Ready to take a walk – or rather, a juddering four-wheel drive – on the wild side? For an adventurous vacay à deux like no other, the professional romantics at Mr & Mrs Smith have scoured the sun-drenched plains of Australia and Africa to bring you five of the sexiest safari-moons. And once you’ve ticked off the Big Five, return to your boutique base camp for a romantic escapade of your own.
This boutique safari lodge in the Kruger National Park has its own private waterhole, where giraffes come to drink – talk about out-classing your local. Royal Malewane’s guest rooms are decorated in impeccable colonial style: mahogany four-poster beds, open fireplaces (lit for you nightly), limestone bathrooms with freestanding tubs, and huge windows with views that mean you're on 24-hour safari. It's also catered to loved-up honeymooners, so treat yourselves to one of the palatial suites outfitted with indoor and outdoor showers and large decks with private pools. Don’t spend all your time in your suite, though – the south-western section of the park, around the Crocodile and Olifants Rivers, is where you can spot white rhinos and buffalo.
Smith Extra: 10 per cent off spa treatments, early check-in or late check-out (subject to availability), 15% off in the curio shop, plus a choice of one of the following: a 30-minute photography lesson or a local pre-school tour.
Not a single feather on Singita Boulders’ back appears to be in any way ruffled by its wild location: the magnificent Kruger National Park, next to the Sand River. Instead, Singita is the epitome of unperturbed African refinement. Each of its serene, contemporary suites is decorated with private game-viewing decks, indoor and outdoor showers, open fireplaces, and private pools. There’s also a contemporary restaurant, rustling up a fusion menu of pan-African, European and Asian flavours (try the excellent ostrich fillet with cinnamon and espresso jus). After a few days in the park, you would have to be spectacularly unlucky not to have spotted the Big Five: lions, leopards, elephants, Cape buffalo, and black rhino.
Smith Extra: A South African wine-tasting experience for guests staying three nights or more.
Escape the concrete jungle to the wild Australian bush. Only two hours from Sydney, Paperbark Camp eco-retreat awaits all adventure seekers. Take advantage of all that Mother Nature has to offer: bush walking, creek kayaking, swimming, snorkelling and surfing; or simply lounge on a day-bed, idly spotting kangaroos. Surrounded by soaring eucalyptus and paperbark trees, all 12 canvas-clad tents offer laid-back luxury, with comfy beds, en-suite showers (with a freestanding bath in Deluxe rooms) and cool sea breezes, thanks to raised hardwood decking and wraparound verandas. Take a bush trail from the hotel through the mangroves and paperbark forest. Go for an early-morning walk to spot kangaroos, or rug up for an after-dinner stroll by torchlight to see possums in their natural habitat.
Smith Extra: A bottle of Australian sparkling wine on arrival.
With the Waterberg mountains looming over it, the contemporary design of Marataba fits surprisingly nicely with its wildlife-rich setting. Romantic open-plan suites allow the sights, sounds and smells of the magnificent Marakele National Park to flood in. Each suite has its own viewing deck, so you can survey the plains and the meandering river below. The dramatic Marakele National Park encompasses plains, dense bushveld, mountains and rivers. There is a very good chance of seeing the Big Five; the park is also home to a multitude of other furry and feathered species, including rare antelope such as roan, sable and mountain reedbuck.
Smith Extra: A bottle of wine and a romantic turndown service
Sitting pretty in Australia’s Top End, in a wildlife-teeming area that’s home to the Southern Hemisphere’s highest concentration of saltwater crocodiles, Bamurru Plains is an upmarket safari lodge with style by the zoo-loads. Based around a central timber-and-bamboo lodge, its bungalows have an exhilarating back-to-nature vibe that fits perfectly with all the outdoor eating and beast-chasing excursions on offer each day. Head out in an open-topped four-wheel drive for some pre-sunset wildlife-spotting: you’ll see hundreds of wallabies, water buffalos, birds, and a good chance of spotting brumbies, wild boar and crocodiles.
Smith Extra: A gift-wrapped book about Australian birds