The couple: Andre & Martina Migliarina
Date of honeymoon: October 2015
Price range: €8,000
Destinations: Johannesburg and Namibia
Home to some of the most stunning landscapes you will ever see, Namibia is such a unique country with many different cultures.
It is the second least populated country in the world but one thing Namibia isn’t short on is wildlife. For such an often harsh-looking place (to give you an idea – Mad Max: Fury Road was filmed here), there is wildlife everywhere, making Namibia an animal lover’s dream.
Martina and Andre spotted lion, cheetah, black rhino and so much more. “To see these animals in their natural habitat was an experience I will never forget!”
Driving through Namibia is an absolute adventure, but with its remoteness and dryness, hiring a 4×4with everything in the back – water, fridge, bed, etc. – is essential. You can drive for hours and not meet anyone, but it is far from a boring drive.
Why did you choose this location?
In October 2014, we got married in a small family wedding in Dublin’s City Hall. When it came to choosing our honeymoon, we thought long and hard about it. Even though she’s well-travelled, my wife Martina had never been to Namibia, where I was born and spent over 20 years of my life. The more we talked about sharing the place of my childhood, the more Namibia seemed like the missing link in our relationship so that settled it.
Where did you stay and would you recommend it?
We stayed in various types of accommodation from a roof tent on the Land Cruiser to 5 Star lodges and hotels. We also stayed in guesthouses, 3 and 4-star lodges, and National Parks where it was just us and whatever wildlife came to visit. I loved sleeping in the National Parks but my favourite hotel had to be the Mowani Mountain Camp. Our room was stunning and the view was like nothing I had ever seen before. We were lucky enough to see a lightning storm in the distance from our veranda. There was nothing I could fault, everything about this place was incredible.
What kind of holiday was it?
A combination of adventure, wildlife, camping and luxury. Seeing Namibia’s amazing wildlife and travelling through breathtaking landscapes was definitely adventurous! Our accommodation was the perfect mix of luxury hotels and campsites with the bare necessities, both options added something special to our honeymoon.
Did you go all-inclusive?
In some places, yes, like the Desert Rhino Camp as you’re in the middle of nowhere so it’s not as though you can head into town to the local restaurant.
What were the main attractions?
There are so many to choose from, but the wildlife has to be number one. Watching elephants flinging mud on themselves in Etosha National Park or getting 20 feet away from a black rhino in the Desert Rhino Camp, is something I will never forget. Spotting sleek lions lazing under trees or gazelles running through the plains, I felt like I was in a David Attenborough documentary.
The Kalahari Desert was beautiful and we took advantage of the breath-taking landscape to take some amazing photographs. There were roaming wildebeest and sand dunes that have turned to solid sandstone. We watched the sunset together and fed ground squirrels by hand, it was so romantic!
Namibia’s Atlantic Coast, was a big change of scenery. It has delicious food and miles of untouched beaches, we fell in love with this place. We went kayaking, which turned into another wildlife adventure as we spotted flamingos, dolphins and whales.
What was the best part?
Hot air ballooning over the Sossusvlei and Etosha Pan, was just unbelievable!
We flew across the 800m high sand dunes as the sun came up and spotted antelopes running below. We were in awe of the amazing views. Afterwards, there was even a champagne breakfast rolled out for us. That night we stayed in a guest house where we pulled our bed onto the veranda and slept under the stars.
What was the food like? We cooked our own food sometimes, over the open fire. Everywhere we did eat, the food was good to superb depending on where we stayed. The seafood along the Atlantic coast was to die for. Although I think the best thing we had was Kingklip fish in The Tug in Swakopmund.
Would you recommend this honeymoon location?
If you’re the adventurous type like we are, then yes, this Namibia honeymoon would be perfect for you.