South Africa is home to a diverse population — a unique mix of European, Asian, and Sub-Saharan communities. It is fitting then that the festivals in South Africa reflect this diversity. Whether you’re a fan of music, culture, history or simply looking to sit back and partake in some exotic cuisines by the beach, the country has everything to offer.
But before you start packing, check out a few of the unmissable events in South Africa.
If you prefer being outdoors, here’s what you shouldn’t miss. Every year, as spring breaks over the coastal town of Hermanus, hordes of Southern Right Whales grace the shores of Walker Bay. Take a trip during the months of September and October to celebrate this Whale Festival along with adventure sports like shark cage diving or kayak rides.
Alternatively, you could sign up for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, a festival of South Africa that started out as a protest initiative in 1978 and now attracts nearly 35,000 cyclists from all over the world. It’s usually held in March.
Of all the events in South Africa, this is possibly the most unique. Travel to Lesotho, a mountain enclave within South Africa, for a weekend of music art and dozens of ski slopes. The Afrikinsi Winterfest, as it is known, is usually held during the month of August.
Boasting a magnificent view and more wine than you could possibly drink, the Roberston Valley in the Western Cape province hosts an annual Wine Weekend in June. Taste over 50 kinds of wines from these sprawling vineyards, while participating in unusual activities such as cheese rolling. Once you experience it, you’ll know why this one of the most stunning festivals in South Africa.
If you enjoy olives with your wine, travel to the Karoo village in the Swartberg Mountain range. Here you can participate in the two-day Prince Albert Olive Festival. You’ll be treated to an assortment of locally grown olives, followed by a course of arts, craft and history.
Or take a trip down to the coastal Kynsa town, which comes alive for 10 days every July during the Oyster Festival. Taste some of the finest shellfish in the country while also participating in activities like Oyster eating competitions and half-marathons.
Connect with South African culture — make your way to the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees festival held over eight days in the scenic Oudtshoorn town. Look forward to performances by some of the best Afrikaans actors and musicians and end the day with a souvenir from one of the many stalls. Entry is free and open to everybody.
You could also attend the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, or the famous International Jazz Festival in Cape Town to really soak in the country’s culture.
Still confused about where to go? You need not be. There are hundreds of other festivals in South Africa to choose between and look forward to. With our South Africa Packages, SOTC can assist you in planning for the ones that have caught your imagination.