Many couples tend to focus on European cities when they think of taking a romantic break, but there are some fantastic destinations in Africa if you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous. What I particularly love about this part of the world is the variety that’s available, so I’ve put together a selection of three places that each offer something very different.
Cape Town, South Africa
Best for: couples seeking action and adventure
I’m going to start in South Africa with Cape Town, which is a wonderful city for couples to visit, especially if you and your partner want something a bit more than stunning scenery and excellent restaurants. Cape Town certainly has both of these things, but there’s also a wealth of exciting activities to try around the city.
Table Mountain is one of its most iconic landmarks and there’s nothing more romantic than enjoying the view from the top with your loved one. If you want to inject a bit of action into your trip to the peak, abseil down the 1,000 m rock face to the bottom instead of getting the cable car.
Other adrenalin-pumping activities I’d be tempted to try with my partner while visiting Cape Town include cage diving with great white sharks and bungee jumping from Bloukrans Bridge, which is 216 m high and located just outside the city on the Garden Route.
Best for: couples looking for culture and history
Adventure isn’t for everyone, so if you’re looking for a romantic break with a cultural slant, consider Marrakech in Morocco. This thriving city is a delight to explore, with amazing buildings and fascinating sights around every corner.
When you’re looking for somewhere to stay, it’s best to choose a hotel near the centre of Marrakech (check out what’s on offer through Hotelopia for some ideas). If you can, base yourself close to the Djemma el Fna in the Medina, as I think this is one of the most exciting parts of Marrakech to discover.
This is where you’ll find hundreds of street vendors selling all manner of goods, as well as little stalls where you can buy tasty local dishes like tagine or kebabs. Mint tea is another must-try while in Marrakech, so I’d recommend taking a table at a small cafe, ordering a drink and just watching the world go by with your partner. There are lots of cultural and historical sites to explore around here as well, with the Koutoubia Mosque, Ben Youssef Medersa and the Marrakech Museum among the places you can visit.
Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt
Best for: couples who want to relax in the sun
While both the previous destinations are certainly sunny, as there’s so much to see and do chances are you won’t have too much time for lounging in the sunshine and working on your tan. If you’re after the ultimate relaxing beach break with your loved one, you can’t beat Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.
Because it developed as a tourist resort – predominantly due to the scuba diving industry – there’s not an awful lot to do here except enjoy the weather, chill out on the beach and go for a swim in the azure waters of the Red Sea. If you’re feeling a little energetic, snorkelling and scuba diving are both on offer, as are windsurfing and kite surfing.
I think the appeal of a break to Sharm is the fact that you can do very little and just enjoy spending time with your partner in a beautiful setting.