Mary Alice and Jeff’s East African Honeymoon

Sundowner at Ol Donyo Lodge / Courtesy of Great Plains Conservation

September/October 2024 | 2 weeks | $1,000-$1,500 per person per night

I love the idea of following your childhood project through to your honeymoon in Africa. I’ve included some rough itineraries for Tanzania and Kenya, sample camps, and starting per person per night (pppn) prices. These do not include conservancy/park fees or internal flights. Final camp selection will depend on availability. There is a separate beach section at the end because these can be accessed from Kenya or Tanzania.


Tanzania’s “northern circuit,” including Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks, is possibly the most classic safari in Africa. Since you will be traveling off-peak, I can get you an excellent deal at some of the best luxury camps in the country. By taking advantage of extended stays and combo offers, we can get the price down to around $1,500 per person per night across all camps.

You would start your trip in Arusha, Tanzania, at Legendary Lodge, a cozy boutique hotel where you can unwind after your long flight.

Tarangire National Park

The next morning, take a short flight or drive to Chem Chem Lodge on the border of Tarangire National Park for your first safari. This is a fantastic luxury tented camp that promotes a “slow safari” and has great style and a solid record of wildlife conservation. Here, you can go on traditional game drives, walk or jog with the Maasai, and even see thousands of flamingoes on Lake Manyara if the flocks are there.

Serengeti National Park

From Chem Chem, take a short flight to the northern Serengeti. Your destination is Nyasi Migrational Camp, a classic canvas camp that follows the wildebeest migration. The camp has fewer amenities but is by no means rugged. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the wild. Days will be spent on game drives looking for lions, cheetahs, and other large herbivores. There are no guarantees, but this is right along the border with Kenya. You may catch the vast herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing back and forth, searching for fresh grass. This is the best place for a hot air balloon ride.

You will end your safari adventure at Mwiba Lodge – one of the most luxurious lodges in the Serengeti and one of the few on private reserves. The safari is excellent here, but you will enjoy soaking up the view from your room. The lodge is perched on a rocky outcrop that overlooks the savannah. Beyond safaris, there are authentic cultural opportunities with the local Datoga people, who are less tourist-focused than the Maasai. These camps also have amazing helicopter excursions.


There are many ways to do Kenya, but they generally start in Nairobi, fly north to the high Laikipia Plateau near Mount Kenya and/or the arid Samburu region, and then finish with the Maasai Mara. I’ve highlighted some of my favorite camps below, and we can mix and match what you like to make the ideal itinerary.


Nairobi can be a quick night at an airport hotel before departing on safari the next day. Alternatively, you can stay a couple of nights to see the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage or Giraffe Manor ($1,168/pppn). The manor is pretty booked up, but a few dates might work in combination with Solio Lodge ($1,392/pppn). The other Safari Collection camps are over budget, but Solio is a good camp and the best place to see rhinos in Kenya.

A visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust at Giraffe Manor, luxury Kenya safari / Courtesy of The Safari Collection
A visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust at Giraffe Manor / Courtesy of The Safari Collection

Northern Kenya

The Laikipia Plateau around Mount Kenya sits at around 5,000ft elevation and has great weather all year. It usually gets into the 50s at night. The safari is good, with abundant rhino, but the array of activities stands out. It’s the best place to horseback ride or mountain bike in Africa, and you can also go on longer hikes up Mount Kenya or overnight camel treks. Most camps here are family-run; Lewa House ($895/pppn) and Lewa Wilderness ($1,100/pppn) are my favorites. They have cozy rooms with great views. I also like Ol Malo ($895/pppn) if you are more adventure-oriented. It is still a working ranch with elephants around, and there is a fantastic helicopter excursion to Lake Turkana (extra charge).

Further north is the more arid Samburu region. It’s dry and rocky here, so that the wildlife can be more elusive, but there is still a healthy elephant population. One of the draws is the Reteti elephant sanctuary, which is worth a visit if you don’t see David Sheldrick in Nairobi. It’s much less touristed. Other activities include hiking and sleepouts. Sarara ($895/pppn) is my favorite camp here.

Maasai Mara

The Maasai Mara is the most famous safari area in Kenya, and you usually finish here unless you put more weight into the adventure activities in Laikipia. The Great Migration should be around in September/October, but there are no guarantees. I always book private reserves in this area to avoid crowds following the migration. My favorites are Mara Expeditions ($1,255/pppn) and Cottars 1920s Camp ($1,491). Most days will be spent on game drives following the herds, but you can also go on walks with the Maasai or take hot air balloon rides.

Beach Options

I love finishing safari honeymoons on the beach. There are many options, but one of my favorites is Manta Resort ($1000 total per night for two) on Pemba Island. Pemba is just north of Zanzibar, but it is much more laid back and less touristed. Manta is the only luxury property on the island. It is open in September but closed in October.

Manta Resort / Courtesy of Manta Resort
Manta Resort / Courtesy of Manta Resort

Alternatively, a good October option is Alphonse Island Lodge in the Seychelles. Here, you get the private island Seychelles experience for $950 per person per night – a lot less than other luxury options.

Excursion at Alphonse Island Lodge / Courtesy of Blue Safaris
Excursion at Alphonse Island Lodge / Courtesy of Blue Safaris

There are many other beach resorts in Zanzibar and Lamu (Kenya) if you are looking for a better price, and they have cultural excursions that the other more isolated resorts don’t have. I’ll pull some options together if this is appealing.


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