6 Reasons Why South Africa Makes for the Best Safari Weddings
Destination weddings are full of romance and excitement; saying your vows and making your promises in a place that will always stand out in your mind and in your heart. A destination wedding is about seeking the perfect view to accompany the moment you exchange rings, or looking for the landscape that will capture your spirit as you say “I do”. Often, newlyweds return to a place they once called home to celebrate their Big Day surrounded by great memories, nostalgia, and comforting familiarity; and other times, couples go in search of somewhere entirely new to signify the beginning of another chapter of life, now shared with their dearly beloved.
When it comes to finding that special place, the world is your oyster. From frozen ski slopes to tropical beaches, vast desert dunes, botanical forests, and rolling savannah; the natural beauty of this world is inspiring to say the least, and it might be difficult choose exactly where you picture yourself gazing into the eyes of your spouse-to-be. Well, we know a little something about South Africa, and there are a number of reasons we would choose it over and over again as the grounding, exhilarating, empowering, and humbling place on earth to tie the knot. Here is why South Africa could be the most beautiful place to get married…
South Africa is a country famous for its biodiversity, with seven different biomes plotted all over the country. This means that within the boundaries of this one country, you’ll find forests, floral kingdoms, open savannah, thorny thickets, grasslands and succulent gardens, offering an extravagant array of options for whatever natural scenery you envision for your Big Day. Alternatively, make your honeymoon an extension of your wedding and set about exploring all of South Africa’s beautiful biomes. Some of the Greater Kruger Park’s private game reserves are nestled at the foot the historic Drakensberg mountain range, which rises up in incredible shapes, cloaked in unique vegetation. From golden grasses shimmering at the hem of your dress, to bare and beautiful winter marula trees overhead, the image of a bride and groom in South Africa’s untamed Lowveld is a vision to behold.
Of course, with the trees and the grasses come the animals that feast on them, and in their wake, the great predators of Africa. South Africa is one of the continent’s top safari destinations due to the density of wildlife, and there is no denying that this is something that makes the country outandingly special. The diversity of the natural landscapes houses a phenomenal population of wildlife, from birds sweeping through the skies, to butterflies pollenating wild and aromatic flowers. Sure, this country is home to snakes and spiders too, but in a thriving ecosystem, there is room for all creatures, which make the environment what it is. Getting married in “the bush” means doing so under the watchful eyes of giraffes, in view of the dust-bathing elephants, beneath a canopy of twittering birds, and in the territory of lions.
South Africa is not only distinctive in its landscapes and its natural terrain; it has significant cultural wealth and diversity that adds character and colour to the experience. There are nine national languages recognised in the country, and each region holds historic significance to various cultural groups. Song and dance is the essence of African celebration and expression, and vibrant materials, textures, beadwork, weaving, etching, and carving collide in wonderful creations of traditional clothing and decorative items. Safari weddings in South Africa come alive when the people of the Shangaan tribe break into enthusiastic song and beat their drums with undeniable passion. There is nothing more like the soul of Africa than the vibration of a traditional dance ringing out into the night, and bringing emotion and joy to a wedding celebration.
A South African destination wedding is likely to be an outdoor wedding, whether down south in the age-old vineyards of the Cape Winelands, or up north in the wild and untamed Kruger Park. Let’s face it, we’ve come for the glorious view, the fresh air, the birdsong, and the picture perfect weather. Summer on safari can be a sweaty ordeal as temperatures rise high and rainfall looms in the hot afternoons, but while plenty of places in the world have shiveringly cold winters, the Kruger Park is boasting the ideal 23 degrees Celsius days without a cloud in the sky. A winter wedding in South Africa’s Kruger region can guarantee good weather, while those brides brave enough to compete with the heat of summer will be richly rewarded by the sublime presence of lush greenery and melody of migrant birds in the trees.
An important aspect of a destination wedding is accessibility. How logistically sound is the safari wedding going to be? How easily will wedding guests be able to travel to and from the South African wedding spot, and will these wild and beautiful places be hours away from the nearest town or airport? Ideally, a safari wedding in South Africa needn’t come with the hassle of extended travel time, spending precious hours in transit to the bush. Weddings in magnificent nature reserves, such as the Sabi Sand, Timbavati, Thornybush, or Kapama, are all accessible via small airports that receive flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town daily. Eastgate and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airports regularly deliver guests right into the capable hands of their guides or drivers before they are whisked off into the bush.
Finally, a crucial element of any wedding, is the venue. And South Africa has excellent options to suit both elaborate, no-holds-barred extravaganzas, and blissfully low-key ceremonies. A safari wedding can be tailored to suit a couple who would like to see no one other than one another on their special day, or it can transform to accommodate families and friends for a spectacular send off into wedded bliss. Intimate bush camps or glamorous game lodges, rustic and casual, or stylish and sleek; a safari wedding in South Africa offers a smorgasbord of choice, and with nature on your side, this is a destination never to be forgotten.
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