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Love – island style

By Jenna Berndt

, |

Love – island style

By Jenna Berndt

, |

What better way is there to celebrate the month of love than a surprise island break for you and the love of your life? No matter what type of travel couple you are, there’s a perfect destination match for you on one of our delightfully exotic, but so close and accessible, Indian Ocean islands. Best of all, no visas are required for South African passport holders for holiday stays of up to 30 days.*

Mauritius

Just a four-hour flight from Johannesburg (direct flights from Cape Town and Durban are also available), Mauritius is a perfect all-rounder, especially for loved-up couples.

The best way to save on your Mauritian holiday is by booking early, and opting for an all-inclusive package, agrees Sue Garrett, Flight Centre Travel Group General Manager: Marketing and Product.

Loved-up couples will find Victoria Beachcomber Resort and Spa right up their alley. The resort’s Victoria for Two wing is reserved exclusively for adults, and offers a secluded beach and private pool surrounded by several swim-up rooms.

Who’s it for? If you’re looking to stay largely within the confines of your resort, with a few day trips here and there, Mauritius is just the ticket.

Know this: Most travellers congregate around the northeast of the island near Grand Baie, but for a quieter experience, head southwest. It could be a little windier, but the resorts are further apart, and the area is also further from the island’s hubs.

Seychelles

Check into the Garden of Eden. A paradise for nature lovers, the Seychelles archipelago comprises 115 dreamy islands.

The beaches are some of the most unspoilt in the world, says Lena Hoareau, Director: South Africa for the Seychelles Tourism Board. The marine life is stunning, and diving and snorkelling are popular pastimes. Honeymooning couples can choose from a diverse range of activities and resorts.

Who’s it for? For nature- and wellness-loving honeymooners and couples.

Zanzibar

Dreaming of spice-scented alleyways, dhow cruises and beach breezes? Head to Zanzibar, just a short four-hour flight from Johannesburg.

Who’s it for? Loved-up duos looking for a value-for-money island getaway, brimming with history, culture and exoticism.

Know this: If you want to swim all day, check with your travel expert about the best resorts. Many of the island’s beaches are tidal, meaning that at low tide you’re not going to be able to swim. Nungwi and Kendwa are some of the best swimming beaches.

Réunion Island

Réunion Island is not your typical ‘fly-and-flop’ tropical island. Picture hiking up volcano slopes, canyoning down waterfalls, exploring ancient lava tunnels and stand-up paddling in warm turquoise lagoons – all this with a touch of French chic. It’s just a four-hour flight from Johannesburg on Air Austral.

Who’s it for? Adventure lovers, adrenaline junkie couples, millennial-minded travellers, plus those seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences.

Maldives

With overwater villas and seaplanes, the Maldives is a boon for luxury lovers, and it’s also a well-entrenched favourite for divers. Take advantage of this while you can, as the Maldives is one whole country that will disappear if the sea level were to rise more than a metre or two.

Who’s it for? The Maldives is popular among discerning honeymooners and couples, and an absolute mecca for divers.

Mozambique

Many South Africans forget about Mozambique when dreaming up their island holiday, but this next-door neighbour features a melting pot of Afro-Portuguese culture and cuisine, and a slew of fabulous islands – from the accessible Bazaruto Archipelago to the exotic Querimbas.

Mozambique offers a diversity of attractions very easily accessible for South Africans, says Natalie Tenzer-Silva, Director of Dana Tours, a Maputo-based tour operator. It’s really the best of all worlds for beach, culture and nature lovers, is visa-free and is accessible by both air and land from South Africa.

Who’s it for? Couples wanting to head off the beaten path, adventure seekers and those looking for a beach break incorporating all the flavours of Africa.

Go on. Pack your bags! The islands are calling your name.

*This refers to pre-arranged, paid visas. Check visa requirements before travelling. Subject to change at any time and can be dependent on specific circumstances. 

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