Eric and Tessa's wild, South African, philanthropic, pre-honeymoon #Honeymoons#africa#honeymoon October 22 | Megan Finley meganfinley Eric and Tessa with the 3,000 year old Baobab. Honeymooners: Tessa and Eric Type: International travel Budget: ALL-OUT! ($10,000+) Where did you go? We purchased a week at safari lodge in South Africa from a non-profit annual auction, and planned on using the trip in 2012. Since we were both not working we decided to make the most of the time off and planned a month long odyssey in South Africa. What did you do? A view of Table Mountain from Kirstenbosch Garden Lots of driving. We literally drove from one end of the country to the other. We visited Johannesburg, Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the Drakensburg Mountain Range, Royal Natal National Park, Zulu Nyala Game Reserve, Hluhluwe Umfolzi Game Reserve, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Blyde River Canyon, Kruger National Park, Camdeboo National Park, Graaff-Reinet, Bloemfontein, Mossel Bay, Hermanus, Betty's Bay, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Table Mountain, and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. I think this might win for cutest photo on OBB everrrrrr. Learned how to drive South African style — on the left and pass without regard to the lines on the road. Visiting the penguins in Betty's Bay. Spent an entire day in a bureaucratic mess at the police station so we could file a hit and run report on our rental car. Ate a multitude of English breakfasts (fried eggs, fried mushrooms, fried tomato, toast, bacon, and sausage). Hiking — our favorite hike was Sentinel Peak. Got lost for three hours without water and almost trampled by a herd of giraffes. Played in the Indian Ocean. Cape Town. Went on safaris and saw the "Big 5" and even more. Whale watching in Hermanus. Rode a gondola up Table Mountain. Stumble Inn wine and cheese tasting in wine country. Amazing dinner at Bizerca Bistro in Cape Town. Had English tea and walked around Kirstenbosh National Botanical Garden. Saw a 3,000 year old Baobab tree called "The Big Tree." What was the most meaningful moment of the trip? There were a multitude of moments. Some that were extremely challenging and, after we met those challenges, I felt proud of us for working together. There were also moments of complete joy, when the experience was so beautiful that I was overwhelmed with gratitude. What would you have done differently? It's hard to see suffering on the side of the road and happily drive by. I would try harder to forgive myself for being rich, so I could ease my guilt and relax more. Han & Wood's Steam Train Hippie Funk Fest Wedding The offbeat bride: Han, Safari Company Her offbeat partner: Woody, Director of Safari Company Location & date of wedding: Talyllyn Railway (for ceremony) and Abergynolwyn... [more] Eric and the 3,000 year old Baobab Tree What's your advice for other offbeat honeymooners? You can pick a honeymoon that gives back. Our US dollars went into South Africa's economy. Their international unemployment rate is over 25%, they have fewer social services, and poverty is far more severe than we are used to. Gorgeous photo of central South Africa. We purchased the safari trip from Casa Latina, a non-profit organization that assists Latino immigrants with education and employment opportunities. During the trip we also stayed at the Scalabrini Center Guest House. This organization provides welfare programs to support the needy in Cape Town. You can also help support conservation by visiting national parks and game reserves. Your entry fee will help save habitat and wildlife. HONEYMOON PHOTOS! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Megan Finley Megan Finley is the Associate Publisher and Editorial Overlord. When she's not slaving away for the Empire, she's sharing her dork side on her own blog. @meganfinley @meggyfin PREVIOUS Samantha & Justin's Eccentric, Music-filled Wedding NEXT 19 alternative engagement rings perfect for proposing to your offbeat beloved Toggle comments [ 10 ] i am SO jealous! Africa is absolutely on my bucket list. Though i totally empathize with the feeling of guilt about having so much when you are surrounded by people who don't – i felt that way when i went to the Dominican Republic as a 19 year-old. Very humbling. 1 agrees Reply I am so fortunate to live in as beautiful a country as South Africa :). 4 agree Reply it so beautiful!!! 0 agree Reply I was reminded that guilt is pointless, but action is everything. You have to help whenever you can and even when you think you can't, because billions of people are not as lucky as I am. Iâ€™m definitely not a rich personâ€”my last job was working for a non-profit orgâ€”but I learned how truly wealthy I am, because I donâ€™t have to beg for food. I saw people living in metal shacks, miles of shacks made out of scavenged materials, just outside the modern city of CapeTown. In the middle of the night I saw a man without arms and legs risking his life to beg for change in the middle of a busy street. South Africa is working hard to make the country a better place for its peopleâ€”but they have a long struggle to move away from the shadow of Apartheid. 2 agree Reply Holy cow. I wish I could make my holiday photos look this good! 0 agree Reply What a beautiful location. I would love to have that as a holidy photo. I can't imagine traveling to such a beautiful place 0 agree Reply 1. Your photos are gorgeous 2. I completely envy you for this amazing trip 0 agree Reply I'm also very blessed to be living in South Africa and is very excited to marry the love of my life in December under the warm African sun! 2 agree Reply Yay for South Africa Love seeing features from where I'm from Glad you guys had an awesome honeymoon 2 agree Reply LOL! So many fellow South Africans. I, too, am very happy to be living here. Haven't been to the baobab yet, though. 1 agrees Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. 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