In the interest of ending the year with a bang, I wanted to share photos from my absolute favorite trip of 2017—our honeymoon in South Africa and Mauritius. When we started thinking about where to go, Chris suggested South Africa, which I personally never would have been adventurous enough to chose. I am so glad he pushed me to think outside the box.
When I travel, I love to do lots of research beforehand to find all the coolest spots to visit. The thought of taking this task on in the midst of planning a wedding, working a full time job and creating content for a-listed seemed virtually impossible. Chris introduced me to an amazing online travel agency, called Audley, who hand-picked our hotels and activities and handled booking everything for us. What a dream! I highly recommend their services to any honeymoon planners out there. Read on to see photos from our trip, tips on traveling to South Africa and Mauritius, and some of our favorite things we did while we were there.
Brace yourself for a long journey if you’re traveling from the US. While there are direct flights to Cape Town from New York, we chose to make a pitstop in Dubai to shave off some of the cost. The first leg was 13 hours and the second flight was 10 hours, so I dressed comfortably and carried my skincare products with me to settle in for the long haul.
Where to Stay:
For the first four nights of our trip, we stayed at a boutique hotel called 52 de Wet in Bantry Bay, which had a luxurious bed and breakfast feel. Our favorite part about our stay there was the daily breakfast served in the dining room next to the pool and the fact that they graciously upgraded us to the penthouse for the last 2 nights we were there. The view was as incredible as the avocado toast.
What to Do:
Visit Wine Country: This one is obvious. Take the 45 minute drive from Capetown to visit the Stellenbosch wine region for a tasting and a wine safari, which is a educational tour of the grounds and the vines in a massive SUV. What more could you want? We went to the beautiful Waterford Estates and absolutely loved our experience.
Eat at The Codfather: I’m literally still dreaming of this meal in Camps Bay. This seafood joint with a clever name doesn’t have menus, but instead you go to the fish counter and handpick what you want them to prepare for you. We had ahi tuna, shrimp, scallops, lobster, crawfish and grouper, served with a selection of their housemade sauces. More butter lemon sauce for me please!
Take a Tour of the Cape: We booked a private tour of the Cape through Audley. This was such a great way to see the city’s best attractions all at once. We hiked to the top of the Southern-most tip of Africa, called Cape Point, spotted ostriches on the drive and visited Boulder Beach to see the penguins (an absolute must do!) and tried the local biltong, which is their version of beef jerky.
Try the 10 Course Meal at La Colombe: Sounds dramatic, I know, but this was seriously such an unbelievable meal. Each course was delivered to our table in an unexpected way—from the first appetizer served on a piece of marble with a message that read “Food is our theatre. Hope you enjoy the show” to the middle course served in an enchanted forest room off of the main dining room. Seeing is believing with this recommendation.
Eat at The Potluck Club: We were given the recommendation to try The Testing Kitchen, but by the time we went to make a reservation it was all booked up. We ended up at the more casual sister restaurant, The Potluck Club, and it was absolutely delicious. I don’t remember specific dishes that we ate because it was our first dinner of the trip and we were so jet lagged. But, just go here!
Safari in Sabi Sands
We flew from Cape Town to Nelspruit for the safari portion of our trip. This was a quick and easy one hour flight, followed by an incredibly bumpy two hour drive through the African countryside to our resort on the Sabi Sands game reserve. The reserve has an unfenced border with Kruger National Park, so there are plenty of animals to be seen.
Where to Stay:
You should absolutely stay at the Simbambili Game Lodge, if you are planning to go on safari in South Africa. Each guest room is situated in a raised villa with a private plunge pool and balcony set up, plus a clawfoot tub and incredibly comfortable bed. The food was impeccable, and the staff was so impressive.
What to Do:
On safari, the lodge manages your daily itinerary, and you very quickly acclimate to the regimented routine. Each morning we woke up at 5am to go on the first game drive of the day on the reserve. After a quick breakfast, you load into your Jeep with fellow travelers, hit the trail, and the magic unfolds.
The guides were so impressive at Simbambili and were determined to track down the biggest and best animals for us to see. Spotting the animals up close and personal was my absolute favorite part of our entire trip. We were lucky enough to see all of the big 5 except for the buffalo, plus plenty of giraffes, hyenas and even the hard-to-spot pangolin. After the morning game drive, we had lunch at the lodge and relaxed before doing another game drive at dusk. This one was my personal favorite, because we’d stop the car for Sundowners—a pit stop for drinks served off the front of the car as we watched the sunset. Each day would end with a delicious dinner, either under the stars or at the lodge. This trip is definitely one for your bucket list.
We drove back the two hour journey to Nelspruit and took a short plane ride to Johannesburg. From there, the flight to Mauritius was four hours. We started early on our journey early in the morning and made it to our resort in time for dinner around 9pm.
Where to Stay:
Audley recommended Constance Prince Maurice, and it was an absolute paradise. We knew when we booked this part of the trip that we just wanted to relax and rejuvenate after a week of being more adventurous in Cape Town and Sabi Sands. The pools and private beach were stunning with great food and beverage service, and we rarely left the property. Actually as I’m writing this, I’d love to teleport back there. Is that so much to ask?
What to Do:
Catamaran Ride: My birthday fell just a week or so before our wedding, so Chris surprised me with a private catamaran for a day in Mauritius as a belated celebration. This would be really fun to do if you are traveling with a group as well. We were out on the Indian Ocean for about 6 hours and the crew made us lobster and fish for lunch that they had just caught moments before.
Eat at the Floating Restaurant: Constance Prince Mauritius has several different restaurants, but our favorite was their famous floating restaurant. The dining area is situated on four different docks floating on the water, and is their most formal dining concept. We ate there a few nights and even spotted the resident shark that swims around the docks waiting for someone to drop a bit of their food off the edge. Proceed with caution.
Hit the Spa: We had an amazing couples massage in the spa on the property, and I still daydream about the delicious passionfruit flavored green tea that they gave us before and after our treatment.
Shout out to Chris for helping me take all of these photos on this trip! The ultimate Instagram husband, found.