safari wedding photography

Safari Wedding Photography – African Wedding in the Safari

Safari wedding photography – for couples looking to get married or have their wedding in the safari.  Photos from this article were shot on location in South Africa by the Clane Gessel Studio.

safari wedding photography

safari wedding photography

Whether you’re looking for an intimate destination wedding for just the two of you or hoping to celebrate your special day with close friends and family, it’s hard to picture a more idyllic location to say “I Do” than in the untamed beauty of the Safari in Africa. Time stands still as the sheer beauty of the African Safari roams free and offers a truly unique experience to adventurous couples tying the knot. With a wide range of options and different amenities, having your wedding in the Safari can be more tangible than the wild may first appear to be.

Where in the African Safari Should You Tie the Knot?


South Africa’s luxurious private game reserves and National Parks have been at the forefront of safari weddings for decades and it’s easy to see why. Simply picture yourselves celebrating your marriage beneath an ancient Tamboti tree, on the banks of the Timbavati River, overlooking a waterhole, or where lodges have beautifully blended in the landscape, having your wedding in the Safari allows a couple to answer the call of the wild on their special day.

Kruger National Park is a romantic African destination for a wedding in the Safari and is perfect for couples who want a wedding ceremony they will never forget. Enjoy timeless luxury, experience the wilds of the Kruger Park where the Big Five gather and the spirit of Africa stands witness to the celebration with convenient Five Star lodges nearby. Located about a 4 hour car drive from Johannesburg, Kruger Park offers many beautiful lodges and all-inclusive packages that can make for easy wedding planning.

safari wedding photos

A couple get married in a safari in Africa- safari wedding photography

Karongwe Game Reserve is in Limpopo, 45 minutes away from Kruger National Park.  Karongwe is known as the untamed Garden of Eden and offers enchanting views over the Makhutsi River. It offers ample wildlife, tranquil settings, and exciting photo opportunities.

Botswana and Namibia are also excellent possibilities, especially if you’re seeking something very discreet and private. For those planning a small-scale wedding, why not consider looking in to one of East Africa’s private concessions, such as those close to the Masai Mara or Serengeti? Cape Town can be overfilled with tourists and can become expensive quickly during peak travel season, but also offers stunning views and luxurious lodges on the coast.


When is the Best Time to Have a Wedding in a Safari?

Africa is truly a year-round destination for luxury safari travel and weddings. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats arrive daily to most of the lodges and camps from the surrounding area’s rich farmlands. However, what is the best choice for you depends on where you want to get married and what you would like to experience. Most countries in Africa experience a rainy and warm summer, and fine and dry winters. Spring starts in September and lasts until November, with summer starting in December and lasting until February or March.

destination wedding safari

A couple with an elephant and baby during their safari wedding in Africa

Spring is a beautiful time to get married in Africa as flowers are blooming, fresh grasses are growing and wildlife is abundant. Spring offers balmy days and warm nights. Keep in mind that the summer months of South Africa are the holiday season, and experiences a lot of travelers and tourists, so be sure to book venues, photographers etc well in advance if you are planning on a Summer celebration.

Wildebeests migrate on the plains of the Serengeti after the rains in November, and they settle in the southern plains between January and April. Although not always predictable, it may offer an exciting addition to your wedding in the Safari as it is punted as the “Greatest Show on Earth.”

The Customizability and Cost of Having a Wedding in the Safari

Let’s start by establishing that it is best to plan a wedding in the Safari in advance. It’s recommended to send out invitations as soon as possible (a year in advance) so your friends and family that you want there to celebrate have enough time to plan and save for a trip. You may be surprised how many will RSVP yes to a far away destination, but they are ticking off a bucket list item too!

First step would be to determine your budget. It’s important to keep in mind airfare and lodging can add up quickly. Whether it’s just the two of you or you plan to rent out an entire lodge for the celebration, the Safari has many choices to choose from. Destination weddings are often broadcasted as a cost-saving strategy since they usually come with a smaller guest list, but you need to factor in what may be additional (such as airfare) when you have fewer people to feed. Fortunately, when you plan a wedding in advance, you can also research airfare in advance to get the best pricing possible.

elephant wedding photos safari

A couple poses for photos with an elephant during their safari wedding – safari wedding photography

Africa is known for it’s beautiful and luxurious lodges. With friendly and attentive staff, they help set up all accommodations and work to deliver the personal touches that will ensure your safari wedding photography exceed your wildest expectations. Each lodge has different maximum accommodations, so you should ensure they have enough room before booking that venue. You can purchase different packages and can set up all-included deals to guarantee everything will be taken care of and give some peace of mind to the adventurous couple.

The Legalities of a Wedding in the Safari

Getting married in Africa is actually quite simple for visitors. It is suggested to get the marriage license in your country, as it can take 2 months to process. If you plan it out, it can be done but it is more simple to do it in your hometown before the ceremony. Most lodges have accommodations for a pastor and can be set up through the company you are working with.

Keep in mind that you will need to visit your Doctor before adventuring to the Safari, to make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations. Going a few months prior will give yourself ample time to get everything in order, since some vaccines require follow up injections that need to be done 4 weeks after the first one. Travel to Africa usually requires Yellow Fever medications in addition to Malaria injections.

You will need to have a Passport to enter, and for any travel it is recommended to have copies of all documents handy, such as copies of your travel itinerary and insurance.

lion safari wedding photos

A couple kisses with lions in the background at sunset after getting married in the safari in Africa

Bringing the Magic of the Safari to Your Wedding Day

There’s little as evocative as a wedding ceremony in the bush. With wild animals roaming on the landscape below and the beauty of untouched nature enveloping everything, tying the knot in Africa is as unique as it comes. Make this special day unforgettable by having your Wedding in the Safari.


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If you’re getting married and want beautiful wedding photography like you see here, be sure to contact us today and we’d be honored to shoot your wedding!  You can look at booking an African safari wedding here.


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