Welcome to TierOne Travel’s “Best Romantic Destinations” series, where we will be highlighting the most romantic places to travel for couples, as recommended by our own experienced travel agents!
First in our series is African Safaris as recommended by Murray Gudmundson, a TierOne Travel Consultant very experienced and well-traveled, especially with all things “African” and “Safaris!”
Read on to learn about why an African Safari is the perfect romantic travel experience for you and the one you love.
What makes Africa an unforgettable destination for a romantic getaway?
An African safari is undoubtedly one of the top “bucket list” trips in the world! For most people who do get to experience a great African safari, it becomes one of their best-ever travel experiences, completely unlike any other trip they are likely to take in their life. So why not plan a safari for a very special occasion?
What brings in the romantic element is the remote, secluded and intimate nature of the safari camps, where personalized service is top notch. You are not sharing your honeymoon or 40th wedding anniversary with 3000 other people, as you would at an all-inclusive beach resort.
Who do you recommend this destination to?
Adventurous couples would love a romantic safari trip! Almost any traveller with the time and the budget to experience a wildlife safari would be “wowed” by seeing a pride of lions, a grouping of majestic giraffes, or an endangered rhino with her young calf at her side. While safaris are not strenuous, they do require a reasonable level of mobility to get in and out of large safari jeeps, and they require a willingness to get up really early for the dawn game drives, when wildlife is most active.
When is the best time to go to visit Africa?
The safari countries of Africa, both in East and South Africa, are year-round destinations. With a diversity of rainy seasons across the continent, there is always some part of Africa that is in the shoulder or dry season. Even travelling in the rainy, or “green” season, you will still see lots of wildlife, and have many great experiences. Most Canadians choose to travel from fall through spring when our weather is less appealing, and all those months are the “best time” for one part of Africa or another.
What are some activities / things to do in Africa for couples?
Of course, game drives are the main attraction in Africa, but there are many other great activities as well for couples to enjoy. For travellers with interest in culture, there are many opportunities to engage with local communities, visit schools supported by the safari operator, visit animal orphanages, and so on. Both East and South Africa offer gorgeous beach resorts on the Indian Ocean, and for travellers to South Africa, this country offers independent, self-drive vacations along the southern coastline, with top notch beach towns, cozy inns, wineries and vibrant Cape Town.
What are some resorts or places to stay that you recommend?
In East Africa, the highlights are gorilla safaris in Rwanda or Uganda. In Kenya, you have the Masai Mara region and the national parks at Lake Nakuru or Lake Victoria. In Tanzania, the highlights are the huge Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater National Park, and the historic island of Zanzibar, home to UNESCO Heritage Stone Town, and incredible beaches.
In Southern Africa, the highlights are Victoria Falls on the Zambia/Zimbabwe border, the Okavango Delta of Botswana, and in South Africa Kruger National Park and the surrounding private game conservancies. Also in South Africa is the Garden Route drive along the south coast (reminiscent of coastal California and the Winelands region, like our Okanagan) and the beautiful city of Cape Town, with its sophisticated restaurants, boutiques and numerous beaches.
In each of these areas of Africa, your TierOne Travel Consultant can find you stunning and unique accommodations. Travellers are usually blown away by the quality and sophistication of tourism infrastructure in Africa, and the incredible hospitality of the people.
What type of budget should a couple expect for a getaway to Africa?
Africa takes time and money to experience – there is no doubt about that! Allow a minimum of $10,000 per person for airfare and 3 weeks of excellent travel experiences.
What are the current COVID-19 restrictions and safety protocols in Africa?
The camps and lodges are already practicing a high level of COVID protocols and one must remember that travelling in Africa is about being in wide open space primarily, especially in East Africa. Even if there continues to be an issue with local populations in places like Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, this has little effect on the safari itself. A vacation to Africa is almost always planned 9-12 months ahead, so for anyone making plans now, hopefully the pandemic will be well past us by the time of travel.
About TIERONE TRAVEL CONSULTANT: Murray Gudmudson
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I enjoy experiencing new places and seeing how people live in different cultures. I enjoy vibrant and historical cities & towns, rural countryside, national parks and nature in its many forms. It’s very satisfying for me to help my clients plan vacations that bring them to the world’s special places, creating vacations that are both memorable and out of the ordinary.
I’ve been a travel agent for 24 years, and spent 8 years early in my career specializing in South Pacific, Asia and Africa travel, which I still do, though now I also work extensively with clients on trips to Europe, South and Central America, or anywhere you’d like to roam! I’m also a certified adventure travel specialist, and have visited 44 countries to date.
I look forward to working with you to create your next amazing vacation!