4 affordable luxury honeymoon escapes in SA

A couple embraces at the beach. Picture: Unsplash

A couple embraces at the beach. Picture: Unsplash

Published Feb 28, 2024


Planning a honeymoon is simple, right? Think of it as a glorified bae-cation and if you’ve been on plenty of bae-cations, this one is just more special because it’s your first official trip as Mr & Mrs.

Of course, you want to celebrate your union in style but with the current economic challenges, a luxurious getaway for two doesn’t have to break the bank.

South Africa has plenty of romantic destinations for newly-weds to explore. Imagine a helicopter ride on the coast, a hot-air balloon ride over the mountains or just a relaxing day out at the beach, it’s all possible and that’s why Mzansi should be considered the land of milk and honey.

So if you’re planning to tie the knot in 2024 and are looking for local destinations to explore, here are the best places for an affordable luxurious honeymoon.

The Paarl Wine Route, Western Cape

A luxury room at Lemoenkloof Guesthouse. Picture: Website

Paarl is a wine lover’s paradise and the beauty in this old-world charm destination is that it is a 45-minute drive from Cape Town.

Apart from wine touring and food experiences, the region has a varied topography with the iconic Paarl Mountain in the backdrop making it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts to go hiking, mountain biking, and horse riding trails.

The region has plenty of wine farms to visit. You can explore Mellasat Vineyards and get a taste of their white pinotage amongst their range of award-winning wines or enjoy a brunch or an early lunch at Nederburg, a contemporary winery that offers cellar tours and tasting of its vintages, plus a bistro with a patio.

If this sounds like your dream destination then consider a stay at Lemoenkloof Guesthouse, a 19th-century Victorian guest house offering bright rooms with free Wi-Fi and a private terrace.

Some offer direct access to the outdoor pool or flower garden. A stay at the guest house starts at R2 574 a night for two for the luxury room.

Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal

A room at Beachwood Boutique. Picture: Website

Ballito is a great destination for honeymooners as its close to Durban and uMhlanga, positioned within easy reach of the major safari destinations on the east coast of South Africa, including Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park and the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park World Heritage Site.

The seaside town is perfect for honeymooners looking for quiet time and beachside living. You can take a microlight flight and get amazing views of the coast or visit the many attractions that this seaside town has to offer.

Couples love staying at Beach Wood Boutique Hotel and the hotel features a restaurant and bar. A stay at the hotel starts from R3 000 a night for two.

Waterberg, Limpopo

A luxury tented camp at Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp in the Waterberg region. Picture: Instagram

If you’re looking for a safari honeymoon, the Waterberg region in Limpopo boasts some fantastic private game reserves with all kinds of adventures on offer.

This was the first region of northern South Africa to be declared a Unesco site and its extensive rock formations were shaped by hundreds of years of riverine erosion.

The Waterberg boasts archaeological finds dating back to the Stone Age, with early evolutionary finds relating to the origins of humans. It is also teeming with wildlife with excellent opportunities to see white rhinos, the Big Five and bushmen rock art.

Think of taking morning and afternoon game drives in a region with mild to hot summers and warm winters.

Consider a stay at Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp Mabula Private Game Reserve starting from R5 153 a night for two.

Garden Route, Western Cape

The Luna Cabin at the Wilderness on the Garden Route. Picture: Instagram

For endless romantic scenic drives, the Garden Route is a popular scenic stretch from the Western Cape through to the Eastern Cape.

The name is derived from the vast variety of vegetation and numerous lagoons and includes Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley.

The region has an oceanic climate, the mildest in South Africa and attractions include the rugged coastline and Tsitsikamma Mountains. There are several indigenous forests which offer hiking trails, eco-tourism and the opportunity to watch nearly 300 species of birds.

This honeymoon adventure is perfect for nature and animal lovers as it has 10 nature reserves that have protected the varied ecosystems as well as unique marine reserves home to coral reefs, dolphins and seals.

The Southern Right Whale also uses various bays along the Garden Route as nurseries once they have calved and you can also visit Tsitsikamma National Park.

Consider a stay at Nima Lodge in the Wilderness, starting from R2 550 a night for two.