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FFew places in South Africa convey a sense of occasion like the wedding destinations of Northern Cape province.
With the Orange River carving a thin line of green through the arid immensity surrounding it, the province is vast and varied. Farmers grow cotton, dates and grapes on sprawling farms, lions roam the red sands of the Kalahari Desert, and the historic towns that dot the landscape embody the spirit of this uncompromising yet hospitable land.
The province’s dramatic geography provides an ideal backdrop for your celebration, with desert landscapes that are among the most remote and romantic places to get married in South Africa. While many Northern Cape wedding venues lie off the beaten track and take some getting to, you will experience exceptional hospitality and, with careful planning, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you and your guests.
These venues include luxury lodges in exclusive game reserves, like !Xaus Lodge in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where members of your wedding party will feel like the only people in the world.
The Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is another venue characterised by vast skies and plentiful wildlife. Other remote and wild Northern Cape wedding venues include the Richtersveld National Park, Namaqualand and the immense plains of the Tankwa Karoo.
You could also celebrate your wedding in the lush heart of the Green Kalahari. Here, the Kuruman Valley, made famous by a bountiful natural spring (the ‘Eye of Kuruman’) that delivers fresh water to the town’s residents, offers varied options. Apart from nearby farms and lodges, it is home to the famous Moffat Mission Church, completed in 1838.
The Sun River Kalahari Lodge and the River Ridge Resort in Upington make the most of the dramatic potential of the Orange River. Some riverside venues, like Ou Skool Guesthouse, are situated on working wine, date or cotton farms, with plentiful local produce available for your reception.
The Vaal River also provides several scenic spots for a wedding – venues like Broadwater Estate are within easy reach of Kimberley’s services and amenities.
You may want to exchange your vows in a historic city like Kimberley, in a venue like the stately Kimberley Club, which opened in 1881, to lend your celebration a certain gravitas.
In its long history, the club has hosted royalty, diplomats and mining moguls from the city’s time as South Africa’s diamond-mining capital. You can even arrange to exchange vows on a platform overlooking the Big Hole, famous for yielding more than 2 700kg of diamonds, or at one of the guest lodges close by.
Other small Northern Cape towns like Colesberg and Port Nolloth also make attractive venues for smaller weddings, but venue options may be more limited.
TTravel tips & Planning info
How to get here
There is a good road network through Northern Cape, as well as airports in Kimberly and Upington that connect to larger centres in the country. But do note that distances in this province are vast, so check average journey times well in advance.
Best time to visit
Note that in December and January, afternoon temperatures in Northern Cape are very hot − usually in the upper 30-40⁰C range. Winter temperatures (June to August) can drop below freezing, especially at night. In September and October, the western parts of the province in the winter rainfall area are especially beautiful, as the arid landscapes come to life in a riot of wildflowers.
Around the area
Northern Cape has a beautiful coastline and several national parks to visit. The area is also known for its fine examples of San rock art, abundant deposits of semi-precious stones, and desert-adapted wildlife.
Length of stay
A 2-week honeymoon – or post-wedding holiday for your guests – will still not give you enough time to explore all the attractions this extensive province has to offer.
As many of the wedding destinations in Northern Cape are remote and relatively isolated, all-inclusive wedding deals are well worth considering.