With rising exchange rates and global green concerns, it’s no surprise that local honeymoons are hot and happening. With heaps of our very own wow factor so close by, there are loads of glorious slip-away places for that never-forget-you trip. Our winter 2014 edition offers seven ideal South African destinations to try, one of which is the enchanting River Bend Lodge in Addo, Eastern Cape.
Set in the sweetly scented semi-arid Eastern Cape, River Bend Lodge is situated in the Addo Elephant National Park. Now the third largest national park in South Africa, Addo covers around 180 000 hectares, which stretch from the Karoo around Darlington over the inimitable Zuurberg Mountains, through Sundays River valley down to the Bushman’s River mouth. It is home to around 550 elephants as well as lion, buffalo, black rhino, hyena, leopard, antelope and, uniquely, the Addo flightless dung beetle (no driving over dung here, please!).
River Bend Lodge is set in a similarly sprawling Cape Colonial farmhouse with wraparound verandas, large sash windows and that Eastern Cape quiet. The honeymoon suite has under-floor heating, a private veranda, indoor-outdoor showers, a secluded plunge pool and a garden looking onto the immense landscape.
Besides game drives, the Lodge offers photography courses, walking with giraffe and a wealth of birding (five different biomes make it home to around 300 bird species).
The Lodge, home to the Silverthorns restaurant and the Plumbago Spa, is an ideal venue for total rest and relaxation as well as a base from which to explore this bewitching region. Visit riverbendlodge.co.za.