5 top honeymoon destinations in Kenya

Kenya honeymoon
Kenya offers a number of unforgettable honeymoon experiences.

Of all the journeys undertaken in our lives, the Honeymoon is inevitably the most evocative and romantic trip that most people look forward to sometime in their lifetime. Honeymoons also turn out to be among the most meticulously planned trips of all with careful thought going into every minute detail of the experience, beginning of course with the biggest decision of all which is to select a destination.

Kenya is well known as one of the most highly regarded destinations for newlyweds in all of Africa. However couples who eventually make up their minds on coming to Kenya have the task of selecting the locations they wish to visit in the country, no easy task considering Kenya has numerous places suitable for a honeymoon.

Masai Mara Giraffe
Giraffe on the Masai Mara. Photo: “Masai mara” by Christopher Michel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here are 5 of the best honeymoon destinations in Kenya.

1. Laikipia and Mount Kenya

Laikipia is currently considered one of the best wildlife conservation areas in Kenya and indeed in the whole of East Africa. This area which includes the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and further north, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, boasts one of the largest Elephant populations in Africa and is the last stronghold of the endangered Black Rhino.

The enchanting snow capped peaks of Mount Kenya, visible from most of the two conservancies above, offer a stunning backdrop to the wildlife that roams free in the vast wilderness of Laikipia, making this are a highly rewarding African honeymoon destination.

Also, the fact that there are some wonderful hotels and camps in this part of Kenya, ranging from the internationally acclaimed Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club to some exclusive boutique safari camps, only adds to the list of reasons why this region should be on every Kenyan honeymoon itinerary.

Zebras and Mount Kenya
Zebras and Mount Kenya. Photo: flickr/kimvanderwaal (CC BY 2.0)

2. Masai Mara

Arguably the most famous wildlife reserve in the world, the Masai Mara Game reserve is hands down one of the best places in Kenya and East Africa to wildlife, to include not just the ‘ Big Five’, but also the ‘Big Nine’ such as Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephants, Rhino, Giraffe, Wildebeest and Buffalo. The sheer diversity of wildlife is amazing and coupled with the fact that the reserve has a wide range of accommodation to cater to all levels of travel budgets makes it ideal for honeymooners on a budget who nonetheless want to experience a premier African wildlife destination.

The Mara, as it is commonly referred to, is a large reserve, with the eastern section being administered by the Narok County and the western section by the Mara Conservancy. The latter is actually the more scenic and also less traveled part of the Mara, thanks to the fewer number of camps and lodges allowed to build here, making it the ideal area within the Mara ecosystem for a truly special honeymoon.

With accommodation ranging from exclusive properties such as Governors Camps to beautiful lodges such as Mara Serena Lodge, Masai Mara is undeniably one of the best honeymoon locations in Kenya. One of the most exciting activities in Masai Mara, especially suitable for honeymooners is a Hot Air Balloon Safari which takes off at dawn and ends with a ‘Champagne Breakfast in the Bush’ an hour later.

Hot air balloons over Maasai Mara at sunrise
Hot air balloons over Maasai Mara at sunrise. Photo: Svein-Magne Tunli – tunliweb.noOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0

3. Amboseli

Formed from what was originally the Southern Maasai Reserve at the turn of the century, Amboseli National Park is home of one of the most prolific African Elephant populations while also being one of the best places in Kenya for magnificent views of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain which lies just across the border in Tanzania.

Indeed the park finds itself on the bucket list of most safari travelers to Kenya not least because of the awe inspiring backdrop provided by Kilimanjaro which almost seems to tower over the park. A safari here is rewarding in terms of the wildlife as well with a diverse collection of flora and fauna being one of the attractions of visiting Amboseli. There are some lovely safari properties in the park as well which include boutique luxury tented camps such as Tortillis and Satao Elerai.

Elephants at Amboseli National Park against Mount Kilimanjaro
Elephants at Amboseli National Park against Mount Kilimanjaro. Photo: Amoghavarsha JS amoghavarsha.comOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0

4. Lake Nakuru National Park

Sitting on the floor of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru is not only a picturesque park, but also one of the few locations left in East Africa where you can see both Black and White Rhino. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as being a Bird sanctuary, famed for its incredibly diverse bird life. One of the highlights of a visit to Lake Nakuru is the beautiful view of the lake surrounded by the Mau escarpment and Menengai Volcanic Crater which one may see from the Baboon Cliff viewpoint, a regular stop during a Safari game drive in the park.  Needless to say, locations such as these make a honeymoon just that much nicer.

The view from Baboon Cliff, a lookout point overseeing much of Lake Nakuru National Park.
The view from Baboon Cliff, a lookout point overseeing much of Lake Nakuru National Park. Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, CC BY-SA 3.0

5. Samburu National Reserve

Well north of Nairobi past the lush central highlands around Mount Kenya is the acclaimed Samburu Reserve. Ruggedly scenic semi arid landscapes and wide open spaces set against deep blue sunny skies await visitors to this less visited reserve which is within easy reach of Nairobi, via a 90 minute flight or by an interesting 5 hour drive on a mainly tarred road. The reserve itself is set up surrounding parts of the Ewaso Nyiro river and it is here on the banks of the river that one can see some of the reserve’s magnificent wildlife including Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo.

The river is also home to healthy populations of Hippo and Nile Crocodile. Another reason this reserve is so suited for an African Honeymoon safari is the diverse collection of several outstanding Safari properties including luxury tented camps and lodges some of which are set up on the banks of the Ewaso River.

Lion male (Panthera leo) at Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Lion male (Panthera leo) at Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. Photo: Jesse Hull – https://www.flickr.com/photos/jessehull/163706677/sizes/o/in/photolist-ft3hV-ft4EA/, CC BY 2.0

So while Kenya is blessed with such wonderful places, the thing that makes it the ideal African honeymoon destination is the fact that several of these special locations listed above can be combined into one single itinerary which could be a week or longer in duration.

There are for example several Safari Honeymoons on offer on at Shoor Safaris which include these destinations with the option of customizing the entire honeymoon tour to suit your preferences. So go ahead and start planning that truly memorable, once in a lifetime Honeymoon in Africa.