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We love weddings at Ulusaba, and what could be more spectacular or evocative than a ceremony in the African Bush! Getting married on safari at Ulusaba is the kind of wedding your guests will be talking about for years to come.
Weddings at Ulusaba
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 favourites:
The Lower Deck at Rock Lodge: 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
The Mabrak Dry Riverbed at 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
Rock Lodge Lounge: An all-round winner! Large windows make for stunning views without losing the cosy atmosphere of this intimate space
Safari Lodge Wine Cellar Deck: Safari Lodge has its own wine cellar stocked with a full selection of outstanding South Africa
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!
Ulusaba has 21 rooms and suites spread over two lodges. Rock Lodge is perched high on the summit of a koppie with views over the South African bush below.
Nearly 500 metres away is Safari Lodge. Built along the banks of a dry riverbed, Safari Lodge guests cross swing bridges between the exquisite tree house style rooms.
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 we can accommodate when both Rock and Safari Lodges are booked exclusively is 42.
Hired separately, the maximum number we can accommodate at Rock Lodge is 20, and the maximum number of guests at Safari Lodge is 22.
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 organise:
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.
Weddings the Ulusaba Way
We know you have lots of choices on where to hold your wedding, but the key is stand 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 would be to keep some surprises up your sleeve for that extra ‘wow’ factor (All activities below are available for an additional charge – please contact us for more information).
• 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 but 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 gum boots 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
Download our wedding brochure
What are the options?
We've put together four wedding options, from the simple to the lavish, all designed with you in mind – if you need anything else just let us know.
For the couple who want a private, romantic wedding without too much fuss. This package includes all standard options below as well as a 30 minute Africology Aromatherapy massage each for the bride and groom.
Designed for the couple who want a private and romantic wedding with a lot of pampering! This package includes all standard options as well as:
For those who want to bring their friends and family along but don’t want all the frills and bows. This package includes all standard options as well as:
For those who want to celebrate with their nearest and dearest with all the trimmings. This package includes all standard options as well as:
Whats included with all of the options?
Available on request
We have lots of exciting extras available on request including a spectacular helicopter flight through the Blyde River Canyon to take in God’s Window, followed by a romantic picnic with views of The Pinnacle, a place of breath-taking beauty high above the world! We can also arrange extra flowers, hairdressing, flights, table gifts – in fact pretty much anything.
There’s not much point having an amazing wedding if you’re not going to have some equally amazing photographs! Details of our recommended photographer are below, but please also ask us if you require video. Photographs options include:
Bride getting dressed (1 hour before the ceremony)
Duration of the ceremony
Formal groups, family and friends
Bride & Groom
Wedding Reception (1 hour from the arrival of the bridal couple)
Rate includes all the photographer’s travelling and gate fees
This option includes:
• Up to 400 high resolution, edited images in digital format
• 4-5 hours wedding coverage
This option includes:
• 400-500 high resolution, edited images in digital format
• Unlimited hours wedding coverage
Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
Ulusaba is not just a great place for a wedding - it’s also an amazing setting for your bachelor or bachelorette party - otherwise known as stag and hen parties. Our only piece of advice? Don’t plan these parties the night before the wedding! In addition to parties in the evening, we’ve also organised some daytime activities. Here are just a couple of ideas:
A trip to the Xikwenga Dam for a spot of fishing - the rule is: if you catch it you have to eat it. We’ll have a braai ready just for this purpose. Afterwards our Rangers will organise ‘bush Olympics’ with prizes for the star performers…
An indulgent spa morning, get all the girls get together around the Safari Lodge pool after breakfast for some serious pampering. Our two Aroma Boma spa therapists will be on hand for heavenly manicures and pedicures while you enjoy a spot of swimming, sunbathing and the odd sip (or two!) of champagne (additional charges will apply for this activity which is only available when both lodges are hired exclusively)
For those of you who’ve tied the knot elsewhere or just looking to win some extra brownie points we offer a romantic escape that will never be forgotten.
Who says romance is dead? At Ulusaba we see it every day, and not just from our human guests. The elephants who roam the Sabi Sand Reserve are often spotted cuddling each other, and when something the size of an elephant gets amorous, you’re advised to keep your distance!
A stay at Ulusaba can you give you the space you and your partner need to ignite (or re-ignite!) the magic, and we’ve got some great suggestions and ideas for an intimate and private escape in the African bush. Whether you’re on honeymoon or just fancy a romantic break, there are only 21 rooms and suites at Ulusaba split over two lodges, so finding some time alone won’t be a problem.
Your Ranger will whisk you away to a secluded location for a romantic picnic lunch – often at Constitution Rock. Trust us, the views are fabulous, and the champagne somehow tastes even better!
Observatory Private Dinner
We prepare a private meal for two under the stars at our Bush Observatory. Your Ranger will be able to tell you all about the stars visible in the southern hemisphere, and even tell you some more about your own star sign – is your love for your partner written in the stars?!
You’re unlikely to run out of things to do at Ulusaba, but we do recommend indulging in a few spa treatments during your stay, and so as part of our romance offer for couples we’ve come up with some suggestions below:
Our Aroma Boma Devotional Journey is 60 relaxing minutes where you and your partner light a candle together as a symbol of your union and you both receive a full body massage
We prepare your room with a special romantic turndown service and supply you with a selection of bath oils for a romantic evening in – there’s room in the bath for two and of course the champagne will be on ice…
Whether a milestone birthday, anniversary, company retreat or just a time to get away with friends and family, Ulusaba is the perfect setting. With exclusive use of one or both of the Ulusaba lodges you have all the privacy, exclusivity and flexibility that you desire. Your stay will be uniquely tailored: perhaps cocktails at sunset followed by tribal dances around a bush campfire or a safari themed child’s birthday party… Whatever your preference, our team will ensure an unforgettable African safari experience.
Contact us for more information.