For couples willing to take their relationship the the next level by overcoming mental and physical hardship together; the ones who have a nose and desire for adventure, it doesn’t get better than Tanzania in Africa.
With its beaches in Zanzibar, the plains of Serengeti National park and the very achievable climb of Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro, it’s an ideal destination to put your body through some rewarding physical activity mixed with slow, tropical life relaxation – a sort of the bush-and-beach holiday.
At the world famous Serengeti National Park, over 2.5 million animals, from wildebeest to zebras and antelopes, set out on a three month journey covering over 800 km of open plains, running from predators like lions, hyenas and cheetahs. It’s a safari of lifetime. The best time to see the migration is between December and July.
Continuing with the adventure, despite being at 19,341 feet, the climb to the top of Kilimanjaro isn’t technically difficult. Well-supported for tourists, Kilimanjaro’s accessibility makes it very popular among couples that helps forge a bond that can last a lifetime.
With several different routes to pick from depending ranging from easy to moderate to difficult, your partner and you should pick one that suits your abilities. Yes, it will by a sweaty few days – approximately 7 days – where you’ll dream of showers and clean bedsheets, but the beauty of trekking it up means you’ll see each other in as native a form as possible and understand one another all the better.
The last climb to the summit, known to be the hardest thanks to thinning oxygen levels starts late at night so trekkers can experience the glorious dawn that stretches before the mountain as light begins to spread across the sky.
To experience such magnificence is one thing, but to truly share it is something from a different plane altogether.
After such an arduous trip, it makes sense to go unwind a little. And is there any better place to do that but in the lap of soft sands and a gorgeous ocean?
Zanzibar, one of the ‘spice islands’ of Tanzania – Pemba, Chole, Mafia are the others – allows you to really fall off the radar with gorgeous beach resorts and white sand beaches lined with extraordinarily clear blue waters. It’s what fantasies are made of.
With its fair share of luxury resorts and rustic and inexpensive accommodation, there’s a lot to choose from without compromising location or quality. The semi-autonomous archipelago is just 37 kilometres away from mainland Tanzania, and the only way to reach is by a small plane or by boat.
For those more interested in enjoying a beach escape which is similar to those all-inclusive packages and stays with discos and bars you’ll find in most other warm parts of the world, heading north to Nungwi and Kendwa is probably the best idea. There, you’ll find a perfect mix of the old and new.
But for a slightly more Zanzibari experience, try quieter towns like Bwejuu or Jambiani. There, it’ll be a mix of tropical island life with a slice of village life.
There are two rainy seasons in Zanzibar – the short rains and the long rains. The former usually last through November and December and characteristically only have short, quick bursts followed by bright, blue skies. The long rains, which are between March and May, are far more intense, making it inadvisable to travel to Zanzibar during the time.
For food, considering Zanzibar had so many rulers over the centuries, cuisines are a mash-up of Arab, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese and African cooking traditions. Look for island specialties like octopus curry and urojo, a turmeric and coconut-based soup with crispy fritters and spiced potatoes and do not miss out on buying spices to take home.
In conclusion, there’s isn’t much like trekking over days, living in makeshift tents and some physical and mental hardship to strengthen a relationship. Flaws and strengths become apparent, allowing two people to truly come together and be all the better for it. It will teach you a lot about conquering adversity and how to deal with one another.
Top it off with the powdery soft beaches of Zanzibar and it’s clear that the bush-and-beach honeymoon or holiday is the stuff made of dreams.