SOUTH AFRICA

Continued (page 2 of 14)

WHAT TO BUY

Gold and diamond jewelry; African art; traditional handcrafted items such as Zulu beadwork, carved chessboards, painted ostrich eggs, colorful woven baskets, handbags (especially ones made from springbok) and mohair or sisal rugs; traditional wooden masks and carvings; pottery; wine; biltong (a dried meat snack similar to beef jerky); Rooibos tea; chutney.

TOURIST INFO

In the U.S., contact South African Tourism’s New York office, 500 Fifth Ave., Suite 2040 (800-593-1318, info.us@southafrica.net; www.southafrica.net). Contact South African Tourism's Los Angeles office by phone at 310-407-8642.

GETTING MARRIED IN SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is so culturally diverse that people often refer to it as a world within a country. That bodes well for weddings, because practically anyone’s personal, religious or nontraditional matrimonial wishes can be accommodated.

Couples wishing to marry must have birth certificates and sign affidavit BI-31 stating their dates and places of birth. Nonresidents must also show the wedding official their passport. Proof of termination of any previous marriages is also required: a certified copy of the final decree of divorce (or, if not available, an affidavit stating that the party is legally divorced and indicating the name of the court that granted the divorce and the date on which it was granted) or a deceased spouse's death certificate. Parental consent on form BI-32 is required for those under 18 years of age who haven't married before. Same-sex marriages are allowed, though religious and civil officers have the right to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

Two witnesses and the marriage officer are required to sign an "acknowledgement of marriage certificate" at a ceremony. For more information, contact an office of the South African Department of Home Affairs (www.home-affairs.gov.za).

Most of the hotels and resorts listed in the Sleep section of this guide have highly competent wedding planners, and you can find planners and weddings information at Celebration (celebration.co.za), the South African online wedding directory. Another good place to check is the Weddings section of the South Africa Travel Corporation (satravelco.com) Web site.

 

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