The best safari wedding

We love planning a safari wedding at Ulusaba, and what could be more spectacular or evocative than a ceremony in the African Bush; at Richard Branson’s safari lodge in South Africa.

There are 2 lodges at Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, bordering the Kruger National Park; Ulusaba Rock Lodge is perched high on the summit of a koppie with views over the South African bush below; while nearly 500 meters away is Ulusaba Safari Lodge; which is built along the banks of a dry riverbed. Safari Lodge guests cross swing bridges between the exquisite treehouse-style rooms.

SAY ‘I DO’ UNDER THE ROMANTIC CANOPY of an Amarula tree. Surrounded by flaming bamboo torches, and announced by the beat of African drums. Getting married on safari at Ulusaba is the kind of wedding your guests will be talking about for several years to come. We can arrange everything from intimate ceremonies just for the two of you or larger celebrations for your nearest and dearest. Tell us what you’re dreaming of and we’ll tailor your special day.

Weddings | Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

This video is actually Richard Branson’s son, Sam’s wedding to Isabella and it gives you an idea of what is possible for your Ulusaba safari wedding – just about ANYTHING!!

Ulusaba Safari Wedding Packages

There are 2 x wedding packages at Ulusaba to choose from, from simple to lavish, all designed to ensure the bride and groom get off to a fantastic start!

Pure Romance Wedding Package:

For the couple who wants a private, romantic wedding without too much fuss. From R 15,000 per couple (excluding accommodation) in 2023. From R 16,500 per couple (excluding accommodation) in 2024. This includes:
Ceremony at any one of a variety of stunning locations. Either within the lodges or in the bush (transfers included).
A minister, preparation for the ceremony, and processing of all legal documents.
A wedding cake.
Fixed credit towards spa treatments for the married couple.
Complimentary room upgrades (subject to availability).
Optional second room for one of the couple on the eve and/or day of the wedding (subject to availability)
Optional private dinner for two on the eve of the wedding and breakfast in bed on the morning after the ceremony
Pressing of outfits for the married couple to be
A wedding gift from us and plenty of other little extras and surprises!

This package is based on 3 nights accommodation with all the usual inclusions:
All your meals and beverages (including special wedding meals), fine
wines and unlimited bubbles

Premium Exclusive Wedding Package:

For those who want to celebrate with their nearest and dearest with all the trimmings.

Ulusaba Premium Exclusive Wedding option includes

All the standard goodies as well as:

3 nights’ hire of one lodge and private use of game vehicles, with extra nights available
An additional fixed credit towards spa treatments for the married couple and/or their guests
Special wedding turn-down service in the happy couple’s room
Bouquets and button holes for the married couple and wedding party, plus flowers for decoration
Assistance from staff for the bridal party including dressing, make-up, hair, etc.
Pre-wedding dinner party for each marrier, to be arranged at two different locations at the lodge

The prices below are for up to 20 x guests sharing Safari Lodge, or 25 x guests sharing Rock Lodge for a 3-night stay.

2023 Ulusaba Premium Exclusive Wedding Package for 3 Nights7th January until 30th June 2023
1st September until 21st December 2023
1st July until 31st August 2023
Safari LodgeR 1,104,600R 1,153,800
Rock LodgeR 1,233,600R 1,369,200
2024 Ulusaba Premium Exclusive Wedding Package for 3 Nights7th January until 30th June 2024
1st September until 21st December 2024
1st July until 31st August 2024
Safari LodgeR 1,162,800R 1,213,200
Rock LodgeR 1,299,000R 1,354,200
Luxury Sabi Wedding
All wedding packages include a wedding cake

How big a wedding can I have?

There are restrictions in place in the Sabi Sand Reserve on the number of guests and vehicles permitted at any one time and so the maximum number of guests when both Rock and Safari Lodges are booked exclusively is 42 adults. Hired separately, the maximum number of guests at Rock Lodge is 20, and at Safari Lodge is 22 guests.

The Wedding Ceremony

Say ‘I do’ in the heart of the South African bush, on the edge of the dam where the hippos come to play, or from the deck at Rock Lodge – the possibilities are endless and it’s totally up to you. You may decide to wait until you arrive at Ulusaba to choose your preferred location, but here are just some of our favorites:

Ulusaba Rock Lodge Lower Deck: Our most popular location with a view to die for! You can time it just right so you can exchange vows with the setting sun as your backdrop.

