A Fairy Tale
Picture the fairy tale… Following an effortless bush ceremony, guests raise their glasses to toast the bride and groom in a sand river or on an outcrop overlooking spectacular mountain ranges. Followed by a gracious banquet celebration set in an open-air boma, with softly glowing lanterns, crackling fires, crisp white tablecloths, and the background orchestra of the wild.
There is little as unique as a wedding celebration in the African bush. The thrill of wild animals roaming the savannah nearby, the stunning beauty of nature as the backdrop, and the exclusivity of remote lodges in iconic wildlife reserves make a Bush Wedding an easy choice for a dream wedding, filled with breath-taking moments and joyful surprises that will pamper and delight any couple.
From small intimate ceremonies to larger weddings, a Bush Wedding is sure to create memorable experiences, one that your guests will be talking about for years to come.
Here are our TOP 10 Romantic Safari Wedding Locations in South Africa:
1. Mduli Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
With indoor and outdoor venue options hosting up to 100 guests, Mduli Safari Lodge offers a brilliant option for larger celebrations. The 360˚views into the Kruger National Park are sure to impress your guests as much as the tented accommodation will appeal to their sense of adventure.
2. Shamwari Private Game Reserve, Eastern Cape
We recently entertained a group of discerning South Africans here, and can with confidence say, Shamwari pull out all the stops when it comes to events. There are a number of lodges on the reserve, making this a perfect choice for both intimate and larger weddings, and is also perfect if you want to invite little ones to join in the fun.
3. Ulusaba Safari Lodge, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, Mpumalanga
Stand out from the crowd and be sure to wow your guests at Richard Branson’s Ulusaba. Keep it authentic with gourmet South African delights and local entertainment. You have the choice of pure romance, indulgence, simply exclusive and premium exclusive events.
Description automatically generatedGondwana offers a romantic and tranquil experience where guests can enjoy the breathtaking views of the Langeberg mountain range, more than 1 000 species of fynbos, and exhilarating game drives to view herds of wildlife. Gondwana is one of the best authentic safari outdoor wedding venues catering for up to 200 guests and it is easily accessible from Cape Town.
5. Makanyane Safari Lodge, Madikwe Private Game Reserve
Picture yourselves celebrating your marriage beneath an ancient Tamboti tree, on the banks of the Marico River or overlooking a waterhole. Imagine being serenaded by the uplifting performance of a local African choir or walking down the aisle to the evocative sounds of the reserve’s untamed residents. Whether you’re looking for a secluded ceremony for two or an extraordinary celebration, this is a magical spot.
6. Royal Malewane, Thornybush Private Game Reserve, Limpopo
Teeming with life and beauty, African bush weddings at Royal Malewane not only provide a stunning photographic setting but will inspire and uplift you and your guests. With its splendid colonial style, Royal Malewane offers a truly spectacular African bush wedding venue with luxurious accommodation in private suites and our world-renowned Spa will make your stay as special as it ought to be – the experience of a lifetime. Kosher weddings are also catered for.
7. Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal
A wildly romantic reserve, you can choose between various styles and lodges, Phinda Reserve caters for weddings from 2 to 122 guests. A variety of locations, ranging from rocky outcrops with views of the bush, to a bush clearing that embraces you with the sound and beauty of nature, or around the open fire and an intimate forest ceremony, there is something to suit every couple’s taste.
8. Sanbona Game Reserve, Western Cape
We love this reserve especially in spring when you won’t even need flowers, as the reserve’s flora bloom into life and form a natural bouquet for your celebration. A range of lodges cater for smaller weddings or go larger and includes of the best family lodges. There are a variety of activities to keep all entertained, whilst the ceremony and celebrations are being finalised. Say I do in this stunning wilderness sanctuary of endless vistas.
We can’t help it, but the Sabi Sands is a favourite… and if it is privacy and exclusivity you want, lodges like Dulini Leadwood are a great option. This is a classic safari experience for the sophisticated traveller. With only 4 suites, this is an idyllic setting for a private affair. There are three other lodges, should you want to expand the party.
10. Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya
While this is not in South Africa, we could not resist adding it to one of the most romantic spots in Africa, where Robert Redford whispered sweet nothings in the ear of Meryl Streep in Out of Africa. With endless views of the Maasai Mara Reserve, Angama Mara serves as the most beautiful backdrop to your destination wedding, be it a classical ceremony, or a traditional Maasai blessing.