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The Perfect South Africa Honeymoon Itinerary And Guide
Honeymoon In The Winter Season
As most northern hemisphere couples choose the summer months to get married, our trip took place in August, the “winter season” for the Rand-spending folk. It was crisp in the morning but warmed up to 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-day. Optimal temperatures to spend navigating outside. Winter in South Africa spans from April-October. Note that some restaurants and things close during the winter months as this is the slow season for tourism.
While the weather in Cape Town is highly variable during these months (we got lucky and had sun every day!), the weather around Johannesburg is a nonstop sunny and pleasant climate. It is dry, but it is very comfortable and if you need to convert the Fahrenheit to Celsius, subtract 32 and divide by 1.8. Okay, enough with math and more about South Africa.
Climbing Lion’s Head
We had heard all about Table Mountain and had this slated at the top of our list. Unfortunately, the cable cars were under construction during this time so our only option was to hike Table Mountain. Johnny raved about Lion’s Head and recommended if we had to pick between Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, the latter is the winner. Lion’s Head mountain is a top priority in Cape Town and perhaps our favorite place in the city. The hike is approximately one hour up and another to come back down, but offers unrivaled views, especially during sunset. It is magnificent and a must-do if you are in the vicinity.
Other things to see in Cape Town include a free walking tour, the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay beach, Clifton beach, and Bo-Kaap neighborhood. Cape Town also has a fantastic culinary scene with steak being readily available and incredibly affordable. We wanted to try the Test Kitchen and the Pot Luck Club but they close for a few weeks in the winter months.
Cape Point Day Trip
Other visits while in Cape Town included a day tour to Boulder’s Beach to see the penguins. After visiting the penguins, the rest of day was spent at Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope, the southwestern tip of the Cape Peninsula of the African continent. Fantastic views of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and some other wild exotic animals can be seen during your time here but is mainly a hiking and sightseeing destination with expansive views.
STELLENBOSCH AND WINE COUNTRY
Departing from Cape Town, our next stop was Clouds Estate in Stellenbosch and along the way, we would visit two wine farms. This was a total scene shift from Cape Town and offered some of the most incredible mountainous views of the region.
Stellenbosch is a town half hour east of Cape Town. It is dominated by wineries and viticulture and Clouds Estate was situated right in the heart of it. The whole region is incredibly beautiful and Johnny highly recommended we spend more than a day trip here even though we are not wine experts. Since he’s spent ample time in the wine region, he came up with the itinerary and which wine farms to visit.
From Cape Town, we packed up our stuff and a private car picked us up to take us around the wine country. Our first stop was Morgenster, one of Johnny’s favorite farms. Famous for wine and olive making, this was the perfect place to start. We had the wine and olive oil pairing outside with stunning views of the mountains. The olive oil and olives were fantastic, offering a great complement to the wine. The best part? It’s so incredibly cheap compared to what we’re used to back home. A glass of wine and olive oil tasting was R50 per person ($4 USD).
BIG 5 SAFARI AT MHONDORO
The gem of the trip was our third stop, Mhondoro Game Lodge in Limpopo. If there is one thing you do in South Africa, this is it. From Cape Town, we had an early morning departure to Johannesburg. We flew on FlySAFair, a domestic discount airline for the 2 hour trip to Lanseria Airport near Pretoria. Our game lodge was located in the Limpopo province and this was the nearest airport. This is not the Kruger National Park (which was one of our original options) but the whole northeast region of the country is home to numerous game reserves, all as stunning as the Kruger.
Our Honeymoon Suite At Mhondoro
The staff at Mhondoro is beyond accommodating, catering to any dietary needs. The suites are spectacular and the view can be taken in while standing on the elevated wooden deck situated with a pool. Upon returning from dinner the indoor electric fireplace will already be running and a warm water bottle under the blanket. If you’re lucky enough (we were not), elephants will come poolside to drink and splash around.
A Visit To The Lion Park
After leaving Mhondoro we had a long ride to Jo’Berg for a flight to Mauritius. On the way we visited Lion Park and Safari for an up-close interaction with some lions and cubs. If a real safari ride wasn’t enough, the lion park is a great opportunity to get up-close with one of nature’s most fearsome predators and their lovable, playful cubs. We booked the “lion walk” safari where we were able to walk alongside teenage lions (11 mos. old) and they were already intimidatingly large. We also interacted with grown cheetahs and their cubs which was quite a treat.
Climbing Lion’s Head
Cape point Day trip
Stellenbosch and Wine Country: Day
Staying at Clouds Estate
Big 5 Safari at Mhondoro
A visit to the Lion Park
SAFETY IN SOUTH AFRICA
We had heard countless tales and media recounts of how dangerous South Africa is. Having never been there, like most people, we succumbed to some of these fears. Johnny assured us that while South Africa has its problems like any other developing nation, crime is not rampant and it is not the lawless place it’s made out to be. During our time in South Africa, we never felt unsafe at any point. I highly recommend reading his blog post on Is South Africa Safe for a better understanding of the country.
With that said, I would recommend anyone visiting to be aware of their surroundings and to not flaunt the cash. Essentially, take precautions as you would in any big city and avoid the areas that are known to have crime. We felt totally safe during our South Africa honeymoon and would highly recommend it!