A new series of Love Island has just started and it’s based in a luxury villa in the heart of the Franschhoek wine valley in South Africa. The stunning £1.2 million villa has three swimming pools and is set in the jaw-dropping South African countryside with beautiful mountain views. It’s the second time that the show has come from South Africa, and the programme has led to four marriages and five babies so far!
If you feel in the mood for romance then there are some gorgeously romantic places to stay in South Africa – minus the Love Island contestants! Here are just some of them.
ROMANTIC HOTELS IN WESTERN CAPE
Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel
A romantic venue for couples, honeymooners or anyone looking for some special me-time, the Strandloper Ocean offers the best of West Coast hospitality and fuss-free luxury. Nestled on the shores of the fishing village of Paternoster, its 16 rooms and suites are a fusion of beach style and contemporary luxury. Each has its own terrace or courtyard, some with small splash pools, and wide doors that open out onto breathtaking views of sky, sand, sea and space. Guests can have the time to simply be, or the adventurous can wander along the beach in search of whales and dolphins or take to the waves on a kayak.
How much: Nightly rates from £155 (R3,200) based on a Courtyard room. CHECK AVAILABILITY
Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve
Kagga Kamma is a treat for travellers seeking a unique and inspiring experience. Nestled in the Cederberg Mountains, guests can see the crisp sky stretching endlessly overhead and beautiful rock art from an ancient culture, providing the backdrop to a wonderful adventure. Kagga Kamma’s accommodation options are as unique as the landscape it is set in. The Bushman Lodge offers spacious en-suite thatched rondavels/huts. The famous ‘cave suites’ built against the sandstone rock formations will transport guests back to a prehistoric time without taking away any modern-day luxuries. Kagga Kamma also offers a one-of-a-kind Outcrop open-air “room” where guests can sleep under the stars in sheer luxury. After dark, guests can look at the skies above in Kagga Kamma’s own mini-observatory.
How much: Nightly rates from £185 (R3,804) on a B&B basis. CHECK AVAILABILITY
Tintswalo Atlantic, near Cape Town
Set in Table Mountain National Park, this chic remote hotel with Atlantic views is 6.1 km from the Cape Town suburb of Hout Bay. The 10 stylish suites are uniquely themed around different islands, and feature chandeliers, warm decor and wooden floors. All come with sitting areas, satellite TV, fireplaces and balconies. Airy bathrooms offer free-standing tubs with water views. In-room spa treatments and dining are available.
How much: Nightly rates from £379 (R7,800) on a B&B basis. CHECK AVAILABILITY
ROMANTIC HOTELS IN EASTERN CAPE
Eco-friendly pods at Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve
Two eco-friendly Pods are tucked away in a secluded spot on the Camdeboo Plains to blend in seamlessly with the landscape. These units are chic and comfortable but leave a light environmental footprint. They offer incredible proximity to nature — the perfect escape for couples, honeymooners and wildlife lovers.
How much: Nightly rates from £271 based on a standard twin room with a garden view. CHECK AVAILABILITY
Glass dome safari accommodation at Misty Mountain Reserve
Part of the Misty Mountain Reserve, the new glass Ocean Dome sits amongst the trees set 230m above sea level and has sensational views of the Indian Ocean. The clear dome is surrounded by nature and is perfect for stargazing at night or looking out onto the Indian Ocean by day. Whether lazing on the air bed with a book or soaking up the bubbles in a tub, the dome promises the ultimate relaxation experience.
How much: Nightly rates from £301 (R6,200). CHECK AVAILABILITY
Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve
Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve easily carries the flame as South Africa’s most romantic and luxurious beach getaway. Overlooking the pristine Indian Ocean in the Eastern Cape, this stellar destination hits a bull’s eye for couples craving an intimate retreat, or families planning their next get-together.
