Three German children have been caught trying to run away to Africa for a wedding in the sun.

Young romantic Mika, 6, and his 7-year-old girlfriend Anna Bell were so enamored with each other they planned an escape to tie the knot in a warmer climate.

Dragging along Mika's sister Anna-Lena, 5, the kids packed three suitcases "filled with food, swimming costumes, a lilo and even sunglasses," said police spokesman Holger Jureczko.

The idea for the romantic trip began when Mika told the two girls about his recent vacation in Italy. They decided to head for Africawhile their families slept on New Year's Day.

"From this, the children began to make plans for the future," Jureczko said.

In the early hours of 2009, the children left their house in the suburbs of Hanover, and took a tram for the central station.

As they waited for the train to the airport wearing their holiday gear, they caught the attention of a guard who contacted police.

Two officers managed to convince the young lovers that they would struggle to get to Africa without money or a plane ticket.

"What drew our attention was not so much that they were small children but that they had a lot of swim gear with them," Jureczko said.

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