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Old 24th November 2010, 01:28   #1
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Default International Honeymoon on a budget. Possible?

One day while on our regular late night phone conversation, my girlfriend happened to casually mention that one of her dream holiday destination was South Africa and that she would like to go there some day.Even though, she might not even remember the conversation now, the thought has been looming large over my head for some time now. I always wanted to take her on a nice romantic holiday but could not afford it in the past due to some uncertainties at the work front.

Now that I am getting married to her in February and as by god's grace, work & finances seem to have fallen in place, I want to take her on her dream holiday. She has been extra supportive during my rough patch and this holiday would be a thank you gesture and hence I want it to be extra special.

To cut the long story short, I would want to take my future wife to South Africa for our honeymoon. The itinerary would be :

Travel to Johannesburg and stay there for 2 days and then take a taxi ride to Kruger National park spend around two days there. Come back to Johannesburg and take a flight to Cape Town and spend a couple of days there before flying back home.

Now, would the aforementioned budget be enough for the trip EXCLUDING the airfare, Visa costs etc. Basically, I am trying to arrive at a figure for my stay, food and transportation in South Africa.

I would want the help of fellow Bhpian's who have been to South Africa or even otherwise to help me plan for the trip as I want the trip to be as memorable for me other half as possible ( without burning a hole in my pocket )

I Really need all the suggestion that I can possibly get to plan for this trip. Any references, Links, contacts would be very helpful.

PS: I do not mind cutting down the duration of the trip by a day or two to fit my pocket but Kruger is a Must see.


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Old 24th November 2010, 03:30   #2
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Congratulations RVD,

South Africa is economical to travel to these days and the travel agencies all over the country have packages covering most of the places you mentioned on the correct side of the 1L mark. A word of caution though, SA has seen a rise in crime against travellers in the recent past especially the case of a newly wed of Indian origin being kidnapped, raped and murdered on her honey moon earlier this month. I do not want to discourage you but do ensure that you go through a good travel agency who put you up in the right kind of hotels and make secure travel arrangements. Listen very carefully and adhere when your travel agent, hotel, local car/transport company advice you regarding areas to be avoided at night and even during the daylight hours.

SA is a place with a lot of natural beauty and with some caution, restraint and commonsense you can have a gala time there.
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Old 24th November 2010, 08:03   #3
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It is possible provided you are willing to in budget/economy hotels and travel low cost airlines / trains.

Visa to South Africa is free for Indian Nationals. Please check. Also Trains in South Africa are pretty good and at par in prices with Indian Railways. The main in the pocket will be your Full Day Game Safari at Kruger which can cost upto ZAR1000 ++ per person.

For travel inland you can check out Kulula Airlines


P.S: Congrats on getting hitched
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Old 24th November 2010, 13:27   #4
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@RVD: Congrats in Advance buddy!!

A word of caution as khoj mentioned, yes there are lot of security issues in SA, this was also mentioned to me by one of my friend who had been there recently for FIFA. So watch out buddy.

Dont mind paying a bit extra but make sure you plan your trip with the best tour operators. Am sure you wont regret spending those extra for the special person.

Other options in that region are Seychelles and Mauritius, these islands are virtually untouched. Discuss about these options with your would be.

All the best..!!

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Old 24th November 2010, 15:24   #5
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@Khoj, MileCruncher , 2500cc : Thanks guys for the wishes.

Khoj : I see where you are coming from. Actually, the safety aspect is what is making me a little uneasy as I too have heard of a few instances there from a friend who lives there. Do you suggest any travel agent in particular ?

MileCruncher : Travel should not be a hassle as I work for an airline and the travel to and from South Africa is quite subsidized. We also have arrangements with local airlines so I might just have to pay 10-20% basic fare + taxes for travel within the country. Like you rightly pointed out, it is the game viewing and lodging inside Kruger that is going to be expensive and that is one area where I cannot cut corners as I have to keep the safety and conveniences in mind.

2500cc: I do not mind paying a little extra if gives me complete peace of mind. I had thought about Mauritius myself but then what I am looking for is a bit of both fun and quite. I want to be able to party and also have a nice romantic dinner in the same holiday without having to chose one over the other. I thought SA would offer the best of both worlds. I had also contemplated a driving holiday in the US as I have lived there in the past and am quite comfortable with the place. Another thought was to go on a luxurious Cruise. Confused Confused Confused!!!!