Safari Destination Wedding Venue
Ulusaba wedding ceremony on Rock Lodge lower deck

The Mabrak Dry Riverbed at Ulusaba Safari Lodge: A picture postcard setting surrounded by African Jackalberry trees.

The Beach: A beach? In the middle of the African bush? Well yes… At the far side of Xikwenga Dam near Safari Lodge is an area we call ‘the beach’. We love this spot because it’s very exclusive – perfect for smaller weddings.

Xikwenga Dam: Another great spot at the dam is on the side banks; no one else can see you except maybe the hippos.

The Grassland Spot: A clearing tucked away in the bush close to Marula, our bush dinner site, and ideal for larger numbers.

Kruger wedding venue
The grassland spot wedding venue at Ulusaba

Ulusaba Rock Lodge Lounge: An all-round winner! Large windows make for stunning views without losing the cozy atmosphere of this intimate space.

Ulusaba Safari Lodge Wine Cellar Deck: Safari Lodge has its own wine cellar stocked with a full selection of outstanding South African and international wines. It’s also very romantic and a lovely spot at dusk.

The Wedding Reception

There are almost as many choices of location for your reception as there are for your ceremony. The location will also be dependent on the size of your group.

For smaller, more intimate groups:
• Dine under the stars at our Stargazing Observatory in the heart of the bush – suitable for a maximum of six.
• Join us on the Treehouse Suite deck with great views over Xikwenga Dam where the hippos come to play.

For any sized group
• Dinner in the bush – a more informal setting lit by flame torches with the authentic sounds of wild Africa to set the mood. (can also be more formal)
• Dinners in Rock Lodge or Safari Lodge main lounges – an opportunity for those who like to get dressed up; but if you plan to be a bit more relaxed that’s fine too!

We know you have lots of choices on where to hold your wedding, but the key is standing out from the crowd. Ultimately; you want your guests to be talking about your wedding for years to come, and that’s where we come in. Our advice? Keep some surprises up your sleeve for that extra ‘wow’ factor.

Wedding Ideas To Make Your Day Extra Special

South Africa Safari wedding at Ulusaba
South Africa Safari wedding at Ulusaba

(Megan Ann Photography)

The Extra Touches that mean so much

Available for an additional charge – please ask for our current rates.

Local Marimba Band: These groups consist of about eight members who play homemade xylophones. Trust us, they’re phenomenal and excellent both for background dinner music and also great for parties. Previous guests have danced the night away to these sounds.

Performances from the Shangaan Dancers: The Shangaan are the area’s predominant tribe. They will entertain you with beautiful African inspired-tribal singing and dancing to kick off the celebrations and to get everyone up on the dance floor. This works exceptionally well for bush dinners, and guests are encouraged to get up and get involved.

Gumboot Dancers: A tradition born from the workforce in the South African mines: 12 traditional Shangaan dancers in mining overalls, hard hats, and gumboots perform a traditional mine dance which consists of a hand-clapping ritual along with slapping of the boots to create a fantastic sound and beat. These guys have some seriously impeccable timing!

Ulusaba Choir: The Shangaan are well known for their singing and dancing and talent abounds throughout their culture. The choir is made up of around 15 Ulusaba staff members who sing Shangaan songs and perform traditional dancing. It’s a vibrant and dramatic show guaranteed to warm the heart.

Justicia Best Boys: A boys’ choir that excels in creating beautiful harmonies. The boys interact with our guests and are an excellent accompaniment to more formal dinners in the lodges.

Ask us for a quote for a photographer/videographer to capture the special day.

Bachelor and Bachelorette parties can also be arranged at Ulusaba.

Ulusaba Safari Wedding formalities

It is easy to get married in South Africa as a non-resident.
There are however a few things that you need to know to further assist you with your planning. We will be able to help you with every stage of this process. We can host and arrange both religious and secular ceremonies, and included in our wedding rates, we will organize:
A minister who will process all the legal documents in preparation for the ceremony and prepare your marriage certificate.
Following the ceremony, you will receive an abridged Marriage Certificate. The minister must then apply for a full marriage certificate, which takes approximately two months to be processed by South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs. As soon as this is completed it will be mailed to your address.

Our regular ministers perform Christian or secular ceremonies for opposite and same-sex couples, but please do let us know what you need and we will further look into it for you.

South Africa gay safari wedding (LGBT)
We arrange ALL types of destination weddings including same-sex marriages

Let us create your special day, followed by a romantic honeymoon.