Lowveld ‘I Do’: Honeymoon destinations for every budget

Traditional budget honeymoons

Protea Hotel Hazyview, Mpumalanga

For adventurous honeymooners, the Hazyview area in Mpumalunga offers many opportunities; from river rafting, aerial cable trailing, tubing and abseiling, to more relaxing pastimes, such as horse riding along the Sabie River, visiting the Elephant or Monkey Sanctuary and flying in a hot air balloon to watch the sunrise over the stunning vista.

The Protea Hotel Hazyview is an attractive 3-star hotel offering a restaurant, room service, garden, outdoor swimming pool, snooker billiards and tennis courts. And, if you really feel the need to ‘come back to earth’, for a fee, the hotel offers wired internet options ranging from dial-up to high-speed.

Mabula Game Lodge, Warmbaths, Limpopo

For a great opportunity to see the Big Five, for a very reasonable rate, the Mabula Game Lodge in Warmbaths, ticks all the boxes.

Besides the bigger animals, this private game reserve is visited day and night by warthogs, antelope, bush pigs and colourful birds which can usually be seen from most patio rooms. You will have the opportunity to go on daily game drives, escorted by highly knowledgeable drivers.

The very attractive accommodation consists of en-suite, air conditioned chalets and tents, and offers indoor and outdoor dining. All in all, a very comfortable and interesting stay! Mabula Game Lodge is set in one of South Africa’s finest malaria risk-free private game reserves and is only 2 hours north of Johannesburg.

Hluhluwe River Lodge, Hluhluwe KwaZulu-Natal

The Hluhluwe River Lodge is the perfect place for the ultimate yet affordable post-nuptial romantic hideaway. Situated not far away from St Lucia Lagoon and only a day trip to the fascinating Hluhluwe Game Reserve, you can be as private as you wish.

Adding to the romantic ambiance, The Lodge is situated in a fairly remote location but at the same time, is not too far away from many areas of interest. You can either explore the area yourselves or, if you want to put yourselves in the hands of the experts, a game ranger will accompany you on your Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park excursion.

Mid-range budget honeymoons

Kagga Kamma, Western Cape

Experiencing the awesome bush outdoors with your soul mate could not be easier. At Kagga Kamma lodge you will appreciate the great expanse of natural bush, with a backdrop of a million stars when you choose to spend a night “in” Kagga Kamma’s outcrop open air room.

You will be given the choice of either taking a picnic basket for your romantic dinner or dining at the Lodge itself before your trip to the great outdoors. There will be a warming fire waiting for you when you arrive. Now how romantic does that sound?

The Falls Guesthouse, Augrabies, Northern Cape

The Falls Guest House is located in Augrabies, close to the Augrabies Falls National Park. The Falls, on the Orange River, are famous for their constant flow of deafening splendour – a great place to ramble and catch a glance of springbok, klipspringers and various birds of prey.

The rooms offer views of the garden and are equipped with a TV, and WiFi at an additional fee. There are also braai facilities available f you are thinking of a having a romantic braai for two. For your pampering wishes, the resident beauty salon offers massages and a selection of treatments.

Thanda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

Thanda Private Game Reserve is located in KwaZulu-Natal and consists of a romantic lodge perfect for honeymooning couples. Thanda is the Zulu word for love; could it get any more romantic than this?

Accommodation comprises of 9 individual, private suites that overlook the surrounding game reserve, a spa and rim flow pool, with outstanding cuisine served to you by candlelight. You will, of course, have the chance to take a safari, during which you will have a fascinating time discovering the Big 5.

Relax in the Lodge’s spa after a day of excitement – or relaxation. It is all on offer for a honeymoon to remember!

High-end honeymoons

Ulusaba, Sabi Sands, Greater Kruger National Park

For the ultimate in luxury honeymoons in South Africa, things do not get much better than Richard Branson’s private game reserve, Ulusaba. The Rock Lodge, situated in the Sabi Sabi area, is built high upon a cliff, allowing for amazing views. In addition, the property has undertaken the removal of fences between the greater Kruger National Park and other private reserves, thus bringing about the opportunity to see even more wildlife.

With two safaris a day conducted by very knowledgeable tour guides, private dinners with a personal butler serving delicious food, massages and a private spa, this will be a honeymoon you will remember forever.

Tintswalo Safari Lodge, Mpumalanga

Tintswalo Safari Lodge is an exclusive 5-star safari lodge that caters for honeymooners in its own special way.

Consisting of six luxurious, roomy suites and located in Mpumalanga Province, all accommodation comes with private decks and a plunge pool, from which you will be looking out at the interesting combination of wildlife congregating at the adjacent waterhole. You can also experience safari trips conducted by experienced tour guides.

The area of the Reserve is steeped in 19th-century African explorer history and each suite is accurately decorated to reflect this.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Western Cape

If flora and fauna are of more interest to you than big beasts, and you care about conservation, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, close to the quaint little town of Hermanus in the Western Cape, is the perfect honeymoon destination for you.

This 5-star nature reserve displays amazing flora and marine life. It is home to the so called Marine Big 5 – whales, dolphins, sharks, seals and penguins – and stunning flora. Your visit will aid the Grootbos Foundation’s conservationist efforts.

Guided activities include a flower safari, walks through the Milkwood forests, beach tours, coastal walks, bird watching, and expeditions through ancient caves, tree planting and a social responsibility tour.

The Oyster Box, Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal

The Oyster Box in Umhlanga Rocks is the ideal place for a honeymoon of total relaxation. With its tropical, verdant gardens, this distinguished hotel combines colonial charm, unsurpassable service and elegance.

The hotel’s luxury rooms and two outdoor swimming pools overlook the sparkling Indian Ocean. Your personal monogrammed robes, a bottle of wine and rose petal turn down add to the plush ambiance. You can also enjoy a personalised massage in the luxurious spa’s six treatment rooms.

The hotel caters for gourmets, with nearby Durban’s authentic curries and freshly caught seafood. And, if you feel you have somewhat overindulged, the romantic Umhlanga promenade is on your doorstep!

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Credit: SA Venues, TravelStart, National Geographic
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