Best Honeymoon Destinations for South Africans on any budget

Coral Bay beach, Perhentian Kecil

Where is the best, affordable place to go on honeymoon? After traveling the world for about 6 years and working on some amazing tropical islands as a dive instructor, I have been asked this many times. A honeymoon is the ultimate excuse to splurge on a trip that you would never otherwise have done! Hopefully this article will give you some helpful  ideas.

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Where is the best cheap destination to go on Honeymoon for South Africans?

Since you have  the best reason ever to spend money on a holiday, most people want to fly to somewhere exotic.

  • The less time you have, the closer I would stay to home; two reasons, cost and jetlag. To sit in a plane for 2 of your 7 days, spend the biggest portion of your trip on transport and be dead tired and battle jetlag for 2 of your 5 days on your dream island cuts a bit on the fun.
  • Check the season, sitting in the rain for a week because you came to paradise in monsoon season is not cool.

Here are a couple of countries that  I think will be good honeymoon options and what it will cost you.

It is your honeymoon so most people want to splurge a bit, all flight prices are in the season suggested, you can cut a lot on the suggested budget by flying in low season and dropping activities.

Honeymoon Budget around R20 000

South Africa

Since you live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, you can start enjoying your honeymoon when you walk out of the ceremony! There are beautiful self drive options for every part of the country. You don’t fly anywhere, so you can spend a bit more of your budget on your honeymoon! It is not exotic, but there are many lekker things to do at home, hike, swim, braai, don’t be scared to pack a tent and even camp at some places!

Cape Point South Africa
Cape Point South Africa

Getting there

Get in your car and start driving or fly to your destination

Suggested itinerary

Some popular Road Trip options:

  • The Garden Route, Western Cape  (5 days)
    • picturesque 200km stretch of the N2 highway in the Western Cape between Mossel Bay Storms River Mouth
  • Route 62, Western Cape (3 days)
    •  Named after the R62 road that winds through the mountain passes as an alternative route from Cape Town to Port Eliazabeth, runs from the Cape Winelands to the dusty roads of the Little Karoo.
  • The Wild Coast, Eastern Cape (7 days)
    • Ruggedly beautiful route stretching from the coastal city of East London in the south of the Eastern Cape to the border of Kwa-Zulu Natal  350km to the  northeast, go through legendary beaches e.g. Coffee Bay and Port St Johns. Surf on awesome beaches you might only be sharing with a couple of cows.
  • The Kalahari and Karoo, Northern Cape (7 days)
    • Explore the road less traveled, from some of the best stargazing in the world in Sutherland to camping between lions and other predators in the Kgalagadi
  • The Panorama Route, Mpumalanga
    • From Kruger National park around the beautiful Blyde River Canyon and the historic mining town of Graskop, this is one of South Africa’s great drives.

Accommodation

Search in Booking.com, you can find nice guesthouses and some hotels with good ratings and reviews for about R900 per night



Booking.com

How much will this cost?

  • Accommodation R900 x 9 =R8000
  • Food R 500 x10 =R5000
  • Petrol R300 x 9 = R2700
  • Activities R6000
  • Total R22 000

Tanzania, Zanzibar

This little island is the perfect holiday destination, dreamy beaches, perfect white sand and crystal clear warm water. Ride around the island by scooter or explore the narrow alleys and white washed mosques and buildings of stone town. Eatsplore the night markets with a huge variety of seafood for a fantastic culinary experience, the spice island is guaranteed to surprise you. The ocean is your playground with fantastic diving, snorkeling and kitesurfing around the island. Combine the island vibe with one of the world’s best safari destinations for a unreal honeymoon.

The beautiful beaches of Kendwa on Zanzibar.
The beautiful beaches of Kendwa on Zanzibar.

Getting there

Fly Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam about R4700 search Here for flight prices. Take a ferry to Stone town R500.

Suggested itinerary

Fly to Stone Town, spend 2 days in Stone Town exploring the city, rent a scooter and cruise around the island, take a local taxi to Nungwe, spend 3 or 4 days between Nungwe and Kendwa on the beach, go back to Stone Town fly home.

Accommodation

Search in Booking.com, you can stay in nice accommodation for about R900 per night, R2000 for very nice, some of the hotels are over R5000 per night. Check the ratings and read the reviews.

Alternatives

  • You can fly directly to Zanzibar from Cape Town, the flight at significantly higher price
  • You can include 3 day camping safari in the Serengeti for about R30 000 (flights and all inclusive budget safari).

How much will this cost?

  • Flights about R9 500
  • Taxis R500
  • Ferry Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar R700 (or fly)
  • Accommodation R900 x 6 = R5400
  • Food R 650 x6 =R4000
  • Diving R3000
  • Activities R3000
  • Total R26 000

Packaged honeymoon tours including flights, meals and 7 nights in a hotel are available for as low as R20 000.

