From hot-air balloon rides to spa experiences with spectacular views: South Africa offers a range of activities that will conquer travellers’ hearts.
With its impressive landscapes, panoramic views, unique colours and exotic vibes, South Africa is the perfect destination for romantic getaways, whether for Valentine’s Day, honeymoons, special anniversaries or simply to enjoy the holidays with your partner. Here is a selection of all of the unmissable activities for couples on holiday in the land of romance.
For adventurous couples: a hot-air balloon safari
There really is nothing better than celebrating your relationship in the clouds: seeing mountains, rivers, waterfalls and the coastline from above will leave you with unforgettable memories. The most popular excursions leave from Magaliesberg, near Johannesburg, as well as from Sabie and Hazyview in Mpumalanga, Oudtshoorn in the Karoo region, Drakensberg, and the Natal Midlands in KwaZulu Natal.
Each experience has its own distinctive features, but the route that leaves from Magaliesberg is perfect for couples who are looking for adventure and incredible views. Surrounded by early morning tranquillity, the hot-air balloon starts to rise into the sky and passengers are even given a free glass of champagne to toast their spectacular flight.
There are a vast number of beautiful landscapes to enjoy from, starting with the Cradle of Humankind, one of eight World Heritage sites in South Africa and the area where the most hominin remains have ever been found – 40% of the fossils of these human ancestors were discovered here.
If you prefer to take your time to travel: Rovos Rail lets you soak in the natural wonders of South Africa from the train window
Over the last 30 years Rovos Rail has been offering train journeys around South Africa, ranging from 48 hours to two weeks, in meticulously restored old trains that travel with no more than 72 passengers.
The most luxurious train in the world has a classic interior design with a style that takes passengers back to the past.
The train offers a range of different activities, from afternoon tea to a violin and guitar duo who play every night. For those who prefer more intimate moments, the observation deck is not to be missed: gazing out over the purple mountain peaks in the distance, enjoying the breeze and trying to spot flamingos are just some of the options.
Rovos Rail offers a number of different route itineraries: one of the most popular is the two night train journey from Pretoria to Cape Town, crossing the Great Karoo, travelling through the Cape vineyards and passing by traditional villages.
For design lovers: spend the night at the most exclusive lodge at the Sabi Sabi Sands Game Reserve
For travellers who want to combine adventure with a personalised touch of elegance, the recently renovated Ivory Lodge at Lions Sands Game Reserve is the perfect choice.
Located in Sabi Sands Game Reserve (Mpumalanga), on the shores of the Sabi river, this modern accommodation is made of a concrete, wood, glass and steel structure that merges seamlessly with the path of the river, and comes with a unique tribal design.
The complex includes eight villas with one room each and the exclusive two-bedroom Fish Eagle villa with its own gym and spa, a personal chef, a field guide and an open top safari vehicle so you can enjoy tailor-made experiences. Each suite is made with natural materials that only add to the surrounding tree line, finished off with a personalised design showing the name of a native South African bird.
The private swimming pool is the perfect place to relax after an afternoon safari. Last but not least, it’s not at all unusual to see an elephant walking along the riverbank next to the lodge, offering an unplanned glimpse of wildlife provided by mother nature.
For those looking for health and wellness: an open air spa surrounded by mountains and the sea
The award-winning spa at the Twelve Apostles Hotel is an excellent way to relax and enjoy the magnificent views near Camps Bay, a short way from Cape Town.
Exclusive treatments are on offer in the open air spa at the mountain gazebos to help you soothe mind, body and spirit while you watch the sun set over the blue of the Atlantic Ocean.
All of the treatments are focused on holistic principles, combining ancient wisdom and modern experience. Each treatment begins with a foot massage and ends with the sound of the Tibetan Tingsha bell, leaving guests with a profound sense of tranquillity.
The spa menu includes a number of treatments that are specially designed for couples, such as Outdoor Bliss, which starts with the multi-sensory Rasul Treatment experience, continues with a double Swedish massage and finishes with a bottle of sparkling wine and lunch at The Spa.
Alternatively, you can try B | Together, a treatment based on the properties of rose quartz, the love stone, which is used to add positive energy to relationships, improve compassion and forgiveness, and balance the four higher chakras, easing any emotional unbalances.