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Honeymoon Venue: Royal Malewane, South Africa

When considering an overseas honeymoon (or even a destination wedding), the venue selection can be rather harrowing with an entire world to consider. As part of our #honeymoonhumpday series, we're going to be bringing you a variety of venue profiles, honeymoon styles and tips every Wednesday to help you narrow your options down to somewhere truly amazing.

This weeks honeymoon venue is Royal Malewane, a luxury safari lodge in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park that oozes adventure, beauty and romance. Your own exclusive wildlife experience will give you insight into the ways of South Africa’s captivating ecosystem.

Be guided on specialised Land Rovers by one of the most qualified teams in Africa through your safari experience where nature is paramount. The vehicles have a maximum of six guests in order for ultimate viewing, comfort and photography opportunities. With over 300 bird species and 130 mammals to experience in their own habitat, Royal Malewane delivers an unforgettable wildlife experience. Listen as lions roar, watch as buffalos drink from waterholes and leopards protect their cubs from hyenas. Having a wide range of package safari experiences available, there is something for all levels of adventurers and couples to enjoy.

Royal Malewane is made up of just six luxury suites, two royal suites and the Africa House. All suites provide you with incomparable views, opulence and are elegantly designed in a gorgeous colonial style while in the heart of the African bush. Should you opt for a royal suite, enjoy the sun from your own expansive private deck and pool. The spacious Africa House is made up of six bedrooms. The eclectic furnishings, outdoor showers, carved four-poster beds from Kenya and Persian rugs help to create an exotic atmosphere. Due to the lodges open plan design, wildlife can easily be viewed from the comfort of your own suite, with Elephants drinking from your pool and Monkeys sitting on your balcony.

Dining at Royal Malewane is an exceptional experience. Executive Chef Brandon Souris and his exceptional team prepare the contemporary cuisine where beautiful presentation is second nature and the dishes become art. Royal Malewane offers an array of South Africa’s finest wines, ranging from leading reds to boutique pinots. The lodge also offers the largest whiskey selection of any safari lodge and informative whiskey tastings.

After long days of exploring the African wildlife, relax at the award winning Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa. Famous all over the world for its picturesque scenery and luxury treatments, it is a special oasis. It is devoted to your personal comfort, to enrich your stay at Royal Malewane.

The multiple award-winning Royal Malewane is beautifully intimate and luxurious and is the ultimate safari lodge for any couple after an adventurous honeymoon.

Choosing your Engagement and Wedding Rings

Deciding on both your wedding rings and engagement ring can be a daunting and time consuming task with many technical and personal aspects to take into consideration. To help you, we have put together some basic information that we recommend keeping in mind when making the important choice. After all, diamonds are forever!

The 4 Cs

There are four main characteristics to consider when you are looking to purchase a diamond, these being, cut, clarity, colour and carat. The cut of a diamond defines how well the diamond reflects and absorbs the light – it does not refer to the shape of the stone. Clarity means the amount or type of inclusions that are present in the diamond. When a diamond is examined under 10x magnification and has fewer flaws, it will receive a higher grade. The colour of a diamond gets rated on a scale of D to Z, with D having completely no colour and Z being more obviously yellow. Diamonds rated D to F are the most sought after and also the most expensive. Carat refers to how heavy the diamond is, the more carats, often the larger the stone is.

HG Tip: Make sure if you're buying a solid diamond, that you ask for it be taken out of the setting as the claws are a classic place to hide flaws. Also ask if possible to view it in natural light as the light in a jewellery store is made to enhance the sparkle and colour of the diamond.

Stone Shape

With an array of diamond shapes such as, emerald, asscher and radiant, choosing the right shape of stone can be an overwhelming decision. A round diamond is the most classic and is popular due to its 58 facets, which maximise its sparkle. We recommend doing thorough research on different shapes, visit stores as well as look online to discover which shapes you like and what would suit you best. A ring that has a well-shaped diamond will enhance its overall beauty and worth.

Should Mine Match His?

It is entirely up to you whether or not your wedding ring matches your partner's. Some couples opt for similar rings while others go for the complete opposite. Whichever you choose, there are various customisations that you can make to your rings to make them more similar, should you choose to. You could consider having your names, wedding date or even the special place that you were married engraved on the inside of your rings. Or, for subtle personalisation, you could add each other’s birthstones to the inside of your rings.

Budget

Engagement and wedding rings can largely vary in price so it is always important to have a budget in mind. Traditionally, people are willing to spend two to three month's salary on an engagement ring. Although, the key is to decide on a budget that you and your partner are comfortable with and can afford.
Wedding rings will usually be anywhere from a few hundred up depending on how elaborate the wedding ring is and if it was part of a set with the engagement ring - remember marquise and halo rings may look incredible alone but adding a wedding bandmeans custmoising a wedding band to fit under or around the shape of the engagement ring. This is becoming more popular with the advent of such shaped rings but it will add to the budget of your complementary wedding band.

Remember the Long Term

While it is important to have an engagement and wedding ring that you love, it is necessary to also think about the long-term factors. If you decide on a ring that is more fashionable, with a coloured stone or unique shape, remember that it is going to be with you for the rest of your life and could look dated in years to come. When thinking long-term it is also important to remember to not skimp on the quality of your ring, quality workmanship is essential to ensure your ring lasts for the years to come.

Choosing for her

For the person proposing, it's generally quite a daunting task if she doesn't have input into the design.
It's becoming increasingly popular to purchase the diamond in a temporary setting for permanent setting into a design of her choice at a later date.
Alternatively, short of her circling jewellery brochures and stratetgically leaving them out for you, she may be ahead of you with her design choices having pinned an array of examples to keep you on track.
Something to keep in mind is her hobbies or line of work - if she's working with her hands or climbing mountains, a giant rock isn't going to be appropriate, similarly so if she works from home or is a stay at home mother who uses her hands all day everyday because we've heard so many tales of brides reaching into a cupboard and coming out withou the diamond.

Something else to think about is her preference for metals and gems - maybe she's not a diamond girl, perhaps she'd prefer a sultry ruby or forest green emerald. Similarly, take a look at the jewelery she currently wears, is it all gold? silver? - this will help you to work it out.