Season

  • The time to visit Zanzibar is between August and October – avoid the coast during the long rains of March to May.
  • June and July are the best months to see the wildebeest migration in the western corridor and August to September in the north of the park

Honeymoon Budget around R30 000

Russia

Are you a bit of a culture vulture? When it comes to culture, art, history and architecture there are not many better places in the world you can visit than St Petersburg. Visit the Hermitage, one of the world’s greatest museums. Go to the Mariinsky theatre and see opera, ballet or music concerts that Russia is famous for. In summer, during white nights, walk next to the cities canals all night long, in the busy streets the sun only sets for about an hour.

Opening of the bridges, white nights in St Petersburg.
Opening of the bridges, white nights in St Petersburg.

Getting there

Fly to St Petersburg, Cape Town-St Petersburg about R10 000 search Here for flight prices. 20 hours flight.

Suggested itinerary

Fly to St Petersburg, spend about 3 days exploring of this beautiful city, go to the ballet and a concert or 2. See our Complete St Petersburg Guide. Visit the parks, cathedrals around St Petersburg.Visit Moscow for a day by taking a speed train. Fly back to South Africa.

How much will this cost?

  • Flights about R20 000
  • Transport R100 x 6 = R600
  • Accommodation R900 x 6 = R5400
  • Food R 500 x6 =R3000
  • Activities R600 x 6 = R3600
  • Total R32 000

Season

The best season to visit is in summer, 21 and 22 June is the shortest night.

Sri Lanka

Do you want to go somewhere exotic, beautiful, full of culture with amazing nature and wildlife, awesome food and friendly locals? Sri Lanka definitely ticks all these boxes and you can stay and travel in luxury without breaking the bank. I loved traveling around this beautiful country by train and tuc tuc seeing a lot of wild life, great beaches with nice diving and awesome surf.

Going through tea plantations by train in Sri Lanka.
Going through tea plantations by train in Sri Lanka.

Getting there

Fly from Cape Town to Colombo for about R9000 return search Here for flights.

Accommodation

You can find nice accommodation with a good rating and reviews for about R500 a night or stay in 5 star luxury for R1500 per night. Check Here for accommodation.

Suggested itinerary

Fly to Colomobo take a taxi to Dambulla, visit Anuradhapura and climb Sigiriya Rock, take Tuc tuc to Kandi, explore the magnificent tea trail by tuc tuc, go to the famous tooth temple and sites around Kandi, after two days go to Ella do some hikes in the area. Go to the fantastic Yala National Park with the biggest leopard population in the world. Drive back to Colombo on the beautiful South Coast.

Some activities

Other than parks, temples and beautiful beaches, there is excellent surf on the east coast at Arugam Bay. The diving is nice at Trincomalee and you can snorkel with sperm whales here in season! Getting around by tuc tuc is a must in Sri Lanka, it is not too expensive to travel long distance by tuc tuc, this is a fun way to get around. Move between towns by train to admire the beautiful hills and tea plantations.

How much will this cost?

  • Flights about R18 000
  • Transport R300 x7 R2100
  • Activities R500 x 5 = R2500
  • Accommodation R800 x6 = R4800
  • Food R 600 x6 =R3600
  • Total R31 000

Season

The best time to visit the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March, while the best weather on the east coast is from April/May to September.

Mauritius

Mauritius is a beautiful island paradise located right in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  The island is  known as a honeymoon destination with its stunning beaches, lagoons, crystal clear waters and swaying palm trees. Holidaymakers are mostly found around the shimmering turquoise lagoon and beautiful beaches on the northern coast. For untouched beauty and cliffs, the East coast of Mauritius is the place to go. There are plenty of opportunity for adventure around this beautiful island. Diving and snorkeling is good on the coral reefs, the fascinating bottom topography and the open ocean currents support many large marine species. Surfing on the southwest shores for all levels, with Tamarin Bay being a good place to learn. There are plenty of routes to hike and climb on the island. Though the island has many fancy all inclusive resorts there are many things to do in Mauritius on a budget.

Getting there

Fly from Cape Town R7800 return, search Here for flight prices.

Accommodation

Search in Booking.com, you can stay in private holiday villas (apartments) with good reviews for about R600 per night, hotels start at R1500, some of the hotels are over R5000 per night. Check the ratings and read the reviews.

Suggested itinerary

Mauritius is well known for fancy hotels and resorts located on beautiful beaches, everything around the 5 star resorts are very expensive.

  • Take a taxi from Mauritius International to Trou aux Biches (R600)
  • Stay in the north for 4 days, explore the beaches, parks, swim with dolphins dive etc.
  • Rent a car, move south for 2 or 3 days, explore parks, gardens, beaches, take photos around the wild side of the island
  • Fly home

Some activities

  • Casela National Park
  • Skydiving at Riviere du Rempart.
  • Swim with Dolphins + Lunch on L’ile aux Benitiers.
  • Hike around Tamarin Falls
  • Kayak Grande Rivière Sud Est

How much will this cost?

  • Flights about R16 000
  • Car Rental R600 x 6 = R3600
  • Diving R1200 x3 =R3600
  • Activities R3000 x 2 = R6000
  • Accommodation R800 x6 = R4800
  • Food R 600 x6 =R3600
  • Total R37 000

There are many activities included in this budget almost R10 000!  Packaged honeymoon tours including flights, meals and 7 nights in a hotel are available for as low as R27 000.

