Qunu — Nelson Mandela's two loves, his widow Graca Machel and ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, held onto each other as they moved towards the site where he will be buried in Qunu on Sunday.
Other members of the family were visibly emotional when they walked out of the venue where the funeral service took place.
The approximately 5000 guests at the funeral stood silently when Mandela's flag-draped coffin was carried out by senior military officers.
Soprano Linda Bukhosini, backed by a choir, sang a lament while guests left the venue.
Due to space constraints, only about 450 guests would be allowed at the burial.
ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa had earlier thanked South Africa for giving former president Nelson Mandela a "dignified send off".
Speaking at Mandela's funeral service in Qunu, Eastern Cape, he said it was the first time that the country had buried a person of Mandela's stature.
"Many mistakes were made... Many things were done correctly," he said.