The big day is nearly upon us, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot at Windsor Castle on May 19. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are expected to watch and listen to proceedings. With an estimated cost of £30 million and street parties up and down the UK, it is set to be a wonderful spectacle.
Swiftly after the wedding ceremony, attention will turn to the honeymoon (if it hasn’t already). For months, the world’s press has been speculating which country will host the newlyweds. Whichever country they select will undoubtedly see a nice upwards spike in tourism.
According to many sources (and bookmakers), the continent of choice for the honeymooners is Africa. With Namibia, Botswana, Rwanda, Seychelles and Malawi all being tipped as favourites. This is a sensible prediction given both Harry and Meghan’s history with Africa.
Prince Harry has long been involved in African conservation from his early visits to Kenya with Prince William to helping rhino conservation in Botswana to recently helping translocate 500 elephants in Malawi. It is widely known that Prince Harry has long been a fan of Africa having completed several humanitarian projects over here including opening his own charity in Lesotho and stating that he felt he could be himself over here with residents treating him no differently to each other.
“I have this love of Africa that will never disappear – and I hope it carries on with my children as well.”
Markle too has long been a fan of the continent and visited Rwanda in 2014 as a World Vision Ambassador.
And, of course, It was in Botswana the couple first fell in love. After just 2 dates Harry whisked Markle away for a 5-night trip to Botswana. They returned to Botswana just a few months ago after Harry completed his work in Malawi with Project 500 elephants. They took a romantic tour of the country and ended in Victoria Falls before flying home. In fact, the centre diamond from Meghan’s engagement ring is from Botswana
So our big question is will they return for the honeymoon and if they do where will they go? We may not be able to find you a prince but we can organise a honeymoon fit for a princess! Below we have listed some of the most romantic lodges in Malawi & Zambia.
The Prince was recently here helping out with the move of over 500 elephants with African Parks, to reduce human-animal conflict and help create safe environments for the elephants to be homed in. Most of these elephants were re-homed in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve an incredible wild area in the north of Malawi. With only a couple of lodges it is an incredibly private wilderness retreat, here you can take part in walking safaris, canoeing, fishing and bird safaris.
Tongole Wilderness Lodge is an incredibly romantic and picturesque lodge. Each room has a huge sunken bath (plenty big enough for two) and a wooden deck overlooking the forests and the Bua river which runs through the park. The river is the ideal setting for a relaxing canoe safari where you can enjoy the tranquillity and pristine surroundings looking out for diverse birdlife, crocodiles and elephants.
From here you can travel south to Liwonde National Park. It was taken over in 2015 by African Parks who have managed to turn the park around from what was once nearly decimated by poaching to the flourishing haven it is today.
It was from here most of the booming population of elephants were taken to be re-homed in Nkhotakota. Cheetah was recently re-introduced and very sweetly 7 cubs were born over Mother’s Day weekend, a fantastic success story. Lion has also been re-introduced. It is THE park to visit to see conservation at its best.
For a real treat, we suggest Mvuu Lodge, the small and intimate camp is perched on a marsh at the edge of the Shire River. The rooms all look out towards the marsh which is a hotspot for animal activity, you literally walk out your cabin to the sight of hippos and antelope nibbling the grass, monkeys picking fruits off the surrounding trees, warthogs digging up roots and we are told the cheetah using this as the perfect hunting ground.
You can’t come to Malawi and not visit the lake. Famous for its crystal clear blue waters and white sandy beaches we would highly recommend hopping on a small plane to fly to the middle of the lake to Likoma Island to spend a few nights at Kaya Mawa. The gorgeous lodge is set into a rocky outcrop with views over the lake hidden among the ancient baobab and mango trees. The ultimate private island paradise the whole lodge was built by hand in partnership with the local community something we are sure the Prince would approve of!
Just a few hours drive from Malawi, Zambia is another fantastic safari destination from the famous leopard filled South Luangwa to the incredible scenery of the Lower Zambezi and of course the famous Victoria Falls.
South Luangwa is well known for its wealth of wildlife and fantastic sightings! With a huge concentration of leopards, it is the place for cat sightings. There are some fantastic bush camps and it is well known for its excellent walking safaris. There is nothing better than a day of exploring the bush followed by a cold G&T as the sunsets before sleeping out under the stars.
Here you can stay in a variety of lodges. However, for something special why not try Kaingo and Mwamba bushcamp for an authentic bush experience, with a huge array of photographic hides a prime location and incredible rooms it is truly the utmost experience for those who love wildlife. Kaingo has beautiful rooms with huge beds your own private deck overlooking the river and a huge outdoor bath, here you can enjoy incredible meals from surprise bush breakfasts to sumptuous afternoon cake.
For a romantic treat, you can arrange for an overnight sleep out in the tree house. With only a mosquito net between you and the stars, it is the perfect place to appreciate the twinkling night sky and the sounds of the animals at night. Here you can take one of the famous bush walks between the two camps exploring the smaller animals and plants.
Lower Zambezi is well known for its diversity of activities from boat safaris to fishing, game drives, bush walks and if you are feeling adventurous take a canoe out onto the mighty Zambezi! For that special touch head to Sausage Tree Camp the epitome of bush chic, with its lavish interiors and attention to detail. The honeymoon suite has its own private pool so why not make the most of the exceptional service and enjoy a cocktail in the cool pool as you cool off in the heat of the day.
A trip to Zambia couldn’t be complete without a visit to Victoria Falls, one of the greatest wonders of the world you can see the columns of spray for miles. This beautiful and romantic backdrop is just the icing on the cake. Stay in the surrounding reserve to see some of Zambia’s only rhinos or for adrenaline junkies take a zip line over the falls or a tandem bungee with your better half, raft down the river below or jump into devil’s pool for a close-up view of the water’s edge.
There is a huge variety of accommodation here but for romance look no further than Tongabezi, hidden just upstream of the falls it has unique luxury open plan houses and luxury cottages.
Does a Malawi Zambia combination sound like a royally good honeymoon to you? If you’d like us to arrange an unforgettable trip for your prince or princess email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chloe is our marketing manager, hailing from Scotland she has swopped the snow for the sun and joined us in July 2017. She has a rich background in the industry starting out as a guide in South Africa and then working in sales for the last 6 years. She has travelled Africa extensively from the jungles of the Congo to the plains of the Serengeti and now has found herself immersed in Zambia & Malawi. She is a keen explorer and has a firm love of the bush if you can’t reach her in the office she will most definitely be knee deep in elephant poop looking for her beloved dung beetles!