A Safari Wedding in Africa…

Yes, ours! Heiko and Me! We’re getting married on 5th February 2009… in Africa! :)

Rewind just a couple of months and I would never have imagined it! And when Heiko asked me on 5th September I didn’t believe him at first and asked him if he was being serious (several times apparently!) and then tears came, and he still didn’t know what my answer was, I was in complete shock! That whole weekend I had to keep telling myself this was real. We’d had a drink to celebrate – so it must be real ..right?! I didn’t imagine it.. ;)

We liked the idea of a destination wedding, only we couldn’t decide where to go… the sandy beach weddings on beautiful islands just didn’t appeal to us at all. Then… what about Africa? Well, once we had Africa in our heads we couldn’t shake the thought away. It was so very ‘Us’. A wedding in the wilderness, with all of Africa’s beauty and wildlife surrounding us. It just sounded magic. And we were both so giddy as we searched the internet for ideas.

So, let me quickly update you all on our plans!!

Our trip is booked already, we’re going back to Tanzania!! We discovered a travel company specialising in wedding safaris and they’ve put together an amazing itinerary for us! All our legal paperwork is now (thankfully!) completed and sent to them to finalise with the authorities in Tanzania.

We bought my engagement ring and our wedding rings in a quaint little town called Schoonhoven where they still make jewellery in the old traditional way, and we had our wedding rings engraved with our names and wedding date by hand. I bought my wedding dress just a few weeks ago during a trip to the UK! Now i’m looking for some shoes.. and that’s not an easy task! Heiko’s looking for a linen suit.. and then we have to think about the flowers, the cake… and we still need to find a photographer! I can’t photograph my own wedding! ;)

We’re so excited to be going back to Tanzania! February just so happens to be when the Great Migration is in the Southern Serengeti; so we’re expecting to see hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra! I’m jumping up and down in my chair just thinking about it!!

We’ll first go to Arusha to finalise all our wedding paperwork and then we’ll visit the Ngorongoro Crater on our way to Olduvai. Our wedding will take place during our stay in Olduvai, where we’ll stay in a tented camp in the heart of the migration. Our wedding ceremony will be in the bush, in a place with a view overlooking the Serengeti. And apparently, the local Maasai people from the village love weddings and will be there to bless our wedding and sing to us too! Afterwards, we’ll have sundowners (drinks at sunset) followed by a candle-lit bush dinner. It sounds perfect!

The following morning we’ll head to another camp in the Serengeti where we’ll stay at a remote private camping spot within the wildlife area, a perfect location to watch the Great Migration. After a few days there, we go to Lake Manyara and we’ll be staying in the only lodge inside the park boundary. Our final stop will be at Arusha National Park with views of Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro, and then we head back home …Mr and Mrs! :)

I love you Heiko xx


  1. Vinita

    Congratulations once again!Wow sounds superb!!So romantic!I’m getting excited just reading about it!Love your rings!Schoonhoven’s the best ;)

  2. Natalie

    Thanks Vinita!! :-)

  3. James (justphotosspain)

    Well long time no type !! Just on my lunch break at work and by chance I decided to visit your site!

    Congratulations Tigs, the wedding sounds fun and a very nice setting …

    Congratulations to you and Heiko

  4. Natalie

    Thank you James! Great to hear from you too! It was a really nice surprise to find a message from you on my blog, especially after not being in touch for a while! Hope you are keeping well :)

  5. Kirsten

    Ooooooooooooooh Natalie!!!!! I almost cried when I read this! I’m so happy for the two of you!

  6. Natalie

    :-) Thanks Kirsten!!!! *miss you*

  7. Babette

    Hi there, just read this so congratulations are in order. Great to get married in Africa, our place to be too.
    So in February Tanzania. We go to Kenya again in March.

    Good luck to both of you

  8. Natalie

    Thank you for your message Babette :-)

    Hope you are keeping well.. and all the best for your trip to Kenya.. hopefully we’ll make a trip there someday, we almost decided to get married there, but then we saw the migration was in the Serengeti in February and just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see that! :-)

  9. bruce

    another xmas has passed. i returned, to check a rumor ….. and i see it’s no rumor, but fact.

    after the trials and tribulations of the last years: that pesky club which united your nights; travel to munich to enjoy the beer …… and the knife;career changes; and above all, hard work, challenge and determination to make it all work, i wish just to add my joy at the cementing of the paths, the selection of schoonhoven for its art and …….. the wedding/honeymoon destinations.

    much love, b.

  10. Natalie

    Thank you Bruce :) hope you are keeping well… see you in the New Year!

  11. Tony Kay

    Congratulations. What a lovely place to get married.


  12. Ettrick


    That’s a lovely area of the world after the rains, and Ngorongoro Crater is an interesting place.

    Have fun – and remember, put the camera down sometimes and enjoy the moment.


  13. jennifer

    aaaaahhhhhhh eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeegh!! (girly scream!?)
    oh my hunny that sounds sooooo romantic and exciting, i’m almost jealous!
    CONGRATULATIONS to you both, i’m sure you’ll have a lovely day from what ive just read!
    i can’t wait to see the pictures, it really does sound wonderful……good luck babes n keep in touch x x x

  14. Raimo


    It was nice to read about you. Changing your job last year and marriage now,,,,sound great. Congratulaions for you and your husband from the finnish delegation, and yes, you know us from Lillehammer. Enjoy Africa and the life afterwards.

    Raimo the Finn

  15. bruce

    good to hear that yous are safely back; to arrive with snow, rain and sun!

    it’s now sunday p.m. and still no pics., not even one to continue/finish this part of the blog.

    or wait, maybe with families?


  16. Kaleel

    Hi Natalie and Haiko,

    Fantastic news! Congratulations. I wish I could have had the time to be your wedding photographer. Might have been a bit distracted by the wildlife however…

    Let us know how you got on.

    Brilliant news!

  17. Nico

    Hey Guys
    Congratulations How quick is this year moving!! Looking forward to seeing your photos of Mt Kili and ofcourse any cats and the wedding itself

  18. cesar


    I have found your blog due because we want to get married in Tanzania as well

    we don´t find a lot of information about it and paper work, can you tell me please the webpage specialized in weddings there?


    • Natalie

      Hi Cesar,

      Sorry to reply to your message so late – how are you getting on with your wedding plans?

      We are living in The Netherlands and arranged our trip with Meregan and Clare at Migration Safaris (www.migrationsafaris.com) in the UK – they gave us a list of paperwork to collect together before our trip and then they arranged everything for us.

      Whilst the marriage certificate we received afterwards was fine for the UK, we found out after our trip that because we live in The Netherlands we needed a legalised international marriage certificate in order to register our marriage with our local municipality. It was no simple task to get that completed and in the end we arranged for a lawyer in Arusha to organise it for us.

      We requested an international marriage certificate legalised by the Dutch Embassy and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We also requested a second copy legalised by the German Embassy just in case we might need this in the future (my husband is German).

      Had we known these requirements in advance, I’m sure Migration Safaris could have helped arrange that whilst we were still in Tanzania.

      I hope this helps you.. wishing you all the best for your upcoming wedding!


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