The Best Places to Safari on a Honeymoon

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Planning your honeymoon should begin by looking at the top of your travel bucket list and checking the box!  This is no ordinary vacation, nor should you treat it as such.  What have you always wanted to do together that perhaps you’ve never done?  Where do you want to go that you’ve never been?  Where can you find romance, relaxation, and a bit of adventure all-in-one with something for both of you to enjoy?  Have you considered a honeymoon on safari?  Chances are it will be a new experience for you both and even if not, no two safari experiences are the same.

You’ll find peace and quiet, privacy, relaxation and romance, but you’ll also find adventure, a connection and bond with nature, and based on my personal experience, an awe-inspiring set of memories you’ll never forget!  A safari is truly a once-in-a-lifetime incredible experience!  But where to go and what to?  How do you plan that unforgettable trip?  We chatted with safari and honeymoon experts, DK Grand Safaris to get the scoop on where and how to plan the perfect safari vacation for newlyweds.

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A trip to East Africa is a must according to DK Grand Safaris.  You can visit the Masai Mara Game Reserve, a world-renowned safari destination and even end on a beautiful beach so you get the best of both worlds (just in case that tropical honeymoon sounds good to you too).

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For a jaw-dropping sight courtesy of Mother Nature complete with natural romance all around, make sure to select a safari with a stop at Victoria Falls, where the boarder of Zambia and Zimbabwe forms.  Talk about a romantic walk in the park!

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Or maybe a sweet hot air balloon ride for two is more your speed.  Then experience the Masai Mara from above with views you can’t get any other way and you won’t soon forget.

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And if seeing the famous “Big Five” is at the top of your bucket list, then DK Grand Safaris also suggests the Masai Mara for a great chance of catching them all.  They recommend you “focus on the private conservancies, and if you’re visiting between the August to November migration, your chances of seeing lions on the hunt are high.”

Or consider the private reserves that border famed Kruger National Park, specifically Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve.  DK Grand Safaris say leopards are fairly common here and you’ll often see the Big 5 in just a couple of days.

One more recommendation for checking the Big 5 off your bucket list?  “Private game reserves in the Eastern Cape as well as the far northern Madikwe Private Game Reserve offer fantastically easy Big 5 game viewing in a malaria-free, family-friendly environment though it should be noted that leopards are extremely elusive in these reserves.”

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Or visit one of the new seven wonders of the world.  You can experience the famous wildebeest migration complete with millions zebras, elands, and topis.  You can do this two times during the year either in the Serengeti National Park (in Feb/March) or Masai Mara Game Reserve (in July-Sept) and you’re in for a NatGO-style real-life movie!

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You can plan a safari experience that suits your needs to take you just where you want to go for as long as you see fit.  So determine in advance just how much time you plan to spend in the great outdoors and select a safari that runs the right amount of time for you – between one day and two weeks typically.  DK Grand Safaris suggests a minimum of 7 to 10 days for a great range for honeymooners.  Remember, you’ll have a bit of wedding lag and jet lag to start, and you’ll be traveling between locations so this ensures plenty of time with the animals too!  But whatever suits you best, they can customize accordingly!

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Then for a bit of a beach honeymoon mixed with the adventure of a safari, head to the East Africa Indian Ocean at the end of your journey and experience calm blue waters and all the beach sports you can imagine (and let DK Grand Safaris do all the planning for you).

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DK Grand Safaris has something for everyone looking for that ultimate safari honeymoon experience. From meals to lodging to touring the Serengeti, they’ve curated packages to ensure you have the best possible safari experience…and if you don’t see one that’s just right, they’ll customize for you too!

