HomeCompany News8 Destinations for Your ‘Buddymoon’ – All with Experiences You’ve Probably Never...

8 Destinations for Your ‘Buddymoon’ – All with Experiences You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

A hot air balloon ride with falcons in Dubai’s desert? Nighttime volcano trekking in Bali?

Now, those are some encounters you’ll never forget on your honeymoon – especially if you have a group of best friends by your side to join in on the fun! Enter the rising trend of the ‘buddymoon’, where honeymooners bring their best buds with them on their post-nuptial escape (or as a natural extension of their destination wedding).

So, if a buddymoon’s on your bucket list, you’re probably still deciding on the ‘where’ and the ‘what.’ Here are eight unforgettable destinations (many included as the hottest destinations for 2024 in Flight Centre South Africa’s whitepaper South Africa’s Year in Travel 2023) and some of their most exciting experiences.

  1. Mauritius

Best time to go: May – December

Mauritius – every South African’s favourite Indian Ocean Island (it’s visa-free after all). Where you can sip mojitos on the beach day in and day out at your peaceful adults-only resort, work on your tan, and eat way too much food (and way too many coconuts). But did you know you can also go underwater waterfall snorkelling? Or, at least, you’ll think that’s what you’re doing. Near the southwestern tip of the island, near Le Morne Brabant, is a mind-bending optical illusion created by the movement of sand and silt under the ocean currents, giving the appearance of a waterfall under the ocean. Just because it’s a trick of the mind doesn’t make exploring these waters any less magical!

Expert tip: Make the most of your buddymoon in Mauritius by sailing back home to Cape Town on a cruise. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn will sail from Port Louis, Mauritius to Cape Town on a 12-day journey on 5 January 2025, stopping at various amazing ports, such as Maputo, Mozambique, and Richards Bay.

  1. Dubai

Best time to go: November – March

In Dubai, you can haggle through bustling souks and conquer the dunes on a safari at sunset. But for a real ‘pinch me’ moment, imagine soaring over the expansive desert in a hot air balloon at sunrise, with a twist – flying with falcons. Yes, you heard right. With these powerful birds accompanying your ride, you can take hot air ballooning to new heights, and enjoy a traditional Emirati falconry experience high above the sands. The early wake-up call will be so worth it!

  1. Phuket

Best time to go: November – April

Ahhh, Phuket. Where most honeymooners and groups of friends choose to spend their days lounging on the sand and their nights partying until dawn, but have you ever considered jumping off a platform in the middle of the jungle?

“Welcome to jungle bungee jumping in Kathu, where you can take the leap surrounded by greenery and a sparkling lagoon below. Once you’ve braved the bungee, you can brag about it over some spicy Thai street food or while exploring the island’s serene temples,” advises Flight Centre South Africa’s General Manager, Antoinette Turner.

  1. Stellenbosch

Best time to go: September – April

Fine wine, great food, and even better company – Stellenbosch always goes down a treat when you’re visiting with friends. If you’re looking for something more unique than the traditional wine tastings, consider one of the town’s many wine pairing experiences.

“Delheim Wines does a tantalising fynbos cupcake and wine pairing, including honeybush, rooibos, and buchu cupcakes and plenty of the estate’s finest wines, from Pinotage to Chardonnay Sur Lie,” says Jeanneret Momberg, CEO of Visit Stellenbosch.

  1. Bali

Best time to go: April – October

Bali’s another go-to for beach bums, but if the sunshine alone isn’t enough to excite you and your friends during your buddymoon, you can turn up the heat with nighttime volcano trekking. Picture this: trekking under the stars, making your way up Mount Batur, with the cool night air and the promise of a breathtaking sunrise at the summit – an experience that pits you against the elements in the most surreal way.

  1. Paris

Best time to go: September – November and April – June

It’s the city of love, lights, and… lurking spirits. While most tourists are sipping wine by the Seine or admiring the Eiffel Tower in Paris, you and your friends can rendezvous with the mysterious instead. Descend into the Paris Catacombs for a night tour, where history and spookiness intertwine in the underground labyrinth of skulls and bones.

“It’s a chilling yet utterly fascinating journey through the city’s hidden underbelly, far from the glitz of its boulevards.  And once you resurface, the contrasting charm of Paris by night, with its cosy bistros and twinkling streets, will seem even more enchanting,” comments Turner.

  1. Seychelles

Best time to go: Year-round

Seychelles is a scattered necklace of islands in the Indian Ocean, famous for its postcard-perfect beaches. The most memorable experience for your buddymoon? Hiring a private yacht to explore the islands! It’s the ultimate group travel experience where the cost gets more wallet-friendly with every buddy on board. Christine Vel, Director for Africa at Tourism Seychelles, puts it best:

“In Seychelles, every island has its own personality and is worth exploring. Yachting here is the ultimate luxury, made even more memorable with friends.”

  1. Venice

Best time to go: September – November and April – June

It’s all about romance, history, and winding waterways in Venice, Europe’s ‘floating city.’ While you can’t go wrong with a guided stroll through winding streets, uncovering hidden gems and tales that only Venice can tell, no visit to the floating city is complete without a serenaded gondola ride. Glide under bridges and alongside historic buildings, all while being serenaded by local musicians.

So, whether you’re Bail-bound or setting off to Stellenbosch, pack your bags, grab your besties, and make it a buddymoon to remember. The only thing more beautiful than the views and more memorable than the experiences will be the bonds you strengthen along the way.