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Old 24th November 2010, 15:56   #6
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I was in South Africa for an year I would suggest going to the following places:
1. Cape Town: They say you must visit Cape Town before you die, awesome place.Must do Bungie jumping in Jeorge and the Garden Route.
2. Durban (It's called the Indian capital of South Africa, nice Aquarium there, has a Mumbai'sh feeling)
3. Kruger National Park (Must Go)
4. Johannesburg (Although it's the capital city you can avoid this as there's hardly anything to see, also its supposedly the crime capital of the world) Sun City is what tourists go to Johannesburg for and a couple of other man made animal parks(Lion n Rhino park, Lion's park etc). Sun City is completely artificial , personally I didn't like the place.

You can use this site for cheap accommodations, tried and tested.

Accommodation in South Africa - Where To Stay

One personal suggestion, hire a car there for your travel, like in Kruger and Capetown. Lodging in Kruger is not very expensive, you can do "Game Viewing" on your own. Simple to follow roads inside Kruger. Also the Camps where you stay inside Kruger offer you Night Safari at reasonable rates.
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Old 24th November 2010, 16:02   #7
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I'd suggest you go with the SA plans. Honeymoon is once in a life time and women recollect that till the end of the world. If SA is her dream destination, then throw in the extra bucks to ensure this is a rocking trip. All others can be taken up on subsequent anniversaries.

I busted over 70,000 on my honeymoon over 6 years back. That too in a place called Manali. Was huge amount then. But absolutely no regrets at all!

And +1 to what Khoj has stated. Be extremely cautious about the arrangements in SA. Spend a bit more if it's 100% safe!

And finally, congrats on getting hitched! May god bless you both.
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Old 25th November 2010, 01:32   #8
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@MX6 : WOW!! 70K on Manali huh ? You must have had quite a time there. I too am of the opinion that I should take her to SA but like I mentioned in the previous post, I am a little worried about the safety aspect.I would not think twice if asked to go with a guy friend or even alone but since I am going on a honeymoon, I want only pleasant memories . BTW, Thanks for the wishes.

OHCVtec : Thanks for the pointers. Will keep in mind. When you said "Tried and tested", does it mean that you have used the site for your travel and have been satisfied with what you got ? Also, when you suggest hiring a car, does that mean for self drive ? If that is the case, is Indian license valid there ? Also, since you have lived there, any specific hotel/ game lodge that you could suggest in Cape Town and Kruger ?

Guys, any idea as to which part of Kruger is the most scenic ? I have been going over the SA tourism website and I am more confused that ever. Kruger is so vast and there are so many game lodges to choose from. How does the system work there ? Are these lodges run by private players only or are there any government run lodges as well ? Is there anything specific one should look for while choosing a place to stay ?

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Old 25th November 2010, 11:40   #9
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RVD: Yes, I have used the site and found it pretty good. You can use your Indian Driving License in SA to hire a car. Well for Hotels in Cape Town I would suggest you to do some research on the net use the site which I posted earlier. Regarding Kruger, you have several camps in Kruger where you can stay at night. What we did was reached Kruger early in the morning, "Watched Game" (basically roam around in your car looking for the big five and other wild life). We had booked a place in Sabi I guess, so we had to reach there before 5 as you are not allowed to be outside the camp after that. Then these camps organize the night safari in the evening which is a must go.

If you don't want to go through the pain or arranging everything and planning etc and just sit back and enjoy your Honeymoon, you can arrange a trip through Kesari Travels. I have heard they are very good. Check out the link below:

Kesari - A Journey of Excellence, Innovation and Joy.
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Old 1st March 2012, 12:13   #10
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Default Re: Honeymoon In Southafrica. Budget ~ 70k..possible ??

Bumping this old thread. I was thinking of covering South Africa and Mauritius for my honeymoon in July 2012. I was thinking of the following places:

1. Cape Town
2. Durban
3. Kruger National Park
4. Sun City
5. Mauritius

I would like to go to SA first and then return via Mauritius.

Budget: Around 3 lacs (including visa, airfare, hotels, safaris, transportation). This DOES NOT include food and personal expenses.

