Honeymoon in Africa- back to where it began!

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Dec 30th, 2015, 01:20 PM
  #1
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Honeymoon in Africa- back to where it began!

Planning on a honeymoon mid October 2016.

Fiance and I met in Zambia, and we'd like to do 3 (maybe 4?) nights at the Royal Livingstone. After that (or before!) we're thinking of South Africa. We're both adventurous, but my health currently doesn't allow for trekking or strenuous climbing. Also, we (I) would LOVE to spend a few nights at the beach, relaxing.

We'll have 14 days, including travel from the east coast of the US.

For South Africa- would Cape Town suffice? Could we comfortably sit on the beach for two or three days at that time of year (I've heard the Atlantic coast waters are cooler). Recommendations for a resort-style hotel and then one maybe closer to town/attractions?

Could somewhere like the Seychelles or Mauritius be a viable option for beaches, but less culture?

Thanks!
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Dec 30th, 2015, 02:49 PM
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I would go to the east coast of S Africa. The Indian Ocean is warm and gorgeous. You can fly into Durban or Richards Bay. If you want quiet and exclusivity try Thonga or Rocktail - both fully catered and serviced. For fun, beaches, wildlife and mild adventure, head to St Lucia in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The most fun town ever! See www.stluciasouthafrica.com for all the fun. Don't miss the kayak with hippos or riding with impala and zebra. You could also add a few nights in a nearby game reserve - I love Rhino River Lodge in the Zululand Rhino Reserve and Tembe Elephant Park north of St Lucia. You could also drive yourselves around Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Stay at Hilltop or Mpila Tented. A lot of culture in KwaZulu Natal (the "county" on the Indian Ocean). Easy to drive around, too.

If you are ok driving, you can easily visit Kruger National Park or the private reserves nearby depending on budget. We drive through Swaziland, with a stop in Mbabane the capitol for golf and casino. Great passport stamp. Kruger is the premier wildlife reserve in S Africa.

I'm not sure how the best itinerary wouldwork - Kruger first or last after Zambia. Or if you want to start or finish on the beach. It's entirely up to you.

Congratulations.
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Dec 31st, 2015, 05:10 AM
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Christabir- thank you so much for that response! That's wonderful, and I'll look into all of those options! One question- when you say 'riding with impala and zebra'- do you mean on horseback? I own two horses and compete, so whenever I can add horses to a trip I do!!
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Dec 31st, 2015, 05:12 PM
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I'm a horse girl too. I haven't competed in a very long time - but I qualified for the Maclay Finals a very (very) long time ago. Yes, you can do very tame horseback riding safari in St Lucia. You can also ride on the beach. The new owner is a very nice Aussie woman who adores her horses. They are working on getting permits to do overnights. Contact them before you go - Banghazi Safaris - and they might be able to arrange a ride just for you. I don't have a horse right now, but when we move to KZN I will!

If you find yourself in Johannesburg on a Sunday, there is a Lipizzaner breeding/training farm with an excellent show on Sunday mornings. We've been to all three breeding farms (Lipica in Slovenia and Vienna and Joberg) and I loved this one - pretty relaxed and they do a good job.

There are multi day riding safaris at Ants Hill north of Joberg. There are also horseback safaris at Mashatu in SE Botswana. Either a few hours or a few days. My husband is not a horse person, so I only add trails or short rides when we travel (usually when he golfs - works out well) - a multi day wouldn't work for us. Let me know if you ever want to do one, though! Lots of options for groups all over the continent! I can't imagine how great it would be.

If you want to add a rhino conservation project (and just an amazing experience), Rhino River Lodge can arrange one at Zululand Rhino Reserve. It was our best day ever - we did it for our 25th anniversary. Let me know if you'd like more info.

Have fun planning. Happy New Year!
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Jan 1st, 2016, 07:01 AM
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Happy New Year needmorevacation!

Starting in Zambia where it all began is a great idea! Royal Livingstone is lovely and so is their spa with its incredible views of the Zambezi!

You can fly direct from Livingstone to Kruger airport nearly every day of the week. This will ease the logistics of getting to one of Kruger's private reserves such as Sabi Sand and/or Timbavati much more easily. There are many lodges to choose from based upon your budget and style of travel. Some have star beds for an optional sleep out in a treehouse. Incredibly beautiful and romantic.

After your safari, you can fly out Kruger direct to Vilanculos, Mozambique. There are direct flights twice per week. The coast of Mozambique and the nearby archipelago will give you that romantic beach ending to your trip. Beautiful beaches, trips to nearby islands, snorkeling scuba etc.. I’d look at Casa Rex. Their honeymoon suite is great! That’s just one place there to consider.

An alternative would be the KwaZulu Natal area as christabir suggests. Thonga and Rocktail are great places to stay. Weather is a little harder to predict though for this time of year in this area vs coastal Mozambique. October can be rainy as the season transitions from winter to summer and the temp can be iffy as well. As for Cape Town, you might get some warm days but most likely not yet real beach weather, at least not warm enough me

Happy to help!

Best
Dianne
Africa Direct USA
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Jan 4th, 2016, 05:52 AM
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Wow! Thank you both!!

Christabir- My fiancee is like your hubby- ok for a quick ride, but nothing overnight! If you ever get to Malawi there is a great place at Kande Beach where they greatly care for their horses. The owner (whose name now escapes me) begged me to come back the next day (for some reason I couldn't?) to sit on some of the other horses- he was so impressed with how I made the horse I was on go, he offered me a job! Ha!

So excited for planning- you two have given me a great start!!!
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Jan 4th, 2016, 09:57 AM
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I was thinking about it a little. You could visit Hwange, Mana Pools, Chobe and the Okavango Delta for excellent wildlife experiences easily from Vic Falls. It really depends on budget and what you want to do. It might be better to do them first, as they start to close down for the summer season. I love the safari options in KwaZulu Natal and Kruger, but Botswana and Zimbabwe are both excellent, too. Much more expensive, though.

When we rode in St Lucia I hadn't been on a horse for quite a while. We were leaving the next day, so I didn't want to sit on an airplane for 15 hours sore. So I was happy to just walk and enjoy the sights and sounds. Thanks for the added info. Maybe next time.

Dianne - how much different can the weather be - Mozambique isn't that far? It seems unlikely to be significantly different, or does it really make a difference? Either way, the Indian Ocean is much warmer than the Atlantic off the east coast. Next year is going to be "weird" again - they are saying the El Niño is getting stronger and will go into next year. Awful. KZN is so dry. Hopefully they will get rain soon, but not flooding.
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Jan 4th, 2016, 02:18 PM
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Hi!

Christabir, you are correct. It's not significantly different in temp. For example, Durban historical averages for October between 69-75F and Vilanculos 75-82F. The chance of rain is higher though and average rainfall for the month in Durban is higher too at this time but truthfully, who can predict the weather? I'm in the Boston area and a friend of mine took a pic of a dandelion blooming after Christmas on her lawn! Tough to imagine that but yes!

As I tell my teens, the Weatherman has the best job. Where else can you be wrong so frequently and still have a job???

Best,
Dianne
Africa Direct USA
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Jan 4th, 2016, 07:01 PM
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Thanks Dianne.

I understand - I'm on Long Island. There is a pink flowering tree around the corner in full bloom. Nuts. It was finally sunny today - it's been so gloomy for months! - but finally cold but windy. Better than last year though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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