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Planning a honeymoon? Here are 7 incredible itinerary ideas for an unusual, authentic and unforgettable East African honeymoon

by Tom Blakey

An East Africa honeymoon makes for one of the most romantic African holidays, with hot air balloon rides set against deep orange sunsets, cosy nights stargazing by the campfire and days relaxing in a hammock by the turquoise waters and powder white sands of the Indian Ocean.

Whether you’re interested in a classic Tanzanian safari, tracking mountain gorillas in the jungles of Rwanda or simply relaxing on the beach on the exotic island of Zanzibar, a honeymoon in East Africa is the perfect combination of adventure, relaxation and romance.

Here are our favourite and most popular East Africa honeymoon ideas, which can be tailored and customised to you and your partner's tastes:

1. Gorillas, Masai Mara & Zanzibar Honeymoon

2. Kenya & Zanzibar Honeymoon

3. Kenya Safari & Beach Honeymoon

4. Luxury Kenya Safari Honeymoon

5. Northern Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Honeymoon

6. Remote Tanzania: Safari & Beach Honeymoon

7. Selous & Zanzibar Honeymoon

1. Gorillas, Masai Mara & Zanzibar Honeymoon (11 Days)

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

From tracking wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda, to soaring over the plains of Kenya's Masai Mara in a hot air balloon, to swimming with whale sharks off the coast of Zanzibar, this 11-day Gorillas, Masai Mara & Zanzibar honeymoon is perfect for adventurous couples.

Your East Africa honeymoon starts with a trek up into Rwanda's Virunga Volcanoes, where you'll spend some time with some of the few remaining mountain gorilla families in the world. Choose your trek depending on your fitness levels and preferences, between two to eight hours.

Next, you'll take a light aircraft to the Masai Mara, in Kenya, which is an adventure in its own right, as you'll even be able to spot wildlife from the air. Once on the ground, you'll be treated to sightings of Africa's Big Five (leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino and elephant), as well as the Great Migration.

Your honeymoon ends on the idyllic island of Zanzibar, where you can take a cultural tour of Stone Town, island-hop around the Indian Ocean, swim with whale sharks (depending on the season) and simply relax on powder white sands, as turquoise waves lap against the shore.

2. Kenya & Zanzibar Honeymoon (12 Days)

Beach in Zanzibar

A romantic East Africa honeymoon to Kenya and Zanzibar features luxury accommodation, incredible safari experiences and a tranquil beach paradise. Spot big game in the Masai Mara, then dig your feet into the sugary sands of the perfect beach, with cocktails in hand.

The Masai Mara reserve is known as one of the best wildlife viewing destinations on the continent, renowned for big cats, large herds of herbivores, as well as spectacular sunsets. Enjoy morning and evening game drives, bush walks with Masaai warriors and candlelit dinners under the stars.

Next, you'll hop over to the stunning beaches of Zanzibar, where you can explore colourful coral reefs teeming with marine life, relax in simple chalets in remote and secluded corners of the islands, and enjoy a multitude of activities such as kayaking, surfing, dolphin safaris and more.

3. Kenya Safari & Beach Honeymoon (8 Days)

Hot air balloon over Masai Mara plains

Another East Africa honeymoon idea is to combine a Masai Mara safari with time on the Kenyan coast, unwinding on the white sands of Diani Beach. Enjoy all the incredible wildlife-watching safari activities of the Mara, then head east to the ocean on this Kenya Safari & Beach Honeymoon.

If you time your Masai Mara safari right, you'll be able to witness the power of the Great Migration; the ancient annual cycle of wildebeest and zebra as they journey between the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Mara in Kenya. This phenomenon is known as "The Greatest Show on Earth."

On the gorgeous shores of Diani Beach, you'll choose activities such as waterfall hikes, forest trekking, cultural tours with the Digo people, as well as watersports including diving, snorkelling, paddle-boarding and kite-surfing. Then, treat yourself to couples massage right on the beachfront.

4. Luxury Kenya Safari Honeymoon (7 Days)

Zebras in Masai Mara

If you'd prefer more safari time than beach time, then this East Africa honeymoon is for you. Your luxury Kenya safari honeymoon begins in the north, in Samburu, where you'll enjoy wildlife-watching in the Kalama Conservancy and Samburu National Park, before heading to the Mara.

Learn about the colourful culture of the Samburu people, take thrilling walking safaris with Samburu guides and spot the "Samburu Five" out on game drives; Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk and Somali Ostrich, which can only be found in this part of Kenya.

Then, head to the famous plains of the Masai Mara, where you can observe the Great Migration and tick off Africa's Big Five by road, by air hot air balloon and on foot, with a guided bush walk. Try a night game drive for encounters with nocturnal creatures and see the Mara come alive after dark.

5. Northern Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Honeymoon (12 Days)

Herds in Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

This East Africa honeymoon to Northern Tanzania & Zanzibar includes incredible game drives in the national parks of Tarangire, Lake Manyara and the Serengeti, plus the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater. You’ll also have a few days of post-safari relaxation on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar.

Follow hundreds-strong herds of elephant in Tarangire, spot species of primates in the dense forest of the Great Rift Valley, see Africa's Big Five and the Great Migration in the Serengeti and explore the UNESCO-protected natural phenomenon of the Ngorongoro Crater, teeming with wildlife.

After the highlights of northern Tanzania, you'll head out east to the semi-autonomous island if Zanzibar and its surrounding islets. Mafia Island promises migrating whale shark encounters and gorgeous coral gardens, whilst quiet Pemba is a remote green oasis encased in turquoise waters.

