Reasons to Elope in South Africa
Updated: Jan 20
If you're trying to determine a destination for your adventure elopement, and you're into both adrenaline and romance, eloping in South Africa is the right answer for you. South Africa is jam-packed with extraordinary views, adventure, culture, and things to do! This country is waiting to be explored, with the smallest penguin chick sheltering behind Cape Town's boulders to the Ancient elephants of the Kruger National Park. We've compiled all of the reasons why you should elope in South Africa here:
Make it Memory of a Lifetime with a Safari
Imagine the sweet smell of wild bushveld and eye-watering orange sunsets to take home as memories. Experience night drives in an open-air jeep when dusk hits, creating ocherous skies, and adventure in the air. You're face to face with some of the world's most exotic animals and just flabbergasted at the opportunity to get up close and personal. You also get a rare chance to see them in action in their natural habitat! You'll see elephants, lions, giraffes, rhinos, leopards, buffalo, and more on a Safari in Kruger National Park. You can book safaris straight in the Kruger National Park!
Not only can safari's be adventurous, but they can be romantic too. Kruger Park offers romantic and wedding safaris, including lantern-lit private dinners spa treatment, golf, pools, and more. You can also stay in opulent tented camps lit by lanterns at night if you're brave!
Relax on the Beach
If you don't say your vows at a beach in South Africa, at least visit the picture-perfect spots. Picture pure white beaches, with blue ocean waves crashing against the cliff faces that look out to sea, while wandering ships float in. Sheer diagonal drops to peer your eyes over into the vast Blyde River Canyon and make your hands clench and face frown are waiting to be captured and laughed at. These scenes are perfect for mesmerizing photography shots that you'll never forget. Visit the beaches of Camps Bay Beach, Thonga Beach, Kraalbaai, Robberg Beach during your stay.
Table mountain in Cape Town is a breathtakingly beautiful mountain to take photographs of as well as the Drakensberg range. The Kalahari is the perfect place if you want to have a romantic stargazing date with your significant other. Nieu-Bethesda is an exceptional town for interaction with locals where they will warm your hearts with kindness and care - there's also a pumpkin festival where people bring all sizes and shapes of pumpkins, have stalls and music. This festival takes place in April.
Visit Table Mountain, Cape Town
At Table Mountain towers 3,562 feet over Cape Town - imagine hiking that! The iconic mountain has impressive views of the city and ocean. There are multiple ways to reach the top of the mountain; if you're an outdoor enthusiast, hiking and rock climbing are both unreal here! If you're looking for a more relaxed journey to the top, try out the 360 views from the cable cars instead.
The Weather Is Amazing Year Around
It does not snow in South Africa! Unless you plan on getting married on top of the Drakensberg mountains during the African Summer, that's the only time you may have an issue! If you're a beach bum, avoid South African coasts in the winter and move up to the Lowveld for rain-free clear starry night skies. The same applies to when it's summer in the Lowveld. Switch it up and head back to the coasts for a sick day at the beach and golden brown tan lines to show off! While migrating between provinces, make sure to drop by the blooming purple Jacaranda trees in Pretoria for popping colors that dress the streets from September to November.
You'll Be Impressed By The South African Cusine
You'll show your stomach some love with the diverse food from South African. From untwisting and splitting koeksisters, a fried dough infused with honey, to building braai broodjies, and having boerewors rolls straight from the braai coals, you won't be left hungry by mother Africa! If you're lucky, you might even get a hearty helping of melktert for dessert. Melkert is a sweet pastry filled with custard. Don't be afraid to try the local cuisine; there are a lot of yummy traditional foods to pick from.
Kick Off Your Honeymoon
Rent a small car and experience small ghost towns, traditions, people, and their local cuisine. Explore hidden hiking trails and open skies in between provinces to stretch your legs! Hustle local street vendors for souvenirs and handcrafted gifts. Experience the traditional Kpanlogo tribal dancers while snuggled up around a fire with your loved one under a starry night sky.
Get Your History Buff On
If you're a history nerd, or just into really cool facts, you may want to visit the Cradle of Humankind during your stay. This particular spot is recognized as the location where "humankind originated." Why not add that to the list of things to do during your honeymoon?
Laws and Eloping in South Africa
When considering eloping in South Africa, keep in mind the laws about foreign marriages. It's generally easier to get the paperwork portion of your wedding done at home and to exchange your vows at your destination - and no, it doesn't make it any less meaningful. Find more information on the country's Department of Home Affairs website.
Tips for Eloping In South Africa:
There are some safety concerns, be vigilant, and don't walk around alone at night.
Instead, use uber than a taxi. Taxis in South Africa are not the same as the United States.
lekkeslaap.co.za is a great site to use for booking accommodation. The page would open in Afrikaans (one of the languages spoken here, but there is an option of changing it to English)
Learn a few words and phrases in some of the languages. In smaller towns, some people can't speak English very well so this could come in handy.
This blog post was guest written by Cassandra Vagher Creative LLC's photo editor and assistant Carlien Coetzee. Carlien lives in South Africa and is an avid world traveler - that's how we met, traveling Italy! Since 2018 she has been studying photography and photo editing under Cassandra. Cassandra is an adventure elopement photographer based out of Denver, Colorado, USA.