Isn’t it fantastic when your friends get married in remote beautiful places, giving their guests a chance to go away for a whole weekend (or longer) to attend? We had the pleasure of attending a very good friend’s wedding in the Timbavati Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger area, recently. A big ask to pull this event off, but they did it in style. They chose the Timbavati because the groom’s family has a concession inside the Timbavati which has been in his family for 80 years. Set deep in the Timbavati, Keer Keer farm was the wedding venue. This meant that wedding guests needed to stay maximum one game drive away (ie. somewhere in the Timbavati) to make attending the wedding and the various other gatherings during the weekend possible. Luckily there is plenty of accommodation at various levels of luxury and budget to choose from…and the bride-to-be had gone about provisionally booking everything available for in the area for 150 plus guests!!
The bride, groom and their families put in a huge effort to make this event happen, and it showed. What an event! One gets a sense that it is going to be good when, upon arriving at your lodge, there is an invitation in your room, complete with complimentary kikoi and 4 myprodols!! Bring on the Safari Wedding. So to kick things off we headed out on game drive and ended up at Umlani, with a sundowners and dinner in a huge dry riverbed. Fires blazed into the night under the crisp starry skies. Classic stuff.
The next day we went on an early game drive and were back for a huge fry up and some quality camp time..plus a siesta of course. Then it was time to get dressed and ready for the wedding itself. The dress code was formal (ish): lounge suits for the boys and cocktail dresses for the girls. Dolled up and ready, we hopped into the Landcruiser and transferred to Keer Keer for the afternoon wedding.
Smart dresses and suits under the steaming hot African sun in a game reserve is pretty surreal, but kind of groovy too. A huge sense of occasion…and amazing to be in a place that is incredibly meaningful to those involved. The ceremony itself was out in the bush and very special. Especially seeing the bride emerge from the African bushveld in a flowing cream dress, past the landrovers and walk down the aisle to her man. Quite an epic image to remember.
After the ceremony drinks were served under the shade of a huge tree on the verandah of the main rondavel. There was much milling about and catching up with old friends until dusk, when we moved across to the stylish safari tent for the reception. A few more drinks, fabulous dinner, incredible speeches and a whole lot of dancing carried us late into the evening. And finally an open air drive home to our lodge. Needless to say we missed the next morning’s game drive! A little catch up sleep was needed. We did however make it just in time for the post wedding lunch and debrief back at Keer Keer under the tent. Then it was time to head back to our lodge and include a second last game drive before a quiet night back at camp.