A honeymoon in the bush will never be forgotten, be it in one or more of South Africa’s many national parks, or at a luxurious private game lodge (or both!) There's also the option of a coastal bush destination, which adds creatures like whales and sharks to the experience.

Did you know?

The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park on KwaZulu-Natal's Elephant Coast contains most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests and is Africa’s largest estuarine system.

When it comes to honeymoons in South Africa, one of the most popular to choose from is a honeymoon in the bush. There’s barely a corner of the country that doesn’t have a wildlife or nature reserve, be it a national park or a privately owned game farm.

Honeymoons in the bush are possible in just about every province in South Africa. The world-famous Kruger National Park straddles two provinces. The southern and northern sections, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, are quite different in ambience. The south is busier with more facilities, the north more remote with some species of game not found in the south.

In addition to South African National Parks-operated rest camps, both sections have privately run lodges where the standards are more superior. On the borders of the Kruger are two reserves noted for a clutch of upmarket lodges, namely the Sabi Sand Reserve in Mpumalanga and the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve in Limpopo. Renowned names such as Londolozi, Mala Mala, Sabi Sabi and Ulusaba among others are synonymous with these reserves.

A coastal bush honeymoon is possible at the Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. This destination is particularly rewarding because it adds two more creatures to the Big 5 – the southern right whale and the great white shark.

A top-end, privately run reserve of acclaim not too far from Addo is the Shamwari Game Reserve, which has six plush lodges.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Elephant Coast (its northern-most coast, beneath the Mozambican border) has a number of wildlife areas suited to honeymoons. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, is the star attraction here, with eight interlinking eco-systems, ancient coastal dunes and a rich marine life. Privately run reserves in the area, like the Phinda Private Game Reserve with its six lodges, are also well regarded.

The North West province has two Big 5 game parks, once again with private lodges – the Pilanesberg National Park and Madikwe Game Reserve. The location of the former, next to Sun City, allows bush honeymooners to add a touch of glitzy entertainment to their stay. Madikwe is about a four-hour drive from Johannesburg, and you're guaranteed spectacular sightings and romantic sunsets here.

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