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How to Get Married in Africa

To get married in Africa can be relatively straightforward, depending on the country you choose. Kenya and South Africa are some of the more popular African countries in which to exchange your vows, while North African countries involve more paperwork but if you are patient then it is possible to get married there.

Make sure you leave plenty of time to get your documents in order, especially if you need to get them translated. You don't want to be rushing around the day before your wedding.

Below you can find a summary of the marriage law for each country, but make sure you also check with your embassy for a full list of all documentation as this varies depending on your country of residence. Click through too for the full marriage law per country.







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Required documents for all countries:

  • Full birth certificates showing both parents' names
  • Passports
  • If divorced, show your original final divorce papers
  • If widowed, show the death certificate of your former spouse
  • If you have changed your name then show legal proof of the change
  • (Bride and groom must not be related by blood, marriage or adoption)

Some countries also require these documents:

Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage
This can be obtained from your local department of foreign affairs or your embassy in the country in which you are getting married.

Apostille Stamp
Some countries require foreign legal documents to be stamped with an apostille which then makes them legal documents in that country.

Certificate of Single Status/Sworn Affidavit that you are free to marry

These are similar to a Certificate of No Impediment, but instead you have to swear you are single in front of a legal representative.

 

Order affidavits here

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North Africa


Egypt

You will need: certificates of no impediment legalised by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, legal proof of any name change, certified translations of all required documents above, you can't remarry within 3 months of a previous divorce, if pregnant, or within 4 months and 10 days of being widowed.
Residency requirement: none, but 2 or 3 days to arrange the paperwork. Full Egypt marriage law here.

Morocco

You will need: certified translations of all required documents above into Arabic, photocopies of your passports' photo page and entry stamp into Morocco, affidavit of nationality and eligibility to marry, police record from your country of residence, men must produce a notarised statement of religious denomination, medical certificate from a doctor in Morocco, 2 recent passport photos, resident card if living in Morocco. Residency requirement: a few weeks to sort out the paperwork. Full Morocco marriage law here.

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Southern & Eastern Africa


Kenya

You will need: all required documents above. Residency requirement: none. Full Kenya marriage law here.

Namibia

You will need: all required documents above. Residency requirement: none. Full Namibia marriage law here.








South Africa

You will need: all required documents above. Residency requirement: none. Full South Africa marriage law here.

Tanzania

You will need: certificates of no impediment, if divorced your former marriage certificate and you cannot remarry with 6 months of a divorce, if widowed your former marriage certificate, all required documents above. Residency requirement: none. Full Tanzania marriage law here.

Zanzibar


You will need: certificates of no impediment, if divorced or widowed your former marriage certificate, 2 photocopies of your passports, 2 passport photos each, all required documents above. If you are having a religious ceremony you will need a letter from your church stating you have fulfilled the requirements for marriage. Residency requirement: 2 days. Full Zanzibar marriage law here.

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Indian Ocean


Madagascar

You will need: it is not possible to get married in Madagascar unless you live there, so having a blessing is the easiest way to celebrate your wedding.

Mauritius

You will need: photocopies of first 3 pages of passports, 2 passport photos each, non-resident certificate, if divorced your former marriage certificate, all required documents above, if the bride has been divorced less than 10 months she must have a Mauritian doctor's certificate stating she is not pregnant. Residency requirement: 3 days. Full Mauritius marriage law here.

Seychelles

You will need: photocopies of first 2 pages of passports, certificate of no impediment, all required documents above. Residency requirement: 2 days. Full Seychelles marriage law here.

 











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