoon certainly doesn't have to be….
South Africa is a one-stop wonder for honeymooners. Its heady mix of natural splendour is dizzying ; breathtaking coastline, staggering mountains, picturesque vineyards and sprawling semi-desert. Direct flights and no jet-lag make it all the more appealing. Start in Cape Town for a lesson in the good life. Michelin starred chefs plate up artisanal dishes whilst the magical V&A waterfront awaits its latest design hotel, The Silo. Currently being built on top of what will be The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCAA), this is one to watch - opening in 2017.
One of its sister properties, La Residence, presents a mini Versailles in the fertile foothills of the Winelands, a glorious backdrop for mountain walks, intimate private wine tastings or a hot air balloon ride.
Both hardened safari hands and first timers will revel in plentiful game and some standout lodges. Singita Lebombo is one of the chicest. Drive out in search of the big five and then kick back in a taupe rattan chair to watch the sunset, gin and tonic in hand.
Whilst Madagascar may not be at the top of the honeymoon list, it most certainly deserves a place. Why? Its beguiling amount of mythological animals and endangered lemurs, flora and fauna (80% of it endemic), unspoilt beaches and romantic sunsets. Madagascar is home to the weird and the wonderful and impresses us with the extraordinary. Even the landscape is barmy - in the south, the spiny forests are thick with bulging trunks and mazes of entangled cacti. Stay at Mandrare River Camp for sunsets bathing gigantic baobabs, thriving wildlife and untarnished local culture in nearby villages. Its sister property, Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge compliments the wilderness with beautifully unkempt secluded beaches and forest lined coves. You can also spot humpback whales from June-November.
With a direct flight from Johannesburg, to Nosy Be, it would be a sacrilege not to experience its archipelago of castaway islands. Tsara Komba is a relaxed stylish set up overlooking golden stretches of beach, abundant greenery and sparkling azure waters. Diving is perfection here if you can drag yourself from beach to the boat.
For honeymooners who seek the ultimate rendition of the bush-to-beach itinerary, look no further than Tanzania. Protected reserves and a focus on sustainability make it arguably the best safari destination. Chem Chem Lodge in its very own 10,000 acre private reserve is ideal for easing you into your environment with stylish tents and a spa cottage. Sofa safari isn't bad either (zebra and giraffe are keen visitors) and when you feel like moving, you can explore the reserve and local Masaai villages. Next stop, the sweeping grassy plains of the Serengeti to stay at Lamai Serengeti. The subtle pace of the bush defines its rare alluring slow safari on foot. The guides here are experts at deciphering animal tracks and they'll pack deluxe picnics so that you can stay out all day.
Zanzibar is making headlines with zingy boutique hotels and unparalleled island luxury. Baraza ups the ante with chic Arabic-cum-Zanzibari design and upscale indulgences. Blinding white sand, a plethora of water-sports and thriving coral reef will keep you entertained for days.
It's hard to imagine that the world of exotic spices, fragrant night markets and magical desert landscapes is only a three and a half hour flight away from the UK. Marrakech wields a sensory punch as soon as you hit its medieval medina; old world alleys packed with vibrantly hued spices, hanging woven carpets and rows of stalls. Rest your head at Riad L'Orangeraie. We love its charm and repose and only a short walk away from bustling Djemaa el-Fna. It's only an hour's drive to the foothills of the dramatic Atlas Mountains for adventure and staggering scenery. Richard Branson's award winning Kasbah Tamadot will have you revelling in architectural grandeur and sublime décor whilst invigorating walks, horse riding and quad biking fit the adventure-lovers bill.
Head down the coast to Oualidia, an oasis of calm with its expansive lagoon and local fishermen collecting bundles of fresh oysters ready for the plate. La Sultana sits on its banks and provides an elegant alternative to Moroccan beach. Indulge in outdoor massages or we can prepare luxurious picnics in romantic hideaways or a boat trip at sunset on your last night on honeymoon.