How much: Nightly rates from £407 (R8,394) based on a sea view room. CHECK AVAILABILITY
Star Bed at Samara Karoo Reserve
Sleeping two, Samara’s ‘Star Bed’ on the Milk River provides a romantic wilderness experience to take your breath away. Arrive at sunset for a picnic dinner and drinks, then watch as the local wildlife descends to the water holes. Take in spectacular views over the mountainous landscape and watch the night sky fill with stars. This is one of the best places in the world for stargazing thanks to the low light pollution. Awake to the big skies and birdsong of the Karoo as another day dawns in South Africa.
How much: Nightly rates from £333 (R6,825) per person in Karoo Lodge, minimum 3-night stay. A night in the Star Bed is an additional £244 (R5,000). Available October to May CHECK AVAILABILITY
ROMANTIC HOTELS IN LIMPOPO
Lovebirds can expect an unforgettable holiday at Lepogo Lodges’ Noka Camp. Lepogo Lodges is one of Africa’s few entirely not-for-profit high-end safari lodges and are set within the 50,000-hectare, malaria-free Lapalala Wilderness Reserve, home of the ‘big five’. Couples can choose from a range of thrilling activities such as game drives and water safaris or can relax with a yoga session or special spa treatment. Each villa also offers a unique outdoor ‘sky bed’ placed on the glass floor balcony over the ravine, providing guests with the ideal opportunity for star-gazing under the incredible African night skies, before drifting off into a peaceful slumber with their loved one.
How much: Nightly rates from £769 (R16,500) per person on an all-inclusive basis. CHECK AVAILABILITY
Shambala Private Game Reserve
The eight beautiful and luxurious chalets at its Zulu Camp, Shambala Private Game Reserve in Limpopo provide the ultimate safari experience – the Big Five. They are connected by wooden walkways that pass over little streams. Service is exceptional leaving couples to plan their own adventure as they go. Hang out at the small pool or at their open-air lounge and restaurant and you’ll get views of Sterkfonteinrivier (river) where hippos wallow.
How much: Nightly rates from £654 (R13,500) full board basis in a luxury thatched chalet. CHECK AVAILABILITY
ROMANTIC HOTELS IN NORTH WEST
Madikwe Safari Lodge – Dithaba
Life is all about celebrating special moments, and there is no better way of demonstrating your love and appreciation, than marking those milestones at the inspiring, intimate and adventure-filled setting that is Madikwe Safari Lodge. No children under the age of 16 are permitted in Dithaba so it is a lovely private and intimate experience. Nature has created the perfect picturesque surroundings for you to celebrate the occasion.
How much: Nightly rates from £815 (R16,800) per person. CHECK AVAILABILITY
ROMANTIC HOTELS IN NORTHERN CAPE
Tswalu offers a true wilderness experience. Situated on the southernmost edge of the Kalahari it offers privileged access to the largest privately protected area in South Africa. From the landmark Korannaberg mountains to the southern Kalahari’s typical arid savannah and iconic ochre dunes rippling away to the horizon, days on safari are unscripted and unhurried.
How much: Nightly rates from £2,017 (R41,580) per person on an all-inclusive basis in the Motse Suite.
ROMANTIC HOTELS IN MPUMALANGA
Saseka Tented Camp
Perched on a bend of the seasonal Monwana River, Saseka Tented Camp is one of the most sought-after luxury safari destinations in the Greater Kruger Park area. The word Saseka means ‘beautiful’ in the local Tsonga language, and everything here from the tented suites to the relaxed atmosphere, the food and personal service, is just that.
How much: Nightly rates from £388 (R8,000) per person on an all-inclusive basis. CHECK AVAILABILITY
ROMANTIC HOTELS IN KWAZULU-NATAL
Tonga Beach Lodge
This intimate, luxury lodge is nestled on the pristine coast of Northern KwaZulu-Natal, within the Isimangaliso World Heritage Park. Its clear warm waters offer superb snorkelling and unspoiled off-shore scuba diving, arguably the best in South Africa. Air-conditioned suites, mouth-watering cuisine, romantic candlelight dinners on the beach and relaxing Sea Spa treatments. Guided forest walks, kayaking, sundowners and seasonal turtle tracking are all available.
How much: Nightly rates from £252 per person. CHECK AVAILABILITY