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Photo by Nadine Aucamp

There’s a reason why South Africa appears on so many top honeymoon lists. It’s more than just a destination for romance – romance is at its very heart. It’s in the crash of the waves of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, meeting at the tip of a continent, where seals bask in rocky bays and whales make their annual pilgrimage from the deep. It’s in the sounds that fill the starry African night – the symphony of cicadas, the nightjar’s lonely trill, the chatter of hyenas. It’s in the stars themselves – those points of fire that led sailors to safety by the light of the Southern Cross. Whatever romance means to you – sleeping on a sunny beach, basking in luxury, sharing new cultures or wild adventures – South Africa has it in abundance. Here’s our top 10 most romantic ways to spend a South African honeymoon.

  • Picnic in a vineyard: A visit to the Cape winelands means glorious scenery, delicious cuisine and wonderful wines (of course), and there are dozens of farms offering tastings along the way. Get the best of it all by pre-ordering a gourmet picnic – Buitenverwachting and Mont Rochelle come recommended.
  • Eat oysters in Knysna: Since oysters are a famous aphrodisiac, what better to enjoy with your honey than the annual Knysna Oyster Festival (held in July)? Beyond that, you can stay in a treehouse, laze on one of the beaches or add to your art collection at one of the local galleries.
  • Watch the sun set from Table Mountain: It’s a popular Cape Town tourist attraction during the day year round, but in the summertime you can take a late cable car up to Table Mountain and enjoy an African sunset with one of the best views on earth.
  • Live the Out of Africa fantasy: South Africa has a huge number of safari options, whatever your budget, from exclusive private reserves like Richard Branson’s Ulusaba to the famous Kruger National Park. Days start with dawn game drives, and end with G&Ts under a velvety night sky.
  • Book a dinner à deux : South Africa’s cities are full of wonderful restaurants, but the most romantic table for two has to be at five star Bushmans Kloof in the Cedarberg, where staff will set up private dining experiences at a range of special locations in the reserve, including a walled garden, a secluded river boma, or a picnic table laid out among the spring flowers.

Photo by Bright Girl 

  • Get your heart racing: Adrenaline enthusiasts will have the time of their lives in South Africa, where adventures include shark cage diving with Great Whites, bungee jumping from Africa’s highest bridge, white water rafting along the mighty Orange River, or zipping through the lush Blue Grotto Forest on a canopy tour.
  • Take the Blue Train: A trip on South Africa’s most luxurious train is a step back in time to the era of steam and locomotives, silks and tuxedos, complete with a stop in diamond town Kimberley or Victorian Matjiesfontein. From 2016, the train will also add a regular route to the Kruger National Park – a dream start to your safari.
  • Sail away in a hot air balloon: Another deliciously nostalgic means of transport, a hot air balloon ride is a favourite with honeymooning couples. While there are several great location options around the country, one of the most memorable is over the undulating grasslands of the Cradle of Humankind, just an hour from Johannesburg. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to 40% of all human ancestor fossils, as well as birds, wildlife and picturesque views.
  • Watch whales in Hermanus: Although summer is the most popular season for visitors, winter brings a special kind of magic to the Cape coast, with regular sightings of southern right whales, as well as humpbacks and minkes. It’s also a good excuse to spend time in some of the charming fishing villages along the way, with their rustic whitewashed cottages, freshly caught seafood and quirky antique shops.
  • Pamper yourselves at an African spa: For the ultimate post-wedding chill-out session, book yourselves in to one of the many acclaimed South African spas, some of which combine local plants, herbs and minerals with African rituals and ceremonies to make the experience truly special.

Ms Zebra Says: Africa is such an incredible place with beautiful people, animals and scenery. What a wonderful way to spend a honeymoon with your love!

About Gaby Frescura: “I’m the proudly South African owner and editor of SouthBound Bride. I started SBB in May 2010, as a way to showcase the beautiful weddings of my home country, and to connect brides both local and long-distance with the best of wedding pros. I’ve been inspired by my readers and industry friends ever since. I never thought when I started this journey that poring over pretty things and romantic love stories would lead to becoming a full-time girlboss, or meeting the amazing friends and colleagues that I have along the way, but I’m so lucky that it has!”

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Autumn in Scotland is a season everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime! Call me biased, however the warmly coloured trees shedding carpets of leaves, the chilly air that makes perfect weather for walking (and warming up in), and the often clear blue skies will no doubt win your heart. If you’re off on an adventure through Scotland and are travelling through the centre, here are some must see spots to swing by!