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Riviera Maya Honeymoon Activities: Visit the Cenotes

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If you’re headed to Riviera Maya, Mexico for your destination wedding or honeymoon, you’ll have plenty to do once you arrive.  On a recent visit to the fabulous Rosewood Mayakoba, we got the chance to experience some of the unique activities the area has to offer – like swimming in the cenotes!  That’s right, a bucket list item for me for sure, we got to swim in the beautiful underground caves known as cenotes.  There are approx 7000 of them in the region and they truly take your breath away.  You climb under the earth and when you reach your destination, you’re in a natural pool, surrounded by crystals that form and make the water incredibly refreshing (and good for your skin too!).

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If you were ever in the market for a GoPro, now is the time to get one.  It’s hard to describe how magical it is in the chilly water as you put mud on your skin and get that natural glow, like you’re in a spa but better!

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The caves are part of the Mayan culture in the area and your guide will teach you a bit about their history during the hour long excursion.

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We traveled by swanky SUV thanks to Rosewood Mayakoba and were greeted by warm towels and cold water once we emerged.  If your family and friends are up for a little adventure (and not too claustrophobic) then be sure to plan an outing under the ground and a visit to one of the many cenote spots in Riviera Maya during your destination wedding weekend.  You won’t forget or regret it!

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Photography: Dave Noonan – C10 Studios, Booking: Rosewood Mayakoba

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Bridal Shower Hot Spot in Los Angeles: Ciel Spa Beverly Hills

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More than half of all bachelorette parties take place out of town these days; so whether you’re having a destination wedding or not, chances are you might be having a destination girls weekend.  If you are, consider hitting up Hollywood, the perfect place to party, but also to relax, recover, and get ready for the big day.

For a beautiful location for a bridal shower, a spa-themed bachelorette party, or a swanky spot to get ready on your wedding day, look no further than Ciel Spa at the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel.  The all-white wonderland of beauty designed by Philippe Starck has a full service salon by IGK Hair to get you looking your best before your night out and ultra glam treatment rooms to help you recover the next day.

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Located in the heart of where all things in Los Angeles happen, you can walk to restaurants and shops or order in and walk up to your hotel room to retire when you’re done primping and pampering yourself.

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Ciel Spa is also a great gift idea for that bride-to-be getting ready for her big day.  ‘Tis the season for spa gift cards and this is one she’s sure to love.

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Ciel Spa is so pretty, the only downside is you won’t want to leave.  Even the locker room looks like a bridal paradise, complete with fresh flowers and all the spa amenities you could ask for.  And it’s boutique enough that if you want to celebrate with friends, you won’t get lost looking for one another to unwind with.

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A great place for private parties, Ciel Spa is a picture-perfect backdrop to celebrate one very lucky bride-to-be.  Whether you live in Los Angeles or are taking a trip for that once-in-a-lifetime bachelorette weekend, be sure to stop here and recover from all things wedding, before and after the big day!

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Our Must-Do List of Things to Do in Bermuda

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We’re back with the rest of our top 10 can’t miss activities and places to visit in Bermuda on a tropical honeymoon or destination wedding weekend.  If you missed the first half of our list, be sure to check it out here.  And to round out our favorites from a recent trip to Bermuda, be sure not to skip these fabulous vacation finds!

6. Watch America’s Cup Boats Train at Dockyard: Did you know that the America’s Cup race is in Bermuda in 2017? That means the teams have already moved in and are gearing up for their big day. You can catch the boats training in the harbor if you’re lucky, so head to Dock Yard for a full day of shopping, sight seeing, lunching and you might even spot a little friendly competition out on the waters.

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7. Golf at Tucker’s Point: Bermuda is home to seven golf courses, more per capita then any other county in the world, and has even been host to events like the PGA Grand Slam. If golf is your speed, I suggest splurging on a day at Tuckers Point Golf Course and you might just tee off next to a former president or Hollywood starlet enjoying a low-key day off.

8. Enjoy fresh Wahoo at Wahoo’s Bistro: Fresh fish is abundant in Bermuda and one of their local favorites is Wahoo. During your travels, take a pit stop to Wahoo’s Bistro for lunch on the water and their Wahoo fish tacos, you won’t find fresher fish anywhere out there.

