Cape Town, South Africa
With the US dollar stronger than the South African rand, your dollars stretch a bit farther in this city at the southernmost point of Africa. Beautiful hotels and intimate guesthouses—some of the most epic include design-forward The Silo and resort-y One&Only Cape Town—provide impeccable service and serve as home base for exploring Cape Town’s gorgeous peaks and mountains, coastline and wildlife, from penguins to baboons. If you're into history, there’s plenty to be had, along with fantastic wine (hit La Residence in Franschhoek) and adrenaline-pumping adventure (cage diving with great whites!), to name just a few draws.
This underrated African island makes for a truly spectacular honeymoon destination. There is everything from whale watching to deserted white sand beaches, lemurs to luxury lodges. The terrain is hugely varied and includes rainforest, open savannah, highlands and desert, with lots of culture to explore in between. The penultimate stay is at Miavana by Time + Tide, an ultra-luxe retreat on picture-perfect Nosy Ankao, where you can explore the depths of the Indian Ocean while diving, and get high above it in helicopters, and track down translocated crowned lemurs in the forest, all while overnighting in dreamy digs and dining on five-star cuisine.
Do you and your partner share an intense curiosity about the world? If so, a simple beach holiday won’t do. Think about exploring somewhere exotic like Morocco. In Marrakech, a Berber-era medieval walled city, you’ll dine on mouthwatering dishes, navigate the maze-like souks holding hands, watch storytellers and musicians perform and feast your eyes on spectacular architecture and design. You can stay like kings at the palatial pink Amanjena, or go a bit more traditional in the beautiful city of Fes, at chic Riad Fes. Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot a gorgeous home base for hiking the Atlas Mountains, and Essaouira is the most charming seaside village with camels on the beach and plenty of twisting cobbled paths to explore.
Tall sand dunes, a ridiculously expansive desert, and the world’s largest free-roaming black rhino population: Namibia represents a world of both grandiosity and serenity. The southern African nation isn’t your typical safari stop, it’s so much more. New lodges and camps like the hyper-luxe and relaxing Omaanda, remote beachfront Shipwreck Lodge, and authentic in-the-bush Hoanib Valley Camp provide experiences you literally won’t be able to forget.
If the adventure of a lifetime is your honeymoon goal, gorilla trekking in Rwanda—with overnights at a completely heavenly lodge—should be at the top of the list. Wildlife safaris are almost always life-changing, but seeing gorillas up close in their habitat is a whole different proposition. Bisate Lodge and Singita Kwitonda Lodge are right next to Volcanoes National Park’s ancient rainforest and offer pampering plus more active experiences than a newlywed duo could possibly take in. In Akagera National Park, Magashi Camp offers the chance to gaze at lion prides and black rhino. And in Kigali, The Retreat at Heaven is the place for resort-style digs and enlightening artisanal and cultural tours.