For many couples, the honeymoon remains a travel milestone – that one holiday that outshines all the others and sparkles forever as brightly as the ring on your finger. Follow in the footsteps of cool couples and trend experts as they unveil the dreamiest honeymoons for 2020 in South Africa and surrounds.

THE A-LIST LIFE

BRING THE PASSPORT: SEYCHELLES

For truly unbridled extravagance, one dreamy archipelago emerges out of the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean: Seychelles. It has long been a favourite romantic getaway for jet-setting celebrities seeking privacy in a Garden of Eden setting.  

If you have a private jet waiting in the hangar and Dom Pérignon chilling in the fridge, there’s only one resort worth considering – North Island. North Island is the most exclusive and expensive resort of many scattered throughout the 115 islands of Seychelles. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, honeymooned here in 2011, as did George and Amal Clooney (or so it’s whispered).

Lizl Everts, a 25-year-old South African who regularly works in Guest Relations at North Island during the high season, shared why it’s the perfect honeymoon retreat for celebs.  

“From the moment you land on the helipad [unlike other islands, you can only access the resort via helicopter], the entire North Island experience is tailored to the couple,” says Everts. “When clients book, they answer a questionnaire so that by the time they arrive, the hotel knows exactly what they like, right down to the supplies stocked in the villa’s kitchen. Each villa has an attendant and Guest Relations Officer who are at their beck and call, running baths, updating their menu, arranging where the couple would like to dine, organising secret sundowner picnic spots and more. It’s very, very personalised.

“There are only 11 villas on the island, so it’s totally secluded,” she adds. “The public is not allowed on the island and the staff are sworn to secrecy.”

Afropolitans with less cashflow can still enjoy a luxe Seychelles honeymoon at two slightly more down-to-earth resorts, Banyan Tree Seychelles and The Four Seasons Resort.


LOCAL IS LEKKER: FRANSCHHOEK

A luxury Afromoon much closer to home and with all the romantic joie de vivre of arguably the world’s most romantic country is the Cape Winelands’ French corner, Franschhoek. 

The five-star Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa is one of many picturesque accommodation options, surrounded by Instagram-worthy vineyards and majestic mountains. The hotel mirrors the romantic French atmosphere of the town, and although it’s just an hour’s drive from Cape Town International Airport, it truly feels as if you’ve disembarked in the heart of France. 

MAXIMUM VALUE ‘MOONS

BRING THE PASSPORT: ZANZIBAR

For a sultry, sexy and rand-friendly honeymoon, the exotic island paradise of Zanzibar is the perfect match. 

“Zanzibar is one of the top regional honeymoon destinations for South Africans,” says Sue Garrett, General Manager of Product and Marketing at the Flight Centre Travel Group. “It’s a three-hour flight from Johannesburg, is visa-free for South African passport-holders and has an array of excellent accommodation to suit all traveller preferences.”

Garrett recommends Sea Cliff Resort and Spa as an ideal honeymoon option. “The five-star resort offers great value for money,” she says. “It’s just a short hop from Stone Town and is home to the only nine-hole golf course on the island, which active couples will enjoy.”

The hotel has welcomed its share of local celebrities too. “It-girl” Boity Thulo shared numerous beach, bikini and sundowner photos at the resort on her social media in 2016, while visiting on a “workcation” along with Jeannie D, Ewan Strydom and others. Boity was quoted as saying “[Zanzibar is] one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced; the sunsets are unmatched.”

LOCAL IS LEKKER: KWAZULU-NATAL

For a maximum value local Afro-moon, make the journey to the idyllic Elephant Coast or Maputaland of KwaZulu-Natal. Honeymooners can check into Jozini Lodge and Spa, situated on South Africa’s very own little “Lake Kariba,” recommends Sharmila Ragunanan, Marketing Manager for Dream Hotels & Resorts.

“This 16-hectare man-made dam resembles the great Kariba Dam in the Zambezi River basin,” says Ragunanan.

Overlooking the lake and shadowed by the Lebombo Mountains, the lodge is easily accessible from Durban and Gauteng, has a Mangwanani Spa and an array of nature and water-based activities for loved-up couples to enjoy together. 

“It’s great value for honeymooners,” adds Ragunanan, “with many wedding and honeymoon packages on offer.” 

For a sultry, sexy and rand-friendly honeymoon, the exotic island paradise of Zanzibar is the perfect match.

ADVENTURE-MOONS

BRING THE PASSPORT: RÉUNION

A new honeymoon trend has emerged, offering adventure-lovers much more than merely a “fly-and-flop” getaway. 

Réunion is a super-attractive adventure-moon destination, hidden off the beaten island path. This Indian Ocean island is a four-hour flight from Joburg and is visa-free for South African passport holders. 

It’s the perfect adrenaline rush for adventure seekers who have recently tied the knot. 

From stand-up paddling in the warm waters of the lagoon to hiking an active volcano, heli-flips, canyoning and abseiling down waterfalls, and exploring underground lava tunnels, Réunion is a world of adventure. 

Luxury lovers can check-in at the five-star LUX* Saint Gilles, just steps from the lagoon. Hotel Le Recif is a more affordable option, also expertly run by the same hotel group. 

LOCAL IS LEKKER: NATAL MIDLANDS

For a local adventure-moon or a beautiful spot for the wedding ceremony itself, hop into the car with your significant other and road trip to Tala Collection Game Reserve. It’s a sought-after wedding venue and honeymoon hotspot, featuring magnificent wilderness views over the Tala Valley, near Camperdown, KwaZulu-Natal.

Embark on your Afro-adventure-moon by heading out on guided sunset game drives and exploring the gorgeous greenery of the Midlands, its boutique restaurants, breweries, art galleries and padstals. The green hills beckon with hiking and adventure aplenty. 

The only challenge with these dreamy honeymoons is choosing “the one.” But don’t despair – you have a lifetime of anniversaries together – and you're sure to find ideal occasions to celebrate with a glass of fine bubbly somewhere romantic.

If you have a private jet waiting in the hangar and Dom Pérignon chilling in the fridge, there’s only one resort worth considering – North Island.