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9. Tuck in to Rosewood Tucker’s Point: A 200-acre property filled with lush forests, beautiful beaches, gorgeous golf, and four swimming pools is a sprawling luxury resort fit for a queen. Rosewood Tucker’s Point sits in the ultra posh part of the island, Tucker’s Town, where celebs from around the world hide out and enjoy the view. The hotel has a beautiful British charm, large rooms in every category, and a world-class spa that includes one of only four Silver TAG showers in the world. Check in and you may never want to leave.

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10. Put your toes in the Pink Sand: Bermuda is famous for its pink sand beaches so we couldn’t possibly send you there without plenty of fun in the sun and sand. Gorgeous beaches are all around the island, many private in front of your hotel or beach club (the beach at Elbow Beach Hotel is top-notch), or head to one of the public beaches like the lesser-known but stunning Clear Water Beach Park.

No matter how you choose to spend your time in Bermuda, the island, the people, and amazing places, beaches and caves will not disappoint!

{Top Image: Courtesy of Bermuda Tourism, Bottom Three Images: Rosewood Tucker’s Point}

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10 Things to Do on a Bermuda Honeymoon or at a Destination Wedding

I recently visited the island of Bermuda for the first time and feel in love with this forgotten favorite for vacationers. Just 90 minutes from New York and a stone’s through from the coast of North Carolina, the crystal blue waters and pink sand beaches look like a postcard from the Caribbean, but it’s actually in the Atlantic, in a place all its own. And what the country has to offer guests, specifically for destination weddings and honeymoons, is certainly worth writing home about. So take a look at our top ten must-do activities and sites during your destination wedding stay in Bermuda.

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1. Swim with the Dolphins: Dolphin Quest offers up private and group swims with dolphins right in the Atlantic waters of the harbor. Tucked into their own enclosed natural habitat, these happy-as-can-be dolphins will perform tricks for you, give kisses, teach you a thing or two about conservation, and all around love on you while you and your trainer swim with and even dance with these beautiful creatures. This is a bucket list item done well by the team in Bermuda – an experience you will never forget!

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2. Jet Ski among Ship Wrecks: Take a guided tour of one of the hundreds of shipwrecked vessels along the coast and reef of Bermuda – all by jet ski with Island Sports Centre! Your personable guides will show you a wild time at high speeds while you explore the island from a different perspective. Take a dip off the side to swim with sea turtles and take time out to feed the fish too! If speed, sun, and sea are your favorite things in life, then this is for you!

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3. Get a Couple’s Massage in a Cave: You read that right – there’s a spa in the center of the Crystal Caves of Bermuda. These breathtaking caverns are lined with sparkles of limestone and chandelier clusters and complete with floating docks holding cabanas for two. Get locked into this other world below sea level and enjoy the most romantic couple’s massage on earth at Grotto Bay Beach Resort. Just imagine getting treated together as you hear the natural sounds of the cave waters below your beds in total privacy from the outside world. It’s once in a lifetime kind of romance.

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4. Dine at Waterlot Inn: For one of the best meals on the island, put your jackets on and head out for a swanky night on the town at this posh eatery at the Fairmont Southampton. The steakhouse has an old-world charm, and plenty of history to back it up. And their service today boasts that old time luxury not found many places anymore. Case in point – order up Caesar salad for two and they’ll make it for you tableside. That goes for dessert too! Regardless what you order, just don’t leave without tasting the truffle mac n’ cheese or you’ll regret it.

5. Swizzle Inn and Swagger Out at The Swizzle Inn: When in Bermuda, do as the locals do and drink up a Rum Swizzle (similar to a rum punch with a kick) and have it at the famous Swizzle Inn. A pub-like restaurant, dine inside or out on local favorites while you sip pitchers of Rum Swizzle in the sun.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of our top ten ideas for an amazing honeymoon in Bermuda!

{Top Image: The Reefs, Middle Three Images: Grotto Bay, Bottom Image: Fairmont Southampton}

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