South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique are coastal countries abounding in opportunities to enjoy the beach. From the wild, raw Atlantic ocean of South Africa and Namibia’s West coast to the warmer, Indian ocean on the Mozambiquan side and South Africa’s East Coast; there are small towns, bays, seaside villages and beachside breaks to enjoy as a couple. It’s no wonder couples visit Southern Africa from all across the globe to get hitched, go on honeymoon or just for a romantic seaside escape and soul revival.
Here are a few top romantic seaside escapes for couples.
1. Paternoster, South Africa.
Once a quiet seaside village, Paternoster has transformed into one of the most coveted places to visit along this coastline. Upon arrival you’ll be greeted with white-washed houses, many modelled from original fishermen’s homes, with red, blue and white fishing boats scattered across the beach or decorating the gardens of locals.
You’ll find gourmet cuisine at the new established restaurants for romantic, candlelit dinners, guesthouses and B&B’s in abundance and self-catering cottages only a stone’s throw from the ocean. Despite being a favourite weekend destination for South Africans, you can still find moments when you’re walking all alone on the beach and watching sunset with not a soul in sight. Book a kayaking trip for two, enjoy fish and chips in true West Coast style and of course, indulge in lots of ‘you two’ time by the sea.
2. Vilankulos, Mozambique.
This is a town in Mozambique that has just enough to keep you active, offers enough on the cards for adventurous couples but has ample space to just unwind. Indulge in delicious seafood dinners as many nights as you wish; prawns and fish are served everywhere you go so take advantage and try curried, braaied ( BBQ’ed) and grilled options.
Take a kite-surfing lesson at Kite Zone, take a day trip to islands such as Benguerra, Margaruque or Bazaruto, join a diving or snorkeling excursion or try your hand at deep sea fishing. Bigger hotels have spas where you can enjoy couple’s treatments. Tuk tuks run throughout the town so jump on one to get between your resort and the small town centre where you’ll find a grocery store, a few souvenir shops, bars and coffee shops. Be sure to go on a sunset dhow cruise to the red dunes or just along the coastline.
3. Skeleton Coast, Namibia.
Think undulating dunes, wild desert animals, tented camps and a landscape unlike anywhere else on earth. Join a hike, or a desert tour along this coastline to catch a glimpse of the variety of desert-adapted animals such as elephants, cheetahs and lions, crocodiles and turtles of the Kunene River.
There’s nothing more romantic that catching the last glimpse of light amidst sand dunes and waking up to see how the winds have once again altered the landscape. A harsh seaside and landscape, you’ll find a barren beauty here that can’t be matched.
4. Wild Coast, South Africa.
One of the few truly wild and rural places left in South Africa, couples will lose themselves in the allure of warm ocean, hills and rural huts of this area. Stay in anything from a traditional hut to a hotel or bed & breakfast. Kayak along one of its many rivers, walk along the coastal trails and visit the natural wonder of Hole in the Wall, go horse-riding along a deserted beach or wake up to drum with children from nearby local villages.
Wander along hills where people still farm and live off the land, where young boys herd sheep and goats and where you may hop over a stream or two to get your house.
5. Benguerra Island, Mozambique.
Surrounded by turquoise ocean, dotted with freshwater lakes, savannah, forest and dunes; you and your partner will be happy to stay deserted on this island for ages. With ample luxury accommodation, you can wine, dine and be treated to romantic dinners on the beach by night. Some areas won’t have wifi which really only adds to the ‘lost’ appeal of many of Mozambique’s islands.
Aside from the dunes and relaxing on the beach, tips your toes or more in that warm ocean and find your own pleasure beneath or above the ocean. Go SUPPing ( stand-up paddle boarding) as a couple or just hop aboard a dhow boat to experience the magic from the sea.
6. Wilderness, South Africa.
Tucked in between the favorite Garden Route towns of George and Knysna, Wilderness is but a tiny stretch with a long beach to enjoy. The town will provide all you’ll need in terms of restaurants and when you’re not waking up to ocean views, you can explore the Knysna forest on foot or even try some of the adventure activities abounding in this region. Take a day trip to the Tsitsikamma Region for canoeing, trails or tree-top canopy tours. The adrenalin junkies can bungee jump off the Bloukrans bridge.
7. Rocktail Bay, South Africa.
Known for it’s rich marine life and coastal dune forests, this is an Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal area is where you can go without seeing many humans for awhile. You may get stuck in a cattle traffic jam or greet children from a local village on their way to school; but more than likely is that you’ll go on game drives to some of South Africa’s oldest lakes to see hippos, crocodiles and other freshwater-adapted species.
Snorkel in marine-protected beaches with hardly anyone in sight and tuck yourselves away in white pear forests clinging to the dunes.
Which seaside escape would you choose?