As a person who organized his honeymoon mainly through the internet, valuing most the really detailed posts regarding itenaries & planning, I am going to review my honeymoon in the biggest detail possible.
Planning: Gathered info from the tripadvisor and fodors forums and web sites, as well as from the websites of travel agencies and hotels in South Africa.
Booking: Air tickets from the South African Airlines websites. Hotel in Cape Town from their website. Game Lodge & road transfers between Nelspruit Airport - Lodge with Alison from Bushbreaks Reservations (a South African travel agency). Alison also helped me with a number of details and I definetely reccomend her for helping you plan your Safari.
Safari: Stayed at the excellent Exeter Dulini Game Lodge (please search for my relevant review). We had an amazing time there and we are already looking forward for our next safari. If we had high expectations of Dulini we got tenfold that... My only comment for the non-experienced in safari (like us) is that you don't rest at a safari, so if you want to combine it with a relaxed vacation then I would advice going first to Zanzibar (or somewhere similar) to spend a few days on the beach!
We had excellent ranger (Keri Ann) and tracker (Lucky) who made our whole experience much more interesting, passing us on the way a huge amount of info. We spotted a number of animals as follows:
Day 1: We missed the evening safari, although while going to the lodge we had our first encounters with two lone elephants. The first one relaxed, the second one though (a big male one) seemed that he wanted to challenge our minibus, making our driver nervous so he removed the baggage trailer and reversed for a hundred meters or so, till the elephant decided to leave the road...
Day 2, morning: Apart from a number of birds, vultures, antilope (impala, waterbucks etc) which I am going to omit in the following, we spotted two rhinos, a hyena and a leopard. Since it had been raining for the previous two days we managed to get stuck in the mud while trying to watch the leopard, but thankfully a land rover from the nearby savanah lodge came to our rescue.
Day 2, evening: This was an amazing drive. We first spotted a herd of elephants drinking water in the lake beside Dulini, then mudbathing. Then we watched a rhino for a few minutes, a buffallo, two giraffes, a giant owl, and somewhere in between a coalition of 5 male lions (saw 4 of them, herd the 5th one). We spent over 30' with the lions, the best moment being when they all started to roar together, an amazing experience!
Day 3, morning: The second most interesting drive, with highlight watching a leopard hunt impala for around an hour. We saw her two unsuccesful tries (and heard of a third unsuccessfull one later on the radio). Apart from that we saw a very big herd of elephants, an elephant in mast, a crocodile and a number of hippos.
We then went for a walking safari, although just after exiting Dulini we noticed that the herd of elephants was near so we went to the opposite direction...
Day 3, afternoon: Spotted zebra with impala, and two buffalos.
Day 4, morning: Really quiet misty morning, we asked from our ranger to let us enjoy the landscape and the nature (since it was our last drive) and spotted just a warthog. On our transfer to the airport though we passed by a herd of elephants and 3 giraffes.
Cape Town: Stayed at the Protea Hotel Victoria Junction (please search for relevant review). We generaly weren't impressed with Cape Town, especially after our safari experience. Although it has an amazing landscape, with the Table Mountain towering over it and the sea circling it, the city itself is a very western like city with almost no character at all (in our opinion). At least there are a couple of trips to do and I am refering to the wine tasing tour and the Cape Point Tour (watching seals, penguins, babboons, wild ostriches and antilopes).
Generaly my advice for other honeymooners would be:
- Luxury Safari is perfect for honeymoon
- Luxury Safari is even better if you can book it last minute (the last 15-30 days) saving 40-50% over published prices.
- Combine it if you can with a beach getaway (going there first) like a nice hotel in Zanzibar for example.
I hope I have been helpful,