South African festivals

Festivals in South Africa

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From jazz festivals to kite flying contests, gay pride to Mozart festivals and minstrel carnivals, look no further than this guide of South African festivals.

Aardklop – Potchefstroom

Arts Alive International Festival

Johannesburg arts, culture and entertainment links.

Big Five Marathon
Limpopo Province
Held in June
Held among the wildlife of the African savannah. Runners from all over the world will meet in one of the most spectacular “Big Five” game reserves in Africa.

Bottelary Hills Family Day
Held in November
The annual Bottelary Hills Family Day takes place in at Hazendal Estate. Visitors can hang out on the large lawns in front of the manor house under a shaded canopy while tasting wines, listening to live music performed by local musicians, eating great food and browsing the craft marketing. Lots of activities and entertainment are offered for kids such as a mini petting zoo, horse rides, play area, a jumping castle, games and daily reptile shows.

Cape Town Comedy Festival
Cape Town
Comedy festival held in September.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Cape Town
Held in March
Also known as Africa’s Grandest Gathering, the annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival is the culmination of world-renowned musicians providing a cohesive star-studded line-up.  It was formerly known as the North Sea Jazz Festival, which was created by Dutch Jazz promoter Paul Acket.

Cape Town International Kite Festival
Cape Town
Kite festival held in October.

Cape Town Minstrel Carnival
Cape Town
Street parade held in January.

Cape Town Pride
Cape Town
Held in February
The ever increasing success of Pride in Cape Town draws many visitors to the city.  There is a procession with floats through the CBD and numerous parties are dedicated to gay and lesbian lifestyles.

Cultivaria – Paarl


South African International Documentary Festival held in July.

Green Christmas Night Market
Pack a picnic blanket, bring your family & friends and come celebrate our annual Christmas market in the Botanical Gardens. Learn how to "green" your Christmas in 2011. Live music, fresh food and drinks available, lots of nature and handmade gifts, Free Pilates Class and more.
3 December 2011 16:00-21:00
Venue: Pretoria National Botanical Gardens

Innibos - Nelspruit
Music festival end of June/beginning of July.

Johannesburg International Mozart Festival

Held in January-February
Originally organized in 2006 in commemoration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th birthday anniversary, the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival has developed into a highly successful and well-loved annual classical music event.

Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees – Oudtshoorn

Mangaung African Cultural Festival (MACUFE)
Held in October
"Brings you the best of the best in all genres."

Music is a Great Investment (MIAGI)- Pretoria

National Arts Festival

Performing arts festival held in June.

New Year's Eve Live City Linkup
Savanna is giving away R1 million
A Live City Linkup between the two cities will take place via live satellite technology. Both events will feature giant screens with theatrical production elements hosted by all of 5FM's most entertaining personalities. Come and see your favourite 5FM DJs - DJ Fresh, Euphonik, Roger Goode, Gareth Cliff, C-Live, Poppy and Rob Vember. Other top performing artists include; Goodluck, Niskerone, Gareth Devore, Spindoctor, G Funk, Justin Miller, Yaron, Mojo, Dunn and Soul Candi with Harael Salkow and friends.
Start: 31 December 2011 19:00
Finish: 1 January 2012 04:00
Venue: V & A Waterfront, Cape Town & Village Centre, Sandra Road, Ballito

Oppikoppi - Northam

Performing Arts Centre of the Free State – Bloemfontein

Sithengi - Cape Town

South African Cheese Festival
Local cheese/agriculture festival held in January.

Splashy Fen Music Festival – Durban

Taste of Cape Town
Cape Town
Held in April
Taste of Cape Town brings together the city's finest restaurants, award- winning wineries, premium drink brands, niche food exhibitors and fantastic entertainment.

Wacky Wine Weekend (Robertson,
Local food and wine  festival held in June.

Wavescape Film Festival
Controversial cartoonist Zapiro will be decorating a surfboard, along with other well-known artists such as Guy Tillim, Brett Murray and Richard Scott, that will be exhibited from1 to 8  December at the Field Office, in Barrack Street, Cape Town, and auctioned for charity on 8 December. The art exhibition is part of the 7th edition of the Wavescape Film Festival, which is presented by Pick 'n Pay. The 2011 festival features an open air screening on Clifton 4th Beach, and indoor screenings at venues in  Kalk Bay and the city bowl.
Start: 9 December 2011 18:00
Finish: 10 December 2011 01:00
Venue: Clifton 4th

Wellington Wine Harvest Festival
Held in March
Treat your taste buds with the region’s premium wines, out of the box food parings such as vodka and sushi, and brandy and chocolate, or oysters and bubbly on a topless bus. Buy slow food from the country market; or show your prowess with the potjie in the international potjiekos competition.

Experience more top festivals in Europe and abroad:



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