Africa is for Lovers: An African Honeymoon for the Ages

Africa is for Lovers: An African Honeymoon for the Ages. Of all the types of trips I have the opportunity to plan for clients, African honeymoons tend to be at the top of my favourites list. It’s so exciting—and rewarding—to get to show a sceptical outside world that Africa can absolutely rival—and even surpass—beloved locales like Italy or France when it comes to serving up romantic vibes and five-star accommodations.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, then, I wanted to share with you a recent three-week honeymoon in Africa (you read that right: three whole weeks) I curated and planned for an incredible couple, Alex and Caroline (Alex is actually the brilliant wedding photographer behind the images you see throughout this post!). Read on to find out more about each of the spots we sent them to—and to hear, in their own words, how truly life changing a trip to Zambia and Botswana can be.

1. It all started at Tongabezi

“When the doors rolled open to the full chorus of Tujatane singers, we were overcome with joy. What a welcome to Zambia! I remember an elation and feeling that, even 8,000+ miles away from Pennsylvania, we had arrived ‘home.’”

– Alex on his honeymoon in Africa

The first place I sent Alex and Caroline was one that’s deeply dear to my heart—Tongabezi in Livingstone. A luxe eco-lodge tucked away on the banks of the peaceful Zambezi River, Tongabezi is a hidden-gem property I often recommend to couples seeking an extraordinary African honeymoon that transports them worlds away from the everyday. As you can gather from Alex’s quote above, there is no welcome quite like a Tongabezi welcome—the Tujatane singers just set your trip off on the warmest, most exciting foot possible and help you feel less like an outsider and more like a cared for—and welcomed—guest.

I love kicking off your African honeymoon at Tongabezi for so many reasons—their next-level welcome, the stunning accommodations, the fact that a portion of your proceeds go toward funding the Tongabezi Trust School, the on-site chef who serves up custom menus featuring fresh, authentic ingredients, the fact that it’s a certified eco lodge—I could go on forever. But one of the most romantic aspects of Tongabezi is a little gem they operate called Sindabezi, a private-island  hideaway located just 15 kilometres upstream from Victoria Falls. With just a few private luxury chalets offering unspoiled views of the river—and the option to dine on your own private floating sandbar—Sindabezi serves up the kind of romance and seclusion every couple is seeking on their honeymoon.

“While the activities and accommodations were memorable, what we could not have predicted was that in just a few short days on the island of Sindabezi, we would become lifelong friends with our hosts. A bond was forged so tightly in such a short amount of time that we were quite literally brought to tears as we left the island.”

– Alex on his honeymoon in Africa

Photography by Alex Schon Photography alexschon.com

2. Onto Avani

“We were on the brink of devastation leaving Sindabezi, until we opened the double-doors to our suite at Avani and looked out the window to see wild zebras by the pool and a giraffe staring eye-level with us…”

– Alex on his honeymoon in Africa

The next place I sent Alex and Caroline on their honeymoon in Africa was Avani in Livingstone, Zambia. When it comes to experiencing the magic and majesty of Victoria Falls—one of the Natural Wonders of the World and a sight that will take your breath away—this colourful resort is hard to beat. Located in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, you can expect to get up-close-and-personal with everything from wild zebras roaming to antelope grazing. The options for adventure at Avani are endless—sunset or sunrise river cruises, champagne dinners with the Falls at your back, white-water rafting, walking safaris, swimming on the edge of the world in “The Devil’s Pool”—but I’d be remiss not to mention the best counter to all of that adventure: the spa at Avani. Alex’s wife, Caroline dubbed her service: “the best massage of my life!”

“At Avani, the resort itself was a destination that we were excited to return to from our Trips. The activities were varied and each was unique: getting a ‘free shower’ at the Falls, horseback riding with Gilbert, and our walking Safari; seeing rhinos on foot was beyond our dreams.”

– Alex on his honeymoon in Africa

Photography by Alex Schon Photography alexschon.com

3. Next up: Nxai and Tau Pan… 

“Where do I begin on the magic of Nxai Pan and Tau Pan? Caroline and I continuously commented that being in the bush felt like living in a National Geographic special, yet the accommodations were of the highest caliber – you’d never know that we were living ‘off the grid’.” 

– Alex on his honeymoon in Africa

Two truly incredible safari camps located in Botswana, I knew Nxai and Tau Pan had to be on Alex and Caroline’s African honeymoon itinerary—so my team and I arranged for a seamless transfer from Zambian luxury at Avani to a stunning stay in the bush. With luxurious accommodations (yes, even in the middle of the bush), the kind of glittering night sky that will stay with your soul for a lifetime to come, and daily game drives—a balance of elevated comforts and once-in-a-lifetime adventure defines your stay at these semi-permanent bush camps. You can expect an African honeymoon filled with warm hospitality, singing and dancing around a fire, incredible culinary delights, big-cat sightings, and the kind of awe that results from the rare juxtaposition of unparalleled luxury and unspoiled nature.

“The rooms were a paradise in the bush, and the camp was a luxury retreat. It takes a special group of people and careful planning to create such a personalized experience.”

– Alex on his honeymoon in Africa

Nxai Pan by Kwando Safaris, Photography by Alex Schon Photography alexschon.com

Tau Pan by Kwando Safaris Photography by Alex Schon Photography alexschon.com

4. Closing things out at Royal Livingstone

“Before traveling to Zambia, I had heard praises of the Royal Livingstone but oh my gosh did it exceed expectations. As Caroline exclaimed: ‘this is the height of luxury!’” 

– Alex on his honeymoon in Africa

I knew Caroline and Alex’s African honeymoon had to end with a serious bang—which is why I saved one of my all-time favourite properties for last. The final transfer of their three-week honeymoon in Africa took them to the one-and-only Royal Livingstone Resort, a luxury property just steps away from the mighty Victoria Falls. With sweeping views of both the Zambezi River and the savannah, beauty and bliss are in no short supply at Royal Livingstone. Catch an African sunset from your private veranda, curl up under the finest linens, indulge in world-class spa treatments, or enjoy a glass (or two) of champagne on the open-air sundeck with the rolling mist of Victoria Falls at your back—the options for both deep restoration and open-air adventure are truly endless at this magnificent resort. It really is the perfect way to wrap up a honeymoon in Africa for the ages.

“As our Land Cruiser pulled away from the Royal Livingstone, I looked at Caroline who had tears streaming down her cheeks. In just three weeks, Zambia and Botswana made an indelible impression upon us. While it’s sad to return to the ‘real world’ of our every-day jobs and life back home in the United States, we are eternally grateful for the memories and friendships we gained while in Africa. 

We experienced a humanity to others unlike anywhere else in the world. Every person we met – every person – gave us a piece of their heart as they opened their homeland to us. In return, a part of our souls now resides in Africa.”

– Alex on his honeymoon in Africa

Photography by Alex Schon Photography alexschon.com

Ready to experience the once-in-a-lifetime romance of an African honeymoon for yourself? Reach out today to have the Exalt Africa team get started on a custom itinerary for you and yours. 

Until next time, keep spreading the love,

Xoxo