Beginning with St Andrew’s, which admittedly isn’t so much central Scotland as on the coast, this town is mostly university, but filled with sweet little shops, incredible history and ruins, and great sweeping beaches. Balgove Larder can serve up a delicious date scone, or perhaps the steak barn may lure you in with is sizzling specials. A beautiful farm shop stocked with locally sourced produce, artisan goods, flowers and more, the larder will have you well fed in no time! If you’re looking for a picnic in the cathedral ruins or down by the water, grab fish and chips from Cromar’s – the best chippy in Scotland this year! From St Andrew’s, it’s a quick drive to Dundee, and with its newly renovated waterfront and brand new V&A museum (the first outside London), this town is also worth a wander.

both images via Guardswell Farm

If a spot to rest your weary head is on the list, look no further than beautiful Guardswell Farm. With a range of different accommodation options, this farm based set-up has spectacular views, and will gift you with a detox using country air! Wood burning stoves will keep you cosy, flowers from the garden will welcome you in and Guardswell eggs and sausages might just be on the menu! Providing a gorgeous set-up for weddings is also available, which is simply the cherry on top! Dalmunzie Estate (pronounced ‘Dal-mung-y’ if you’re a local) also provides stunning accommodation close to the Cairngorm National Park, the heart of the Scottish Highlands. With dramatic views and being quite close to many a whiskey or gin distillery (yes please!), both spots will immerse you in the breathtaking Scottish countryside.

The Hermitage

Strap on your walking boots and dig out your waterproof jacket, there are some incredible walks to discover in this area of Scotland. Drive to Kenmore for a spectacular view over Loch Tay, then wind back to Aberfeldy where a walk up the Birks ‘O Aberfeldy is a must, particularly in Autumn. The coloured birch trees will knock your socks off with their beauty, and the falls will take your breath away! Pop into The Watermill Bookstore, a lovely, small independent bookshop, and wander over to Homer for some homewares to bring back with you. Drive back to Dunkeld, where a stop into Flora Sheddon’s Aran Bakery is a must! With mouth wateringly good tarts, loaves and lunch delights (plus a gingerbread cake to die for), after tasting just about one of everything, I can enthusiastically recommend a visit. Also baking delicious wedding cakes decorated with wildflowers, the bakery is just around the corner from the gorgeous gift shop The Blue Magpie and Dunkeld Smoked Salmon, delicious fish fit for the Queen! If you’re still up for one last adventure, head to The Hermitage for a look at the falls. Ten minutes in and the scenery will leave you speechless!

both images via Aran Bakery

There is so much more to discover, (I haven’t even mentioned the berries come Summer time!), but these tips will give you a great starting point if you’re looking to explore this beautiful corner of the world. Visit the pretty town of Perth full of lovely independent stores, watch out for the pheasants running across the road, try some haggis if you must and you’ll find around every corner there’s SO much more to discover!

All uncredited images by Nicola Goring

 

Ms Zebra Says: What a fantastic insight and guide to Scotland. It seems there’s a million things to do and discover! Thanks Ms Honeycomb for such a comprehensive list of to-do’s if you’re heading over that way!

About Ms Honeycomb: Hi, I’m Nicola, the florist and crafter behind rubyandjoy. I’m a gardening, fabric loving, mint tea drinking, brownie baking, book obsessed maker! I love a good adventure having just moved back from five years in Scotland (with my lovely Scottish husband).

Wedding Venue & Accomodation: Guardswell Farm / Bakery: Aran Bakery / Venue: Balgove Larder / Accommodation: Dalmunzie Estate

If I had to make a list of my top destinations in the world to elope? You can bet New Zealand sits right up there. Amazing waterfalls, mountain peaks, snow – what more could you want for a backdrop that takes your breath away?

It’s why we couldn’t go past this inspiration shoot of a rainforest elopement. The amazing river backdrop giving a moody edge, a depth to a simply romantic set of images.

With Sarah McEvoy Photography behind the camera, and Folk Yeah! capturing the motion, our “bride” dressed in a beaded gown by Paper Swan Bride, with jewels from Madame Fancy Pants and hair and makeup by The Powder Room NZ, while our “groom” (can we talk about that moustache?) chose a classic tuxedo from Crane Brothers. But it’s the flowers, oh the flowers, that really steal the show with their shades of buttery yellow with beautiful silvered eucalyptus foliage, complementing the blush and cream blooms, styled beautifully by Swoon Flowers.

Photographer Sarah shares “The untouched wilderness of Rivendell, where New Zealand’s native rainforest spills down steep gully’s to the edge of the grey stone banks of the Hutt River, provided the moody location for our romantic wedding inspiration shoot. We took an elegant and formal wedding look out of its traditional setting and into nature, edging it up with wildflowers, boots, and a fur coat. Sheltering from the rain, under a dripping tree canopy, in your lover’s arms.”

 

Photographer: Sarah McEvoy Photography / Cinematographer: Folk Yeah! / Bride's Dress: Anna Campbell / Bridal Salon: Paper Swan Bride / Bride's Jewellery: Madame Fancy Pants / Groom's Attire: Crane Brothers / Hair & Makeup Artist: The Powder Room NZ / Flowers: Swoon Flowers