There’s an air of romance and adventure about the African bush, which makes it the perfect setting for your wedding. Venture off the beaten track and opt for a bush wedding, courtesy of Shamwari.

Shamwari: an Idyllic Wedding Venue in the Eastern Cape

Shamwari Private Game Reserve is a luxury safari destination, located in South Africa’s scenic Eastern Cape Province. This culturally and ecologically rich province is the perfect destination for your unique luxury wedding.

Africa has that unmistakeable air of romance and adventure about it, which should resonate deeply with you as you stand on the brink of marriage. Enjoy a bush wedding with all your nearest and dearest in attendance at Shamwari.

Shamwari is conveniently located only an hour’s drive away from the friendly city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. Daily airline connections are available from all of the country’s major cities to Port Elizabeth, making it easily accessible to both local and international guests.

Seven splendid five-star lodgings can accommodate up to 70 guests – ideal for those looking to have a luxurious and intimate wedding. Deciding to have your safari wedding at Shamwari gives you access to a variety of stunning, one of a kind venues, ensuring both you and your guests have truly memorable stay.

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the setting of your Shamwari wedding. We have various impressive options to choose from, including:

  • Long Lee Manor Indoor Banqueting Venue (new, glamorous and sophisticated)
  • Long Lee Manor Boma
  • Old Elephant Boma (located in the midst of the bushveld)
  • Riverdene Boma

Depending on your wedding party’s size, any of our lodgings can be completely privatized for the occasion, ensuring your reception remains an intimate and special affair.

Shamwari’s seven luxury lodgings are able to accommodate:

  • Bayethe: 24 guests in 12 superior tents
  • Eagles Crag: 18 guests in 9 junior suites
  • Lobengula: 12 guests in 6 junior suites
  • Long Lee Manor: 40 guests (2 children and 38 adults) divided between 17 luxury rooms and suites and a single family suite
  • Riverdene: 27 guests (9 children and 18 adults) divided between 9 luxury rooms
  • Sarili: 10 guests in 5 luxury rooms
  • Sindile: 18 guests in 9 premier tents

A wedding table featuring a simple wedding cake photographed at dusk

Why Choose a Safari Wedding?

Nothing can compare to a safari wedding – especially not a safari wedding at Shamwari. Here you’ll experience luxury inspired by nature to the fullest. Saying your wedding vows surrounded by the region’s unique fauna and flora will make one of the most important moments of your life seem even more magical.

A wedding in the African bush will give your wedding party the chance to get up close and personal with the abundant wildlife of the Eastern Cape during your stay. Here, guests are given the opportunity to coexist in complete harmony with nature.

A newlywed couple pictured standing by one of Shamwari's game viewing vehicles

Bush weddings also allow you and your guests staying at the safari accommodation to take part in various new and exciting experiences. Shamwari offers our esteemed guests the opportunity to take part in the following activities:

  • Birding – Avid bird watchers and animal lovers are in for a treat. Flocks of beautiful birds call Shamwari home. Currently, more than 275 species of bird are found at Shamwari. Our knowledgeable rangers are happy to share their insights with our valued guests.
  • Indigenous San Tracking Experience – Guests can now learn more about the ancient wisdom and skills of the Ju/’hoansi trackers – the last San people in Southern Africa equipped with the entire range of hunter-gatherer skills. They have teamed up with Shamwari’s guides to offer a truly unique bush-walk experience.
  • Kids on Safari – Parents of children staying at our Riverdene Family Lodge have access to Shamwari’s children’s coordinator. Children can run wild at Riverdene’s Adventure Centre, use the swimming pools and so much more. We also offer a childminding service, at an additional rate, giving parents peace of mind when out and about.
  • Safari Game Drives –No stay at a private game reserve is complete without going on a safari game drive. Shamwari offers sunrise and sunset drives in our open game viewing vehicles. All our guides and rangers are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about their respective areas of expertise. Experience all the beauty the Eastern Cape and its diverse wildlife has to offer from up close.

Guests can expect to not only enjoy top-class indulgence during their stay, but learn a lot as well – thanks to the various activities on offer. Learn more about animal habitats, their dung and tracks, the area and its history, as well as the various wildlife that call Shamwari home. Our guests with a particular love of learning are sure to enjoy visiting the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre or one of our Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries.

Choosing Shamwari as your bush wedding venue also means that you are supporting us in our conservation efforts. At Shamwari the responsible management and long-term ecological sustainability of our natural environment are a top priority. We believe in conserving our environment so that future generations may also experience its majesty.

Choose to have asafari wedding – stand out from the crowd, be unique and experience Africa in all its glory.

