Proposing to your loved one is one of those key moments in life that neither one of you is likely to forget. It’s crucial to get it just right. Choosing an unforgettable setting is vital and few places evoke a more romantic association than Africa. From a private dinner laid out on a remote beach under a multitude of African stars, a four-poster bed draped in mosquito netting in a tree house in the African bush, to the tippy top of high cinnamon coloured sand dunes that seem to go on forever and ever … take your pick from our 5 Best places to propose in Africa.
1. Namibia: On Top of Dune 45
For perfect privacy in a truly unique setting, our top place to propose to your loved one is on top of Dune 45 as the sun rises with a romantic picnic and champagne surrounded by the tallest sand dunes in the world. Located in Sossusvlei in southern Namibia, this impressive 170m dune is an adventure to climb, and as the sky turns pink and the sun peeps over the hinterland these dunes light up in a vivid cinnamon colour. Spectacular by day and magical by night as a multitude of stars illuminate the clear skies, this is a place you will never forget for its timeless sand dunes and striking desert silence.
After you’ve proposed at Sossusvlei, we recommend staying at Wolwedans Boulders Camp, a small but romantic camp set against the backdrop of massive granite boulders in the Namib Rand Nature Reserve slightly further south. Intimate and secluded (limited to only 8 guests at a time) it boasts a phenomenal setting complete with four-poster beds making it the ideal destination for the ultimate romantic gesture. Let the staff plan a desert tour, take you for sundowners on top of a mountainous plateau or arrange a candle-lit private dinner just for the two of you.
2. Kruger National Park: On Safari
Looking for an off-the-beaten-track, yet highly stylish place for your ultimate proposal? How about going down on one knee deep in the bush with lions roaring at night? Then one of the private safari camps in South Africa’s Kruger Park may be the perfect option. What about a private dinner-for-two under an ancient tree, in the bush? Or pop the question whilst on a sunset game drive, surrounded by nature and in close proximity of wild animals.
For an unforgettable proposal, we suggest the Kingston Treehouse at Lion Sands, a magnificent wood and glass affair on stilts with panoramic views over the surrounding African bush and wildlife. Here’s the best bit, it’s entirely designed to make it possible to sleep under a canopy of twinkling stars in a four-posted bed draped in mosquito netting. Not much beats this for a romantic and truly magical setting!
3. Cape Town: On Top of Table Mountain
If the bush is too remote for you and you prefer to be close to the hustle and bustle of a vibrant city, then Cape Town might be just the place for you. It has become a firm favourite amongst the jet set, with its blend of trendy wine bars, exemplary restaurants and upmarket guesthouses, and of course some of the most arresting coastal mountain and beach landscape anywhere in the world.
The obvious place to produce the ring is on top of Table Mountain, at dusk, with a bottle of champagne, gazing down on to the city bowl below. Interestingly enough two major ley-lines converge here, creating an incredible energy surge. What better place to commit to a blissful marriage? Afterwards, you can browse around the numerous jewellery shops in the Waterfront to select the perfect diamonds for your engagement ring. (A bonus is that you can claim the VAT back on your departure from South Africa
We love Tintswalo Atlantic for its incomparable location right on the ocean set against the sharp coast beneath Chapman’s Peak Drive. It doesn’t get any more secluded and romantic than at this exclusive lodge.
4. Kenya: In a Hot Air Balloon
If you think that there is nothing better than flying over Africa’s vast open plains, then this proposal is for you. It can be tricky getting down on one knee inside a basket with pilot and the roar of the burner may dampen your proposal, but what could be more romantic than floating over the vast plains of the Serengeti as herds of buffalo stampede, zebras look up and giraffe seem diminutive. At dawn or dusk with a cloudless sky it is the ultimate setting to pop the question. Many visitors to Tanzania like to buy Tanzanite, but be aware that although Tanzanite is rarer than diamonds, unfortunately it does not lend itself to an engagement ring, as this beautiful blue stone is relatively soft.
We suggest that after your life-changing proposal you stay at the Governor’s Il Moran Camp located in the Masai Mara, a classic tented camp in the East African tradition situated in Western Kenya on the edge of the great plains. Intimate and romantic, this five-star camp could be straight out of a scene of ‘Out of Africa’ with its sense of romance from an age of luxurious travel.
5. Zanzibar: On a Private Beach
For a dreamy romantic proposal set on a private island, head to one of Zanzibar’s ‘Spice Islands’. Once described by Sir David Livingstone as one of the ‘finest places in all of Africa’ these islands are renowned for their endless white sandy beaches, azure waters and coral reefs, incredible snorkelling, as well as some of Africa’s finest dive sites. For a truly barefoot luxury proposal find your own private beach and let the staff organise a special seafood dinner for the two of you at the ocean’s edge. What could be more romantic that to pop the question as the sun goes down whilst standing in the warm Indian Ocean and clinking your champagne glasses?
We think the most romantic place to stay is Mnemba Island Lodge, an idyllic private island just off the coast of Zanzibar. Perfect for unwinding and spending lazy days together under an inviting sun, lovers can also go kayaking, windsurfing, deep sea fishing or swimming with dolphins. You’ll be one of only 10 guests, and this will feel like your own slice of paradise complete with your own private butler. Pure island lovers bliss!
Popping the question will be one of the most romantic and memorable events in your life. Africa is not only the perfect destination to celebrate your honeymoon or special anniversary, but holds a certain magic that you will recount for many years to come. Fall in love with Africa by planning your unforgettable proposal in this incredible continent.