Season

Mauritius is a year-round destination, with a mild tropical climate.  Peak season for tourism is from October to April and low season runs from May to September.  June to September are cool, dry months with fewer mosquitos, November to April is best for diving; the best deep-sea fishing season is from October to April; and June to August are good surfing conditions.

Honeymoon Budget around R40 000

There are many good honeymoon reasons for going to South East Asia; it is different and exotic, beautiful islands, white beaches, clear water, exiting activities and off course low prices. The main negative is distance and time to travel.

Indonesia, The Gili Islands

With more than 17 000 islands there is definitely a perfect tropical paradise that you will love in this country, the biggest problem is which island to pic!

The Gili Islands

For a beach/island honeymoon with good snorkeling, some fun places to go out and party a bit, but also have a beautiful deserted island, the Gili islands is a good place to go. The three little islands are covered in palm trees and beautiful beaches, no cars are allowed increasing the amazing island vibe. Each island has a distinct personality. Gili Trawangan is the biggest island (still small enough to walk around in an hour or so), with busy bars it is renowned for the backpacker and party scene, Gili Meno the smallest island is known as ‘the honeymoon island’ with beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, excellent diving there is only a handful of restaurants and limited accommodation, Gilli Air is a bit of a mix of the other two still a laid-back, chill out vibe, more to do than Air, but not as crazy as Trawangan.

Gili Trawangan Taxi in the rain.
Gili Trawangan Taxi in the rain.

Accommodation

Search in Booking.com, you can stay in nice accommodation for about $50 per night, $100 for very nice and $200 for amazing five star luxury.

Getting there

Fly to Denpasar, Cape Town-Denpasar about $750/R10 000 search Here for flight prices. 18 hours flight. Taxi Denpasar to Serangan $10/R150 15min drive. Fast Boat Serangan to Gilli Air $50/R750 2 hours 45min boat ride.

Suggested itinerary

Fly to Denpasar, take a taxi to Ubud, see the monkey temple, cruise through the rice paddies on a scooter, get a couple of massages. Take a taxi and a boat to Gilli Trawangan dive and party for 2 days, go to Gilli Meno or Air, island bliss for 3 days dive swim, go home.

How much will this cost?

  • Flights about $1500/R20 500
  • Taxis $40/R600
  • Boat $100 R1500
  • Accommodation $80 x 8=$640/ R8700
  • Food $60×8 =$480/R6500
  • Diving/activities $60×8 =$480/R6500
  • Total $3240/R44 000

Season

  • The wet season is  late October until late March. The Gilis never get too much rain.
  • High season is between June and late August and again at Christmas, nice weather but high prices.
  • Best months are May and September. It’s fairly dry, less crowds.

Vietnam

A land of ashtonishing natural beauty and cultural complexities, known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and vibrant cities. Don’t miss a luxury boat trip in the magnificent Halong bay, cruise on the emerald waters passing through thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rain forests, an awesome place for kayaking, climbing, hiking and diving. Visit the well-preserved ancient town of Hoi An, hike through the rice paddies of the Sapa valley or visit the magnificent highlands of Da Lat.

Cruising between towering limestone islands on the emerald water of Halong Bay.
Cruising between towering limestone islands on the emerald water of Halong Bay.

Getting there

Fly to Hanoi, Cape Town-Hanoi about R12 000 search Here for flight prices. 19 hours flight.

Suggested itinerary

Fly to Hanoi, spend about 2 days exploring the crazy streets of this fascinating city. Book a return trip to a 3 day luxury junk boat cruise on the famous Halong Bay. Fly from Ha Long Bay to Hue do a cooking course sleep one night, go with Easy Riders on the back of a motorbike to Hoi Ann. Spend 3 days in Hoi Ann, exploring beaches, fantastic food and culture in maybe the most beautiful town in Vietnam. Take a taxi to Danang, fly back to Hanoi and home.

How much will this cost?

  • Flights about R25 000, R2600
  • Taxis R600
  • Junkboat R5400
  • Motorbike trip R1700
  • Accommodation R500 x6 = R3000
  • Food R 500 x6 =R3000
  • Activities R4000
  • Total R45 000

Season

The best time to visit Vietnam is spring (February to April) and autumn (August to October). It is not so hot or rainy.

 An Adventurous Honeymoon?

Do you want to make your Honeymoon an adventure mission?

One of my favorite islands to dive in the world, liveaboard boats for a couple of days very affordable. Dive with many huge Manta Rays, walk with Komodo Dragons.

12 Day hike, awesome views, no need to carry a tent or food you stay in the Nepalese tea houses on the way.

This is an extreme honeymoon, we thought it was quite romantic camping at temperatures as low as -20C, lying in your sleeping bag for 2 days waiting for the weather to clear up to attempt the summit.

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1 Comment

  • I think it’s a very beautiful place to spend the honeymoon , and this post so informative to make the trip more interesting …. add to this the fantastic photos excited me to go there

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