Duration: 20 days or so.

Please advice regarding the trip and destinations. I am also really worried about the safety aspects and wouldn't mind spending more for peace of mind.


Last edited by maverick145 : 1st March 2012 at 12:21.
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Old 4th February 2013, 17:34   #11
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Default Suggestions for a Honeymoon Outside India with a Budget of 1.5l in April 2013

Hi Friends

I am getting married in the month of April 2013 and planning for a honeymoon outside India. I have gone through many posts and experiences on team -bhp butneed your help to finalize on a honeymoon location for myself in the month of April 2013.

I have lots of places in my mind. These are mainly

- Any other , please suggest

My requirements are as below

-My Budget would be Strictly 1.5 L including shopping, taxi , eating out, outdoor activities and everything.
-I am open to beaches, sands, mountains.
-The max no of days i can spend is 6 days and the minimum i would like is 4 days .
-I am in Delhi so starting place would be Delhi only
-I hope the places you suggest will not be very hot in the month of April (end)

I would like to know any recent first hand experiences of destinations, packages and tour operators like make my trip, SOTC, DPauls , Yatra from you.

Thanking you in advance
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Old 4th February 2013, 22:13   #12
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Default Re: Suggestions for a Honeymoon Outside India with a Budget of 1.5l in April 2013

For 1.5L, I'd highly recommend Thailand, although south Thailand would be pretty hot in April. However, I just came back from a trip and thoroughly enjoyed the place - beaches are very relaxing, very easy to book trips, friendly people, great food and drinks, and absolutely safe for couples and single women too. In fact, for 6 days, you could easily do this within 1Lakh living in very decent hotels and eating at decent restaurants (although I wouldn't recommend doing that, the street food is excellent and hygienic too). We were a group of guys and we did Bangkok, Pattaya/Patong, Krabi and a lot of islands around Krabi/Phuket - 11 days and a budget of 65K per head.
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Old 4th February 2013, 22:38   #13
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Default Re: Suggestions for a Honeymoon Outside India with a Budget of 1.5l in April 2013

I'm not sure how much would New Zealand cost you.. Perhaps it is a little out of your budget. If not, I think that is a supremely good place to goto.
If you have budget constraints, then I think Mauritius, Bali and Langkawi are good choices from what I have seen.
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Old 4th February 2013, 22:51   #14
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Default Re: Suggestions for a Honeymoon Outside India with a Budget of 1.5l in April 2013

I am tying the knot in Mid March and heading Mauritius for 6N/7D. That includes 3 days sight seeing. I was planning for Maldives but then you are just on that one resort and that one island and that itself was very expensive. Plus read some news about some instability with the Govt and Army etc so thought its better to avoid. I didnt want to go to Thailand and that side, simply was not interested.

Cost for the trip including 3 day sightseeing, Breakfast & Dinner (No Lunch), Candle Light Dinner and some Wine Bottle, Air Tickets, Airport Transfers - 1.3 Lakhs. I am budgeting around 30k more for water sports and shopping.

Trust this helps.
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Old 4th February 2013, 23:03   #15
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Congrats RS.
now on to your dilemma,
1. Do not take a group tour on your honeymoon, unless you are choosing Mauritius or Maldives. They will keep you on your toes. Get up early, breakfast at 8, city tour at 9 and so on. Leave one busy life here and hop on to another. No way man.
2. Mauritius and Maldives are comparitively expensive destinations than other south east asian destinations. But you can easily cover it in 1.5lacs if you take it from a package tour operator. You might not be able to spend generously on shopping though. Taking a group tour here, you may find other honeymoon couples, since these are honeymoon destinations.
3. Next suggestion is Ko Samui islands in Thailand. Hotels would be reasonably priced. Spend 4 days there and then 2 at bangkok. Shopping you know. After all you want your wife to love you more and more. Let her shop is the mantra.
4. Even malaysia has nice destinations like Langkawi which can be combined with Kualalumpur.
5. Leave other destinations for your anniversaries.

Give your requirements to a travel agent,someone like De pauls and they stitch it the way it fits you best. Take airport transfer to the hotel when you reach your destination and for your return flight you would have discovered local taxis by then.
Weather would be similar in all these regions. Ask google for detailed weather.

All the best and have a wonderful time.
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