6. Remote Tanzania: Safari & Beach Honeymoon (12 Days)

Giraffe in Kenya

This off-the-beaten-track East Africa honeymoon itinerary reveals remote safari destinations and hidden beach island gems. Explore the wilderness in Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park, then unwind with five nights on quiet Mafia Island, on this Remote Tanzania Honeymoon.

In the Selous, enjoy bush walks, game drives or boat safaris, and spot elusive species such as leopard and critically endangered African wild dog.

Next, you'll meet the huge lion prides of Ruaha, which are infamous for taking on elephants, giraffes, hippos and buffalo for their prey. Ruaha is most significant national park in Tanzania after the Serengeti, but only receives around 5% of the tourists that the Serengeti does.

Tranquil Mafia Island is globally recognised as a critical site for marine biodiversity, home to the biggest marine protected area in the Indian Ocean. Discover graceful manta rays, playful dolphins, giant whale sharks, colourful clown fish and an abundance of sealife in vibrant coral ecosystems. 

7. Selous & Zanzibar Honeymoon (10 Days)

Cheeatah family with cubs

Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest wildlife reserves in the world and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an authentic and remote safari, followed by island downtime on this Selous & Zanzibar honeymoon, one of our most popular safari and beach combinations.

Explore Selous on a walking safari, with the option for an overnight stay at a fly camp, where you can sleep underneath the stars. Wildlife-watch from the water on a boat safari and enjoy self-drive game drives and open safari vehicles, which aren't possible in Tanzania’s northern parks.

Finally, spend your last few days on idyllic Zanzibar, when you can discover an incredible underwater world of diving spots, explore deep underwater cliffs, ride secret windsurfing spots that only locals know about and spend days lazing in the sun, gazing out at the perfect ocean view.

East Africa Honeymoon Accommodations

We appreciate that every couple has their own preferences with regards to where you want to stay, but here are some of the luxury lodges, romantic resorts and beautiful boutique hotels we recommend for intimate East Africa honeymoons:

Saruni Mara - Masai Mara, Kenya

Saruni Mara

This is the only small boutique lodge in the Mara, with five elegant cottages, one family villa and one private villa.

The lodge is nestled in a secluded valley in the heart of the most exciting wilderness in Africa: the Mara North Conservancy – an exclusive, private wildlife concession bordering the world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve.

The honeymoon suite

We recommend that you stay in the Love Shack (photo above), which is a secluded cottage, known as Saruni Mara's honeymoon suite. The neutral colour scheme, elegant furnishings and beautiful antiques exude classic elegance and romance.

The bedroom is very spacious, and opens out onto a large veranda with a magnificent view of the valley leading onto the Masai plains, which makes for the perfect private dining area.

Konokono Beach Resort - Zanzibar

Konokono Beach Resort

Konokono Beach Resort is located on the Michamvi Peninsula on the east coast of Zanzibar, one of the most tranquil and secluded places on the island. This resort is a quiet paradise offering privacy and romance in the heart of nature.

You’ll find all the modern luxuries, such as a beach bar, restaurant, pool and spa, which are designed relaxation in mind. After long, lazy beach days you can enjoy sundowners on the sand, listening to the ocean waves.

Almanara Boutique Hotel - Diani Beach, Kenya

Almanara boutique hotel poolLocated south of Mombasa, on the Kenyan coast, Diani Beach rests between the clear waters of the Indian Ocean and the open plains of the Shimba Hills National Reserve. Stretching 25 kilometres along the coastline, pearl white sands and lush green forests provide a backdrop of serenity.

Tucked amidst the towering palms and tropical gardens, Almanara Luxury Villas is comprised of six secluded villas, alongside its gorgeous Boutique Hotel.

Complete with personal chef and maid services, this all-inclusive resort provides guests with the chance to enjoy 5-star luxury with a special focus on the personal quality of the service.

Pole Pole Lodge - Mafia Island, TanzaniaPole Pole Lodge in Mafia Island

Considered one of the most exclusive eco-resorts in the world, Pole Pole Lodge is renowned for its great cuisine, unpretentious and laidback atmosphere, and warm but discrete hospitality.

Balancing barefoot luxury with respect for local culture and environment, it is the perfect place to relax after a safari, and the ideal base for exploring the underwater wonders of Mafia Island.

Saruni Samburu - Samburu Reserve, Kenya

Saruni Samburu viewing deck

Saruni Samburu’s six luxury villas are open and spacious, heralding spectacular views over the Kalama Conservancy and Mount Kenya.

As the only lodge in over 200,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness (home to rare endemic wildlife) to explore exclusively, and guided by Samburu tribesmen passionate about their land and culture, the safari experience at Saruni Samburu is intimate and truly exceptional.

East Africa Honeymoon Extras

Consider optional extras which will make your honeymoon even more special and personal to you as a couple, such as a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the plains of the Masai Mara followed by a champagne breakfast or a romantic beach dinner under the stars.

When we book your accommodation we’ll let them know that you’re on your honeymoon as we know from experience that the lodges, resorts and hotels we use will go out of their way to make your honeymoon even more memorable - with extra touches such as candlelit private dinners, room upgrades, massage treatments or a complimentary bottle of bubbly on arrival.

If you'd like to start planning your East Africa honeymoon, call our Luxury Travel Specialists for a chat about your dream trip or fill out our no-obligation enquiry form by clicking the button below:

Start Planning Your East Africa Honeymoon

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