14 February is Valentine’s Day – a day to celebrate if you have a grain of romance in your heart! Thanks to an ancient rite, flowers and champers, candlelit dinners, love-denched cupids, and getaways to swoon over, are all the order of our modern day.

Romantic tented accommodation at Garonga Safari Camp

But who, in fact, was the legendary St Valentine in whose honour such extravagant gestures of affection are lavished on lovers? According to one version of the Valentines story, Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century when Emperor Claudius II decided to outlaw marriage for young men in order to retain their services for the army. Priest Valentine defied this decree, and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. A most gallant and risky act in the service of love!  Centuries later we still relish the opportunity to honour the virtues of love, and we now have the well-established custom of treating our lover to a fabulously romantic getaway.

So why not consider some of these: In Mpumalanga we give a thumbs up to Timamoon Lodge, a truly sublime sanctuary for romance tucked away in the hills of the Sabie area. Beautiful sensual lodges are hidden away in sub-tropical forest. Divine four-poster beds, and huge baths – glorious enough to float away in. At nightfall you’ll meander through the forests and come upon a candle-lit feasting place built on stilts, where you’ll dine with your valentine on irresistable delights.

In Limpopo you need look no further than Garonga Safari Camp, a soulful and exclusive tented sanctuary in Makalali to the west of the Kruger Park. Earthy textures, draped beds, beckoning hammocks, bush baths by candle-glow under big African skies, and lusciously tantalising outdoor meals are all part of the very romantic scene at Garonga. The bush-view sala is just the place to ease into an aromatherapy or reflexology spoil, just for good measure. Garonga also offers all the adventure of a safari.

On the Garden Route the Phantom Forest Eco Reserve in Knysna is an awesome Valentines getaway. Its gorgeous tree-suites are built under dense forest canopy where you’re ensconced very close to nature. Feasting experiences at Phantom Forest Lodge are very memorable indeed, and include the North-African-inspired Chutzpah.

In KwaZulu-Natal Thonga Beach Lodge is a haven for romance on the Maputaland coast. Exclusive barefoot luxury is the key at this idyllic getaway far from the josling crowds. Another firm KZN favourite for romance is Hartford House in the Midlands. It just oozes the ambience of love, and the wining and dining is truly outstanding.

Suite with Private Splash-pool at The Safari Lodge

In the Eastern Cape a great choice for ardent pursuers of Cupid would be The Safari Lodge. This very stylish lodge is set in the Amakhala Game Reserve close to the Addo Elephant National Park. It’s intimate and luxurious, and ideal for a romantic escape.

The Western Cape has its fair share of romantic getaways, but here we’re recommending Lanzerac Hotel & Spa on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. You’ll feel bathed in luxury after a night or two in quiet elegant comfort at this gorgeous estate hotel. A wonderful spa adds to the experience. O on Kloof in Bantry Bay is a fabulous spoil too, complete with in-house spa and heated pool.

But please be in touch with us, we have many more grand suggestions … And whatever you do, do have a happy Valentines Day!