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Weddings in the Wild

Weddings in the Wild

Untitled-2-cOVERThis special feature is courtesy of our friends at SANParks Times, a quarterly publication that brings you all the news from our 19 South African National Parks. For more insightful pieces from deep within our wildest natural treasures, subscribe for just R60 a year – CLICK HERE

The white sand is soft underneath your bare feet and the waves crashing next to you. Your curly locks dance in the breeze as you seal the promise with an everlasting kiss. Whether you choose a sea setting or the bush for your wedding, many of our national parks are ideal venues for those looking to tie the knot. – René de Klerk, SANParks Times

Many people search far and wide to find the perfect wedding venue. With many of the national parks being able to host weddings, finding the perfect venue should not cause nightmares.

1. West Coast National Park – Geelbek
Geelbek near Langebaan is an idyllic spot to host your wedding. The nearest church is approximately 15km away. The venue includes a Cape Dutch historical building, a beach and nature settings for photo opportunities.

Capacity: 200 people
Venue cost: Between R8000 and R12000 including wedding coordination, venue, catering, decor hire, flowers, microphone and more.
Accommodation: The Duinepos chalets offer 11 self-catering units.
Honeymoon options: Romantic midnight picnic on the beach. You get candles, chocolates and flowers in your honeymoon suite.
Contact: [email protected] or +27-22-772-2134

Seeberg Hut is a popular spot for photos at Geelbeck Restaurant.

Seeberg Hut is a popular spot for photos at Geelbeck Restaurant. (Liza Wigley)


2. Golden Gate Highlands National Park – Golden Gate Hotel Free State Room
The park is equidistant from Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Durban, making it great for travelling guests. The lawns outside the hotel can be used for the ceremony, but weather can be unpredictable. Clarens is approximately 20km away.

Capacity: 120 to 150 guests.
Venue cost: R11 000 plus R3000 for an optional tent as extension. This includes 12 round tables, 120 leather-back chairs, cutlery, crockery and table cloths. A custom menu will be developed.
Accommodation:  Golden Gate Hotel has 54 rooms, can accommodate 240 guests. There are other options in the park.
Honeymoon options: Book five hotel units and get the honeymoon suite for free.
Contact: +27-58-255-1000 or [email protected]

3. Kruger National Park Mopani Rest Camp
This is the perfect choice for a bush wedding. There are two sites to choose from with a conference facility as backup. Mooiplaas picnic site has a river view with spectacular sunsets while a tambotie canopy will frame the picture at the Ndzhopforini Bush Braai site. Both venues include decorations, benches and chairs.

Capacity: Mooiplaas 80 guests and Ndzopforini 150.
Venue cost: R4700 for the venue along with 20-seater game viewing vehicle. Tindlovu Restaurant can assist with tables, chairs, food, crockery and cutlery, lighting and welcome drinks.
Accommodation: Mopani rest camp accommodates 506 people.
Honeymoon options: Complimentary champagne breakfast for the newlyweds.
Contact:  Tindlovu Restaurant +27-13-735-6541 or Mopani Rest Camp +27-13-735-6535

Tracking cheetah at Mountain Zebra National Park. (Eric Reisinger)

Tracking cheetah at Mountain Zebra National Park. (Eric Reisinger)

4. Mountain Zebra National Park
With scenic views of the Bankberg Mountains, your wedding can be hosted in the conference room, lawn outside the restaurant or the Weltevrede picnic site. Catering, bar services, tables and chairs as well as crockery can be provided by the restaurant.

Capacity: The conference room can host 40 people or 100 if combined with the restaurant.
Venue cost: Contact the restaurant for catering costs. Costs of conference room on website.
Accommodation:  20 family cottages, two mountain cottages and 20 camping sites.
Honeymoon options: Secluded, rustic mountain cottages and activities such as cheetah tracking.
Contact:  +27-48-881-2427

5. Augrabies Falls National Park Conference Centre & Quiver Tree Restaurant
The mighty Augrabies falls with its dramatic landscape offer a beautiful setting for wedding photos, however, you might have to wear flat shoes to traverse the rocky terrain. The park provides bottled water while the restaurant takes care of tables, chairs, cutlery and crockery.

Capacity: 60 people in conference centre.
Venue cost: R45 per person for the conference room. Decorations, flowers and table arrangements will have to be arranged from outside.
Accommodation:  Visit the SANPArks website for options inside the park
Honeymoon options: Romantic morning or sunset drive including picnic basket.
Contact: +27-54-452-9200

6. Table Mountain National Park – Platteklip Washhouses
Enjoy your special day at the foot of Table Mountain in a secluded private area. The venue has a historical significance as slaves used to wash their masters’ clothing at the stream running past the venue. The couple will have to arrange everything from outside.

Capacity:  50 people
Venue cost:  R6600 with accommodation for eight included. Book the full venue to avoid disturbing other guests.
Accommodation:  Overnight accommodation for 24 people
Honeymoon options: Romantic honeymoon suite or take the cable car up Table Mountain
Contact:  Sabrina Adams +27-21-712-7471.

Platteklip, at the foot of Table Mountain, is a venue of genuine historical significance.

Platteklip, at the foot of Table Mountain, is a venue of genuine historical significance.

 

7. Mokala National Park
There are three options to host your wedding in a unique bush environment. Package include cloths, serviettes, tables, chairs, cutlery and crockery.

Capacity: Mosu Lodge conference room accommodates up to 70 people while the dining room at Mofele Lodge can host 60. The garden or lookout point at Lilydale rest camp can host up to 100 people, but no backup if it rains.
Venue cost: Mosu Restaurant R5 500 plus R860 for the conference room. Lilydale is also R5500 while Mofele is R4200.
Accommodation:  Guests are not allowed to stay at Lilydale and have the wedding and function at Mosu. Mosu and Mofele are 2km apart and accommodation can be booked in conjunction.
Honeymoon options: Tree house including breakfast.
Contact:  +27-53-204-0158

8. Ai- Ais Richtersveld National Park – Die Kliphuis
Say your vows on the Namibian border next to the beautiful Orange River.

Capacity:  Between 50 and 100 people
Venue cost:  R1000 for the venue. Everything will have to be arranged from outside.
Accommodation:  Chalets available in the park. See website for availability.
Romantic touch: Romantic sundowner on the pontoon.
Contact: Hendrik Prins +27-84-742-9797

Die Kliphuis is especially beautiful from the Namibian side of the Orange River.

Die Kliphuis is especially beautiful from the Namibian side of the Orange River.

 

Some things to consider: 

  • Most venues don’t allow live bands, DJ’s or amplified music, but sound systems are allowed indoors.  Remember that the benefits of having a wedding in a national park is that get complimentary background music from Mother Nature and the inhabitants of the park.
  • No pets are allowed in National Parks, so the ring bearer should preferably be human.
  • Conservation fees for all guests will be applicable.
  • Other parks such as the Garden Route National Park have beaches that offer beautiful wedding settings, but little backup when it rains.

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