A newlywed couple cutting their wedding cake

Shamwari’s Luxury Accommodation Options for Wedding Guests

There’s a luxury Shamwari accommodation option available to suit every wedding party’s needs. Choose between one of our seven splendid lodgings – we guarantee a memorable stay, no matter which lodging(s) you choose for your wedding party. Each of our accommodation options has their own unique air about them, inspired by the animals and scenery surrounding them.

If you’re looking to have an intimate, private wedding, you’ll be happy to hear that all of our different accommodation offerings are located far away from each other. This means you won’t even know about any guests that aren’t part of your wedding party.

A bride getting ready for the big day in a luxurious Shamwari suite

Find the Shamwari accommodation option that’s right for you and your wedding party:

  • Bayethe –Guests looking for a luxurious tented safari experience, hidden away by lush vegetation for maximum privacy and seclusion, don’t have to look any further than Bayethe.
  • Eagles Crag – This impressive lodge is surrounded by mountain cliffs and exudes and air of elegance. Every suite acts as a secluded hideaway, where you can relax and unwind in absolute comfort.
  • Lobengula– This exclusive villa is hidden in Shamwari’s valley bushveld. This stunning accommodation offering is perfect for those looking for a private and custom safari experience.
  • Long Lee Manor – A historic manor house dating back to 1910 with room enough for the whole family, Long Lee Manor overlooks Shamwari’s magnificent plains. This Shamwari treasure features Edwardian styled suites and a glorious rim-flow pool. (Please note that Long Lee Manor is currently undergoing restorations and will be completed by December 2019.)
  • Riverdene– The perfect luxury accommodation option for guests with children, this lodge is warm and welcoming. Catering to children and adults alike when it comes to amenities, the adults can relax while the kids run wild at the outdoor Adventure Centre.
  • Sarili– This gorgeous lodge overlooks both the picturesque plains of Shamwari and the Bushman’s River. Sarili is an ideal accommodation offering for families, groups and friends looking to get closer to nature, while staying in the lap of luxury.
  • Sindile – The crown jewel of luxury tented camps, Sindile provides is the ultimate wilderness retreat deep in the African veld. Named after Shamwari’s famed leopardess, this camp imitates a leopard’s hideaway – it blends in seamlessly with the surrounding foliage, while still providing guests with awe-inspiring views of the Bushman’s River and surrounding plains.(Please note that Sindile luxury tented camp is due to be completed by December 2019.)

An aerial view of the Sindile luxury tented camp at Shamwari

Everything Included in Shamwari’s Bush Wedding Package

A happy couple signing their marriage licence at their Shamwari reception

Having one of the best and biggest days of your life at Shamwari will get you numerous services, sure to make your special day just that – and stress-free to boot:

  • Exclusive access to a hairdresser and make-up artist for the bride and bridesmaid
  • A highly skilled photographer to capture your magical occasion
  • A pair of buttonhole flowers for both the groom and his best man
  • A bridal bouquet for both the bride and a bridesmaid
  • Flower arrangement for the ceremony
  • A complimentary spa treatment for the bridal couple, in their suite
  • An indulgent turndown service for the happy couple
  • Private use of one of Shamwari’s game vehicles for the happy couple on their wedding day, as well as the day afterwards
  • A private breakfast served to the bridal couple in their suite the day after their wedding
  • A complimentary toast of Methode Cap Classique to toast the happy couple with
  • A delectable two-tier wedding cake made by our very own pastry chefs
  • Some game drive sundowners and snacks for your wedding party
  • A meeting with our chef where you’ll be able to plan out a custom three-course menu for the wedding reception (including canapés and cocktails to be served at the ceremony venue)
  • An elegant and tasteful wedding venue setup, which includes the use of a Bedouin tent, as well as tablecloths and overlays (white and cream)
  • Coverage of the unabridged wedding certificate application and its collection
  • Use of our preferred Christian minister for the officiating of your ceremony, as well as the exchanging of your vows (alternative religious ceremonies will require that you organise your own officiant, on your own account)
  • Access to an attentive wedding coordinator, who will be happy to assist you in sorting out all the details of your Shamwari bush wedding
  • Access to a secluded and private venue in the bush for your ceremony and the exchanging of your vows

Shamwari's friendly staff manning the bar and snacks area at a wedding reception

For more information regarding Shamwari’s Bush Wedding Package, click here, or download our Bush Wedding Package PDF here.

Making the bush wedding of your dreams a reality is only a click away. Get in touch – we eagerly await communicating with you and making your perfect day a reality.

A newlywed couple stand on a beautifully decorated deck at Shamwari overlooking the grassy plains