Mother Nature makes the best backdrops for a romantic vacation. Yes, an Italian villa or an idyllic beach setting are the classic choices for a couple's getaway. But what about immersing yourself completely in the wilderness? I am not talking about camping in a national park, but I am, in a way, talking about camping. Luxury safari camps give you plenty of comfort and pampering, but they also put you right in the middle of some of the most beautiful places on earth. Also, when you stay at these venues, you will be guaranteed to see some of the world's most exotic animals strolling right past your tent.
Africa is the most well-known safari destination. Countries like Tanzania and South Africa are the most accessible options for couples. You can also look to places like India for a similar experience. Both these regions are very skilled at creating a luxury safari experience that couple's will never forget.
No matter where they are located, the best safari destinations put nothing in between you and the nature around you. These luxury safari camps are built around the landscape; they do not dominate it. Though they have thoroughly modern features, the resorts have plenty of classic elements: wooden decks, open pavilion-style designs, huge canvas tents and lantern-like lighting.
To counterbalance all these classic elements, there are tasteful modern luxuries as well. The safari-goers of old probably didn't have a plunge pool right outside their tent. The didn't get to enjoy air conditioning and wi-fi. Yes, today's safari camps have all the amenities of a five-star hotel. Gourmet meals and world-class spa treatments are the norm (if they aren't offered at a camp you are considering, you should probably keep looking).
So where are these five-star tents and remote lodges? One of the best is andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp in South Africa's Kruger National Park. This camp has all the elements: an amazing location, services, pampering and luxury. The highlight here is the gauze-like screens that are placed on the side of each tent. You can open the tent flaps and see the surroundings and wildlife without even leaving your accommodations.
Private decks are also an important element of safari lodges. If you are on a couple's getaway, privacy is paramount. Places like Royal Malewane, another South African camp, provide decks for their guests. From these comfortable platforms, you can see wildlife without having to ride in a jeep or even change out of your pajamas.
Royal Malewane also has another trait that it shares with some of the best luxury safari lodges. Its colonial-style decor brings to mind the heyday of adventure safaris. African art, four-poster beds, ornate rugs and antique furnishings allow guests to travel back in time. At the same time, there are plenty of modern elements including a spa, heated pool and outdoor showers. In India, the Sher Bagh Sarafi Camp has a similarly timeless appeal. It has canvas tents that have modern amenities like air conditioning and wi-fi.
Privacy is another trait that adventure vacation destinations for couples should have. The Retreat, in Tanzania's Selous Game Preserve, has private tents that are tucked into different corners of the property. Guests can congregate at the main lodge or just spend time in their own tent without anyone else around. Another feature of the Retreat that couples' destinations should have: secret romantic spots. At this East African camp, couples can book a "love nest." This nest is literally hidden in a tree. Not only is it romantic, but it also overlooks the watering hole where the preserve's animals come to drink.
What kind of adventure vacations for couples would you consider? Use the comments section to share your thoughts with us.