The article below is taken from a blog article featured on the Namibia Tourism website, and has been slightly modified.
Imagine tying the knot in one of the most sparsely populated places in the world… where you feel like the only people on earth… where Mother Nature has taken care of the décor… where dramatic thunderclouds rolling over the grasslands or red sand clashing with blue skies, provide the ultimate backdrop. A wedding in Namibia is sure to be not only unusual, but unforgettable. Here, we are showcasing 7 different ideas, where one is sure to appeal.
The Desert Wedding
Probably the most iconic of all landscapes in Namibia is the desert. Rolling dunes as far as the eye can see, are set against the cloudless sapphire sky – it’s quite something. Set up a marquee in the middle of the dunes for an unforgettable wedding experience. With the entire desert as your playground, you can have as many guests as you like! The desert is accessible from Swakopmund, a popular coastal town of Namibia. This makes the location relatively easy to get to, plus there are lots of different accommodation options for your guests.
Why we like it: How many people do you know get married in the desert?
The Moonlandscape Wedding
Not far from Swakopmund and the big dunes that set the stage for a desert wedding, lies more solid ground. An ancient riverbed in the middle of the desert, with beautiful rock formations and endless horizons that will leave your guests speechless. It’s called the Moonlandscape, and looks like a movie set straight out of Mad Max (in fact, one of the sites is actually called Mad Max and the latest Mad Max movie was filmed around this area). As with the desert wedding, the number of guests is all up to you, and nature is your playground.
Why we like it: Out of this world
The Safari Wedding
Want the Big 5 to be on your guest list? When it comes to safari venues, Namibia is a world class safari destination, and there are plenty of great choices. Etosha is probably the most iconic wildlife destination in Namibia. A national park the size of New Jersey, it is famous for its picturesque salt pan and wildlife sightings – elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes, honeybadgers, leopards… you name it! Little Ongava, Onguma, and Mushara are just some of the great lodges and stays to choose for a wedding.
Why we like it: The big day deserves the Big 5
The River Boat Wedding
Contrary to what some may think, Namibia is not just one big desert! The landscapes are as diverse as the people and the wildlife. Further up north, the land is lush, the hippos bark in the night, unusual birds crowd the trees and reeds, and the hut villages that line the rivers and roads give you the feeling of being deep within Africa. Imagine floating down the river in an exclusive houseboat, with just you and 15 of your closest friends and family. Or, staying in one of the many beautiful stilted lodges with the Okavango River flowing right beneath you. The friendly villagers are sure to get involved in the festivities, and you can expect the village kids on the riverbanks to cheer you on.
Why we like it: A real taste of Africa
The Tailor-Made Wedding
The Namib Rand Nature Reserve is a private nature reserve that boasts some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes and darkest skies. Nestled between red dunes, blue mountains and tufts of grass shimmering in the sunlight, Wolwedans Lodge provides a spectacular backdrop for your wedding. As one of the most exclusive lodges in Namibia, you can expect the white glove treatment. Wolwedans can accommodate parties of up to 40. Or. if you’re looking for something smaller and more intimate, the Boulders Camp at Wolwedans is perfect for parties of up to eight people. Guests can be booked into the sophisticated Dunes Lodge or the slightly more rustic but equally charming, Dune Camp. For the bride and groom, there’s the idyllic and remote Private Camp, set in an enchanting valley, and probably one of the most private places you will ever discover.
Why we like it: Small and effortless
The (Most) Remote Wedding
Ok, everywhere in Namibia is pretty remote. But undoubtedly among the most remote camps in Southern Africa is Serra Cafema, located in the extreme northwest of Namibia, and only accessible by a three hour light aircraft trip from the capital, Windhoek. Once you’ve landed, the camp is about a 45 minute drive from the airstrip. It will seem like you are headed into oblivion, until finally you reach the peak of the last dune, peer down the slope, and there the camp lies, along the lush Kunene River, deep in the Hartmann Valley – a secret paradise. Chat to the lovely lodge owners, as they are sure to make the day really special – whether it’s on the dune or on an island in the river. With only 8 rooms at the camp, you’ll have to choose your guests carefully…
Why we like it: Only the elite few could afford such an extravagance!
The Savannah Wedding
There is something magical and just down right earthy about the savannah grasslands. If you get your timing right, you could be honoured with a thunderstorm. “Rain” and “wedding” are not two words a bride usually wants to hear in the same sentence, but then, there’s nothing “usual” about Namibia. If you’ve ever experienced a highveld thunderstorm, you’ll know just how powerful, beautiful, and dramatic they are. Within what seems like minutes, perfectly blue skies are taken over by rolling black thunderclouds that bring echoing grumbles and lightning bolts, stretching from one corner of the sky to the other. The heavens open… and then, before you know it, it’s all over. The sun is shining and the skies are perfectly blue once more. The only sign of rain is the fresh smell in the air and a sense of the bush coming to life again. While it’s not a typical wedding destination, there are private game lodges and farms in the east part of Namibia who would be more than happy to turn their land into a private wedding venue just for you.
Why we like it: Vast and dramatic
The Conservation Wedding
The N/a’an ku se Wildlife Sanctuary Lodge is situated on a 3,200 hectare reserve near Windhoek. It provides a safe haven for various orphaned and injured African wildlife. The lodge is part of the N/a’an ku se Foundation, that aims to protect and conserve Namibia’s vulnerable wildlife and to improve the lives of the marginalized San Bushman community. So impressive is their work, that it caught the eye of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who visited the foundation in 2010, and made a donation to N/a’an ku se in their daughter, Shiloh’s name (who was born in Namibia). Get married at N/a’an ku se and you can have elegant cheetahs make a cameo appearance in your wedding photos. Also, ask about the N/a’an ku se gift list – your guests can choose from a variety of wildlife and community donations instead of buying you another toaster!
Why we like it: A wedding that keeps on giving (back)
To see the original, full blog article, click here.
(Main photo courtesy of Susan Nel Photography)