I am seeking an exotic honeymoon destination in July that does not require immunizations – does South Africa require shots? I would love a safari but my budget is about $10,000. All suggestions would be considered. My one concern is that I don’t want to spend a lot of time traveling.
South Africa doesn’t require shots, but there are areas (mostly in the Kruger/Sabi Sands area) where anti-malarial medication would be recommended. However, there are plenty of amazing safari lodges that are malaria-free, particularly in the Eastern Cape and Madikwe. July is winter in South Africa, but I have been to the Eastern Cape at that time of year and it’s perfect for safari – dry, cloudless days, chilly in the mornings/evenings but it will be in the low 80’s mid-day. Check out the South Africa section of our website to see some suggested safari itineraries.
My fiance and I will be getting married in September 2009 and can’t decide on a honeymoon destination. We want beach relaxation, spas, beautiful scenery and a fun excursion or two in a luxury setting. We’ve already done the Caribbean, Hawaii and Italy/Greece many times. I have heard Thailand and Indonesia are amazing, but nice my fiance is worried about traveling extreme distances and experiencing culture shock. Any suggestions?
Thailand and Indonesia are wonderful honeymoon destinations and for me, personally, it was a tough choice between the two. Ultimately, we chose Indonesia because we were traveling in August when Bali is perfect, but it’s still rainy season in Thailand. In September, you’re still on the tail end of rainy season in Thailand, but the weather is perfect in Indonesia. So on weather alone, I would probably choose Indonesia. It is a long way to travel, but Bali has a huge range of luxury properties with some on the coast/beach and some inland in the cultural heart of the island, surrounded by terraced rice fields and perched over the Ayung River. Java – the island just west of Bali – is an optional side trip. Alternately, you could visit Amanjiwo, which is a beach resort on Moyo Island, a short flight from Bali. Indonesia has great food, plenty of unique cultural and active touring options, and some of the most kind and welcoming people in the world. You wouldn’t have any more culture shock visiting Bali then you would in Italy, Greece or the Caribbean.
My fiance and I are planning a honeymoon for the second half of September and are trying to decide between Fiji, Bali and Tahiti. From what I have heard, Tahiti is very expensive and your dollar stretches further in Fiji. Which (Fiji or Bali) has better weather at that time of year? Which would you recommend and why?
You are right that Tahiti can be extremely expensive. It is a very typical “resort” destination with lots of hotels and development. Though it is quite nice, I think you are right to focus on Fiji and Bali . In terms of seasonality, Fiji is best from April to October so the weather should be perfect for your later September honeymoon. Bali shares the same approximate seasonality as Fiji so that’s fine, too.
For honeymooners, Fiji is more of a straightforward beach destination; though there is an interesting cultural tradition, most people head to Fiji because they are looking for beautiful beaches. In Bali, the beaches are nice but not as spectacular as in Fiji – but it has a fascinating and very rich cultural history so you do have the option to lounge and relax but there is also much to do and see beyond the beach. I think it really comes down to what you want to do on your honeymoon. If you want to sunbathe and enjoy gorgeous beaches, head to Fiji. If you think you might want to venture off the beach now and then for exploration and learning about a rich culture, Bali is probably a better choice.
More tips from our honeymoon guru.