Looking for a unique wedding? Why not combine your wedding and a safari? Here is a collection of the best safari resorts, bush camps and game lodges that cater for your every need in creating the ultimate wedding experience that sticks out from the rest! Never forget your special wedding day in these timeless wedding venues in the bush.
If your dream is to have a wedding that nobody will ever forget, look no further than a bush setting in the African wild. The calls of wild animals, combined with the stunning natural beauty of the bush, provide the perfect atmosphere of class and romance for the ultimate wedding celebration. Combining a wedding with a safari touch provides the bridal party and their guests with exciting activities to take part in in the build up to the wedding ceremony, including game drives and bush sundowners. It also provides unique photographic opportunities with the African wilderness as the background. The Safari Index highly recommends the following camps and lodges for the perfect bush wedding:
Mhondoro Lodge, Welgevonden Game Reserve
Perfect for small and intimate weddings, the Mhondoro Game Lodge is found in the Welgevonden Game Reserve, which is a malaria-free area. This luxury bush lodge is perched on a hillside and offers breathtaking views. Lavishly furnished, facilities at the lodge include a library, bar, pool, gym, sauna and indoor and outdoor dining areas. Staff prepare delicious three-course meals for guests. Although the lodge only accommodated up to 10 guests there are a number of other lodges on the Welgevonden property that can cater for any number of guests.
Kololo Lodge, Waterberg
Ideal for a large wedding in a predator-free environement, the Kololo Game Lodge is also found in the beautiful Waterberg region of South Africa, conveniently close to Johannesburg and Pretoria. The lodge offers both self-catering and full-board accommodation. The waterhole near the lodge can be seen from the restaurant and bar area, and guests are treated to the sight of rhino, elephant and sometimes lion coming down to drink on the adjacent Big 5 Welgevonden Game Reserve. The lodge is family-friendly, with children’s activities offered, and also offers game drives on which guests can see the Big 5 on the neighbouring reserve.
Ivory Tree Game Lodge, Pilanesberg
Located in Pilanesberg National Park, Ivory Tree Game Lodge consists of 60 rooms and so can host up to 120 people for a wedding. Additional guests can be accommodated in nearby camps in the Pilanesberg. The lodge has extensive conference facilities, as well as a spa offering a variety of treatments. The rooms are comfortably furnished, with outdoor showers and patios.
Dwyka Tented Lodge, Sanbona
Located in Sanbona Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s unique Karoo biome, this luxury tented camp offers amazing views of a horseshoe gorge. Each spacious tent is privately located and lavishly furnished. Facilities at the lodge include a spa and wine collection. Interesting rock formations surround the camp, which is designed with a blend of modern and traditional styles make for a truly unique and special wedding venue.
Mountain Lodge, Phinda Game Reserve
Phinda Mountain Lodge is majestically located at the top of a bush-clad mountain in South Africa’s popular Phinda Private Game Reserve, offering spectacular views. Each luxury suite looks out over the game rich landscape, and has its own private veranda and full bathroom amenities. Viewing decks are also found around the main lodge, allowing guests to have a drink amidst this stunning natural setting. The lodge also caters for families with children, with interleading rooms available.
The Manor at Samara, Karoo
Located in Samara Private Game Reserve in the Karoo, the Manor at Samara caters for the exclusive use of private groups or families of 1-8 guests. Spill over guests can be accommodated in The Manor’s sister lodge and in lodging on adjacent properties. The pool, gardens and lounges at the lodge offer the perfect place to relax in between game drives and other safari activities. The lodge is designed in a modern, urban style, complementing the rugged surrounds. The food is delicious and the staff warm and friendly.
Located in natural savannah surrounds just 4km from the thundering Victoria Falls, this lodge is the perfect destination from which to get hitched! Enjoy sundowners in one of the best sundowner spots in Africa or take part in the abundant adventure activities offered in the area. The lodge offers spectacular views and overlooks a busy waterhole, from which a variety of wildlife species can be seen coming to have a drink. The luxurious suites and first-class facilities at one of Africa’s most iconic landmarks make this a perfect wedding venue.
Kariega Ukhozi, Eastern Cape
This comfortable lodge is located in the malaria-free Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern cape of South Africa. The lodge is perched on a hilltop overlooking a valley in which a variety of game can be seen. The lodge also offers distant views of the Indian Ocean- the perfect way to unwind and relax. Each room, which is fashioned in the form of a log cabin, is luxurious and airy, with a private plunge pool. Activities offered include canoeing, mountain biking and hiking so guests of all ages have plenty to keep them entertained. The Euphorbia-clad valleys and waterways of the Kariega River make for stunning photos and wedding spots.
With the spectacular Drakensberg Escarpment as a backdrop Thornybush Game Lodge consists of 18 luxury accommodation units, with 2 family suites in the world-famous Big 5 Thornybush Game Reserve. Each suite has an outdoor shower, and large windows offering expansive views of the bushveld. With a variety of wedding venuw options, Thornybush makes for a memorable bush wedding.
Rock Lodge is set in the heart of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. Built into the mountainside, the lodge incorporates natural rock in to its walls. It is small and intimate, accommodating only 6 guests per suite yet has conference facilities for 20 people, and caters for weddings for up to 50. The lodge has a bar and restaurant, as well barbecue facilities for each room. Guests can enjoy hiking and walking in the surrounding mountains, forests, rivers and valleys, taking in the stunning natural scenery of the Drakensberg which makes a dramatic backdrop to wedding photos.
Tau Game Lodge, Madikwe
Tau Game Lodge is a large private game lodge in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. Consisting of 30 rooms, it is surrounded by rocky hills and overlooks a large dam, which is frequently visited by large game and bustles with birdlife. Each comfortable, cosy room has a private view of the dam and surrounds. The camp has conference facilities that can accommodate up to 120 people, as well as a health spa to help relax and rejuvenate guests. There is a variety of additional lodge accommodation available on the reserve so anything from small to large scale weddings can be accommodated.
Located in Shamwari Private Game Reserve, the colonial hotel-styled Long Lee Manor consists of 18 suites which have been expanded from an original manor house. The lodge provides great wedding and conference facilities, two swimming pools, a spa and facilities for disabled persons. The colonial style of the lodge adds to its old-English charm. Guests can enjoy views across game rich plains while well-trained staff tend to their every need.
Located in the well-known Sabi Sabi Game Reserve, this lodge consists of 25 suites accommodating up to 50 people, two swimming pools, a health spa and a conference centre. The lodge overlooks a waterhole, and has several viewing areas where guest can enjoy the sight of the animals and the wilderness beyond. The lodge is child-friendly, but also offers a private, exclusive suite with a plunge pool and in-room dining.
Centrally located in the famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Nottens Bush Lodge is a great camp for small, intimate weddings. The camp is set in lush green gardens, with the accommodation in the form of garden cottages. The camp is also unfenced, and guests therefore get to see many wildlife species passing nearby. The lodge also has wonderful views of a waterhole. Facilities available include a swimming pool, as well as a health spa.