The areas we recommend for a honeymoon in Zim are the wildlife havens of Hwange National Park and Mana Pools, as well as the breathtaking Victoria Falls. The third option might surprise you – Vic Falls is known for being choc-a-bloc with travellers throughout the year! However, the lodge we like for honeymooners here is a quiet retreat, upstream of The Smoke That Thunders, so you can experience all the fun of the Falls from a surprisingly peaceful location.
Hwange is the largest national park in Zimbabwe, totalling almost 15,000 sq. km of wetlands, woodlands, and desert sands. Once used as a hunting ground, wildlife numbers dwindled significantly until the area achieved game reserve status and national park status, in 1928 and 1961 respectively. Very recent incidents of poaching have resulted in ever greater determination to protect the local animals. Today Hwange is home to 108 species of mammal and over 400 species of bird! This represents a wonderful recovery from the hunting years.
Within the park, we have two top properties for you. Linkwasha Camp is situated in the south-eastern region. Owned and operated by Wilderness Safaris, this is the most luxurious offering in all of Hwange! There are just nine tents, featuring creature comforts such as a ceiling fan, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and a mini bar. From this outstanding accommodation, you can gaze out over the plains and even watch wildlife at a nearby waterhole. Activities at Linkwasha comprise day and night game drives, further viewings from nicely secluded hides, and village visits. Staff are committed to ensuring your stay is everything your heart desires – and they are especially skilled at arranging some romantic private dining!
Moving farther east, we find Somalisa Camp, by African Bush Camps. Positioned in a gorgeous grove of acacia trees, this is a classic safari property, with only six tents. The tents are constructed from canvas and wood – and their interiors have oodles of old-world charm! All guests receive a complimentary kikoi, a traditional cotton wrap. You can lounge around in your kikois and enjoy amazing views over the parkland. Things to do include game drives and walking safaris – and for the ultimate romantic night out, you can sleep under the stars together on a raised platform!
Mana Pools is also pretty special. Located in the north of Zimbabwe, this region takes its name from the Shona word for four, referring to the number of pools here. In all, there are 2,500 sq. km of banks, islets, and smaller pools, framed by beautiful forests. The area became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984 and a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 2013! Despite threats such as mining and poaching, a wealth of wildlife resides here – including more than 350 bird species.
Here, too, we have a couple of camps to recommend to you. Both are situated in the west of the region. Ruckomechi, another property by Wilderness Safaris, is just metres from the scenic Zambezi River, amidst acacia and mahogany trees. All ten tents are made from canvas, with mesh windows to prevent insects joining you! The interiors include some local art and a few rustic touches. It is very pleasant to relax inside or outside the tent – from your private veranda, you can enjoy lovely river views. Activities include morning and afternoon game drives, nature walks, birding, river cruises, catch-and-release fishing, and an excursion to Ruckomechi’s Star Bed, to lie together and look up at the night sky!
The second property in Mana Pools that gets a big thumbs-up is Kanga Camp, within the Kanga Pan, a very remote area! If you are hoping to view astonishing amounts of animals, this little camp is perfect for you. The Pan is chock-full of lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and loads of other predators and herbivores! And night drives reveal yet another world of wildlife – for example, hyena, honey badger, and porcupine. Walking safaris are also available, while the Zambezi floodplains, about an hour’s drive from camp, provide opportunities for canoeing and fishing. Here, too, you can take a trip to a sleeping platform and enjoy time together observing the stars. The main accommodation includes a designated honeymoon tent, which boasts its very own freestanding bathtub. Bliss!
Finally, we come to Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall! Having received praise of the highest order from David Livingstone in 1855, today the Falls continue to enrapture all who view them. Featuring two wildlife parks, the area around the Falls offers some superb safari pastimes, while the Falls themselves provide some awesome adrenaline activities such as white water rafting, bungee jumping, and gorge swinging. And if you prefer peaceful pursuits, there are river cruises, village visits, and High Tea at the famous Stanley’s Terrace at Victoria Falls Hotel! A trip to Vic Falls really is a vacation of a lifetime.
We have just one property to recommend for honeymooners here – Zambezi Sands. This is a terrific tented lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River, upstream from the Falls. Victoria Falls town is 45 minutes’ drive away, while the Falls themselves are accessible via a boat ride lasting about 40 minutes. Zambezi Sands contains nine guest tents, all raised on stilts upon the banks of the River. Unusually, they are hexagonal, and full of comforts such as an overhead fan, an electronic safe, and a well-stocked mini bar! The en-suite facilities include a freestanding bath. Activities from Sands consist of game drives, game walks, guided canoe trips, fishing, village visits, and excursions to Vic Falls and the town to take advantage of all the things to do on offer! However, our top pick for honeymooners here is the sunset cruise. This launches from the lodge and winds its way slowly around the local islands. As the local wildlife turns in for the night and the sky glows pink, red, and gold, you can sip sundowners and toast the beginning of married life together.
If any of these areas and the featured properties appeals, just get in touch with us and we will help you plan your dream honeymoon!