Take a Soul Safari Pack as little as possible and head for Garonga Safari Camp in the Makalali Conservancy near Tzaneen. Garonga has a North African feel and a series of luxury tents overlooking a dry riverbed deep in the bush. Think gentle bush romance – game drives with bubbles, a candle lit bush bath (highly recommended), massages in their Aroma Boma and the opportunity for the wild and brave to spend a night out under the stars on the sexy Sleep Out Deck – which is basically a giant bed and lounge on a generous wooden platform in the tree tops, with astounding bush views. Go at full moon to max the experience. Garonga also arranges tailor made bush weddings and honeymoons.
Head for the mountains The luscious Magoebaskloof area has become the Wedding Capital of Limpopo, with over 50 weddings held there last year. Romancers and revelers are taking their pick from a series of charming country venues and honeymoon hideaways with a backdrop of dramatic mountains and forests. One of the most charming venues is Mina’s which is a renovated farmhouse set in soft forests with a river running through it. Nearby Cheerio Garden is famous for its spring flower spectacle – azaleas and cherry blossoms reflected in silver dams – and they will tailor make country ceremonies. One of the most romantic honeymoon cottages is Meadow Cottage at Sequoia Garden Retreat – a little stone charmer in the woods with a private dam. And the honeymoon hideaway at Glenogles Farm is a gorgeous Provence style affair in the forests looking out onto green lawns and silver trout dams. mountaingetaways.co.za
Go wild in the Waterberg The chance to slip into this enormous bath overlooking the bush is just one of the reasons to go romancing at the Ant Collection in the Waterberg mountains. It’s one of the Waterberg’s iconic bush retreats with a proud tradition of both conservation and romance. Get married on the top of a mountain, under a shady acacia tree or even on horseback. And there’s a seriously romantic little church in the bush that was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1914. Go for champagne sundowners, private starlit dinners, get serenaded by an African choir or take a helicopter flip. Choose from Ant’s Nest, a double-storey private villa whose best feature is the enormous bed, and Ant’s Hill sits above a spectacular gorge with views to faint for. And this bath.
Romance under the stars By day it’s the gentle rhythms of the African bush; by night it’s the endless galaxy. Combine your romance with a stargazing safari on this Romance under the Stars package in the Timbavati, which is one of the oldest and most beautiful spots on the western edge of the Kruger. Stay at Ngala Tented Camp which is shaded by ancient trees on the banks of the Nlharalumi riverbed. The lodge has a 60s retro feel and if you’re feeling flighty, spend the night in a luxury hide overlooking a dam. Go on game drives to explore the wild reaches where the game viewing is excellent; lie back and enjoy the night skies. Learn about the Southern Cross, Orion, Jupiter and Saturn, African stellar legends. From deep within the African bush the stars are clearer and more brilliant and the soundtrack is the sound of night birds, hyenas, lion and the wild.
Do it with the Birds One of Limpopo’s premier birding destinations, Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge is also a fine place for eco-romance, offering an utterly charming solar-powered, sustainably-built cottage for two with dramatic views of the Kudu River’s Valley. Thoro Boloka is made out of stone and wooden lintels the farm and painted in earthy colours, and from around here you will see some of the sexiest sunrises and sunsets. This is walking, strolling, chilling country. Take a guided hike of the indigenous forests with expert birder David Letsoalo perchance to see the elusive Narina Trogon and other endemic forest treasures. Kurisa Moya will arrange forest picnics and romantic dinners. They’ve been voted one of Africa’s finest, most sustainable and responsible lodges, and that certainly hits the soul spot.
Enjoy a Great African romance You may never want to leave the remarkable bathroom at the Venda Village at Leshiba Wilderness, high up in the Soutpansberg mountains, South Africa’s northernmost range. The shower is a sculpted Venda man with a muscular body and a skimpy loin cloth; the bath is a giant egg adorned by a curvaceous maiden and her erotic creatures. One side of the bathroom is open to reveal the astonishing mountain views, softened by morning cloud. The Venda Village was initially designed by acclaimed artist Noria Mabasa, who was born in the area. The mythological African décor features clay pots and sculptures of lions, bare breasted maidens, giant feet, moulded benches. The main lodge area has a pool and wild mountain views, the private villas have their own splash pools and patios. Go for champagne game drives, walk amongst the giraffe and zebras; take long hikes into the surrounding mountains and gorges. Or just stay in the delicious bathroom.