The Eastern Cape includes the Wild Coast and has a coast line of 800km. The Wild Coast is a land of spectacular beauty and includes a number of natural wonders including the famous Hole in the Wall. Port Elizabeth and East London are the largest cities and enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and a warm temperate and subtropical climate. Inland towns include Grahamstown, home to the National Arts Festival, and the historic and charming town of Graaf Reinet. The Eastern Cape is home to a number of malaria free national and private game reserves, including Addo Elephant Park and the Mountain Zebra Park near Cradock. Accommodation includes five star hotels, lodges, and self catering , with a great variety of scenery. It is home to three of South Africa’s ten top golf courses. From the beach to the bush the Eastern Cape has something to offer everyone.
Main Feature image: Ewald Stander Photography
Go big at the Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve
For a uniquely African experience
The magical multi-award-winning Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve is found 30km outside East London at the gateway to the Wild Coast. It is a favourite wedding venue for brides and their grooms from all over South Africa – and even from overseas for several couples.
They are among hundreds of couples who have chosen the Eastern Cape’s picturesque venue to start their lives together. Vows are said in the delightfully quaint chapel, then guests make their way along the red carpet to the magnificent lodge. Housed on a 4000 hectares reserve, Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve is famous for its pride of white lions, among its four of the Big Five.
Then, together, the newly-weds enter the lodge which has been transformed into a wonderland of bridal beauty by Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve’s talented team of draping and style experts.
Some brides prefer more rustic charm, while others set their hearts on incredible white elegance for their reception. But it is the banquet which has been prepared by on-staff chefs in Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve kitchens who can cater for up to 300 guests is what the all have in common.
Four times in the past three years Inkwenkwezi has been voted Top Service Provider for weddings, and the reserve was also voted by happy brides themselves as a nationalfinalist in six further competition categories, including Best Venue, Catering and Best Venue Decor (draping).
After celebrating and dancing the night away, the couple can retire to start their honeymoon in the reserve’s exclusive accommodation at two camps, both of which are set among the atmospheric indigenous trees – Bush Camp and Valley Camp.
In each camp, there are just six luxury safari bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom. They are housed in safari tents which are on raised decks and have three roofs, one for waterproofing and two for temperature control.
The next day, rangers collect the couple and their stay-over guests and take them for breakfast in the Lapa restaurant.
Many couples and their friends take the opportunity for a game drive over the grassland and through the wooded areas to see the wide variety of animals, including rhino and buffalo, zebra and giraffe, a multitude of rare birds and the 300-tree Umtiza forest, the second largest in South Africa, and, of course, the pride of white lions.
An Inkwenkwezi spokesperson said: “Our aim is make the bride’s day everything she dreamed it would be from the time she was a little girl.
“We like to discuss in detail her ideas for her special day and then marry them to what the bridegroom wants. It is a formula that has proved incredibly successful.
“The compliments Inkwenkwezi receives are as wonderful as they are appreciated. They all speak of us going the extra mile to make sure everything runs smoothly.”
Inkwenkwezi – the name means ‘star’ in Xhosa – has been appropriately dubbed ‘The place of African legends’.
“And we are building more legends every year,” says director Graham Stanton. “Inkwekwezi is a special part of the Eastern Cape’s heritage that attracts thousands every year, not only South Africans but also Americans, Germans, Dutch and other Europeans who break their voyages on the cruise ships to spend a day with us. We have a welcome mat out for everyone. And, of course, we put out a really special one for brides and bridegrooms.”
The Plantation’s magical forest wedding venue
Be serenaded by birds while saying your vows
Nestled in Port Elizabeth’s enchanting indigenous forest, The Plantation is a fairy-tale wedding venue with a romantic chapel, elegant ballroom, lavish bridal suite, luxury accommodation and picturesque gardens.
Renowned for its beautiful facilities, impeccable service and superb cuisine, The Plantation is widely regarded as one of the Eastern Cape’s best wedding venues and has been voted by brides as the top wedding venue in South Africa.
The Plantation’s spectacular location, with its fairy-lit trees and forest full of singing birds is sure to delight nature lovers. The Plantation chapel has large open sides that invite the forest inside and natural light streams in a halo over the bridal couple. The stunning forest garden setting provides the perfect backdrop for perfectly memorable wedding photographs, and the wrap around porch and distinctively elegant arched windows surrounding the reception venue offer a divine view of the surrounding forest.
The focus at The Plantation is on providing an enjoyable and stress-free wedding experience. From the moment you book your wedding until after the big day itself, The Plantation’s team of professional wedding planners guide help guide you through the entire process, allowing you to focus on the fun, rather than the hard work of planning a wedding.
The Plantation has earned a reputation for serving dish after dish of delectable wedding food. From dainty canapes, to sublimes starters, delicious main courses and sweet treats, every item of food is thoughtfully prepared, beautifully presented and tastes delicious too.
Value for Money
Port Elizabeth offers unparalleled value for money, and The Plantation is perfectly located for destination weddings that are both special and memorable. Its location at the start of the Garden Route make it perfect for a romantic Garden Route honeymoon. The Plantation’s comprehensive, all-inclusive wedding packages are packed with everything you need to make your big day a huge success, making budgeting for your wedding a breeze and ensuring that nothing has been forgotten.
An elegant event at St Francis Links
Quality is par for the course
Our reception venue has amazing views of one of SA’s top 10 golf courses and the mountains to the north right of the clubhouse. Our venue can seat up to 210 guests including a dance floor.
Past couples came from New York to Kazakhstan, New Zealand to Patensie… all to enjoy a beautiful ceremony and reception at St Francis Links, or even 3 days of joyous activity to celebrate such a special moment in two people’s lives. We can host family get togethers the night before to the brunch on the morning after the wedding. We offer reduced green fees for the guests of the wedding and suggest that the host a fun afternoon of golf the day before with the groom and guests. We have an on-site Spa where the ladies can enjoy pampering before the big day with a glass of bubbles.
Our reliable team will attend to every detail of your wedding, ably supported by highly recommended, professional service providers. Our banqueting coordinator is always on hand to personally answer a query or give a recommendation and our Head Chef will personally design your menu. Well trained front of house staff will make sure the big day goes off without a hitch.
Part of the success of the weddings at St Francis Links is that family and friends gather for a whole weekend and not just for an evening. We are pleased that we have more than 60 rooms on the estate, in the form of self-catering homes or bed & breakfast.
Entrust your special “day to remember” to our experienced events planning team.
St Francis Links is located on the Main Road of St Francis Bay, 1 Jack Nicklaus Dr, 6312 an hour’s drive West of Port Elizabeth.