Weddings in the bush
Did you know?
In some South African cultures the practice of lobola is followed, where prospective grooms must pay the bride-to-be's family.
There is something magical about being serenaded by the sounds of the bushveld as you say your vows under an African sky. In South Africa, bush weddings are popular with those with a sense of adventure and a love of nature.
There is a wide choice of bush wedding venues in South Africa that cater for small- to medium-sized groups. These include five-star hotels and lodges, intimate farm settings and outdoor venues where nature provides all the décor you need.
For the ceremony itself, you can choose a deck overlooking a waterhole, or a romantic spot under trees on the banks of a river. You may want to choose a rocky outcrop with views of the bushveld that stretch as far as you can see; or a bush clearing; or one of the luxurious lodges for which South Africa is famous.
For the wedding reception, lodges that offer safari-style weddings are well equipped to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for you and your guests. This may include a traditional braai (barbeque) in an intimate boma; or "out-of-Africa" elegance under a starry sky, with lions roaring in the distance; or cocktails accompanied by a string quartet as the sun sinks beyond the horizon. You can also arrange for traditional singers and dancers to perform at bush weddings.
All of South Africa’s top private nature reserves offer wedding packages.
Game reserves like Thornybush in Limpopo and Londolozi and Ulusaba in Mpumalanga are well-known bush wedding venues. Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape is also popular, as are Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal and Tswalu Kalahari in the Northern Cape.
There are also many other options on reserves and game farms around the country, including a number of lodges in the Waterberg area in Limpopo province, as well as in the Madikwe Game Reserve in North West province.
Whatever your preference, a wedding in the bush is a very romantic way of saying, "I do."
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)76 310 7031
Tel: +27 (0)21 426 5783
How to get here
Some game reserves offer shuttle services to and from the closest airport, while some have private airstrips; or you can drive yourself.
Best time to visit
The bush is magical all year round. In winter (June to August) it is cool, dry and good for game viewing, while in summer (November to February) it is hot, lush and green, with a chance of thundershowers.
What will it cost
Given the exchange rate, weddings in South Africa represent good value for money.
Where to stay
Bush wedding venues often offer on-site accommodation for you and your guests.