Are you planning to get married or renew your vows? Choose a spot in the wild for your special day. These incredible destinations promise a love celebration never to be forgotten. By Arnold Ras and Magriet Kruger
A poetic union
Where: The confluence’s main deck at Mapungubwe National Park
Let the meeting place of two incredible rivers be the setting for your own special union. The main viewing deck in Mapungubwe National Park offers breathtaking views over the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers – a gorgeous venue for a bride who loves the bush. The park’s unique feel – towering baobabs and crisp blue skies – will inspire the décor and colour schemes, while hearty African bush dining will delight your guests.
Number of guests: 30
Contact: +27 (0)15 534 7923/24, [email protected]
Mountain as witness
Where: Platteklip Wash House Conference Centre at the foot of Table Mountain
Exchanging vows with Table Mountain as backdrop? Surely it cannot get more romantic than this. Picture a quaint stone cottage at the foot of Cape Town’s iconic landmark, a mountain stream burbling in the background. The historic Platteklip Wash House is perfect for a bride wanting an intimate gathering and because it sleeps 24 guests, you can make a weekend of it. Here an outside ceremony under big indigenous trees becomes a heavenly affair.
Number of guests: 15-30
Contact: +27 (0)21 462 7861
A luxurious celebration
While this image of a dinner on the lawn at Marataba Safari Lodge may look like a prize-winning photographer’s most valued (and staged) piece, word from our guests is that the experience is even better… What an image will never quite capture is the stuff the other 4 senses are made of. #MaratabaSafariLodge #Marataba
Where: Marataba Safari Lodge, Marakele National Park
Enjoy star treatment on your special day. Only three hours from Johannesburg, this five-star lodge combines the splendour of the Waterberg with the finest food, décor and service. Even better, Marataba’s wedding package takes care of everything: from a dedicated wedding co-ordinator and an abridged marriage certificate to an exquisite venue and a handcrafted cake. Marataba is exclusive and luxurious – fitting for a bride and groom that will spare no costs to make their day extraordinary. You’ll be happy to hear that this national park is a malaria-free area. Stay a few more days and make Marataba your honeymoon destination.
Number of guests: 30
Contact: +27 (0)14 779 0018, [email protected]
As good as gold
Where: Golden Gate Highlands National Park
The Golden Gate’s sandstone charm has played host to many I do’s over the years. And with good reason. It’s an incredible setting where South Africa’s natural beauty will leave your guests astounded. Your wedding photographer will have a field day turning pictures in works of art: steal a kiss in front of the Brandwag Buttress or capture two families at the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. With several accommodation options, you could gather all the relatives for a weekend to remember. For the bridal couple, Golden Gate Hotel offers a honeymoon suite: king-sized bed, spa bath and balcony with a view of the mountains.
Number of guests: 25-150
Contact: +27 (0)58 255 1000, [email protected]
Serene dam scenes
Where: Bon Accorde Resort
Have your wedding and reception next to the tranquil waters of KwaZulu-Natal’s Albert Falls Dam. The lush three-star resort in the heart of the KZN midlands boasts enough space for couples with rather large families. Here young guests will have a blast enjoying green lawns and dam-side games. It’s a serene location ideal for the open-air wedding of your dreams. We absolutely agree with resort manager Sandile Mkhize: “This is such a happy place. All the weddings we host fill it with joyful memories.” And sundowners are a must before the reception gets under way!
Number of guests: 100-150
Contact: +27 (0)33 569 1643, [email protected]