South Africa is a vast country with rich cultural and social diversity.This diversity forms the backbone of the country’s well endowed festival and events calendar. Every event and festival in South Africa offers a great opportunity to catch a glimpse into the country’s heritage and indulge in a moment of fun and relaxation. Below are the top annual festivals and events not to miss in South Africa.
Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival – This festival is characterised by food and wine related events, off the wall sports and adventure and fun activities for the family. Hosted over a period of 10 days and attracting over 70,000 visitors annually, it offers food lovers and sporting enthusiasts a bonanza of fun activities. Activities that you can look forward to include paddling, golf, bowls, soccer, angling, mountain biking, music concerts, etc.
The Cango Route, Little Karoo -This event is specially designed for adventure lovers. It offers deep and wondrous caves, thrilling ostrich back rides, feasts on country farms and nature treks into the legendary Swartberg range. During this stretch, you will come across a selection of farm stays, game lodges, wineries and even a Karoo Tapas establishment.
Soweto Derby – For soccer lovers, the Soweto derby is not an event you can afford to miss.This game which involves two Soweto soccer giants in the name of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs attracts huge crowds. Whenever these two teams play, there is excitement on the streets and homes are abuzz with speculation.
Dusi Canoe Marathon – The Dusi Canoe Marathon in Kwazulu-Natal is the countrys premier water event. More than 2000 paddlers each year take to the churning waters where the Umgeni River meets the Umsundusi deep in the valley of a thousand hills.This three day event sees participants challenge themselves against the river, natural elements and other competitors.
Sardine Run – The Kwazulu Natal coast is the venue for this marine event. Each year around June, Sardine swim for 30 days from their spawning ground in the Cape to reach the east coast. Scores of fishermen join the sharks, game fish, marine mammals and birds that gorge themselves on the shimmering band of silver fish.This sardine run is a seasonal peculiarity that is popular among local and international visitors. Its a phenomenon worth watching whether its from land, the ocean surface or even underwater.
Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour – Hosted in the month of March, this tour is a 109 kilometre rush through Cape Town.This event sees 35,000 odd cycling enthusiasts go by in a glorious multi-coloured light weight lycra wave. Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour holds the record for being the worlds largest individually timed cycle race.
Grahamstown National Arts Festival – The town of Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape has gained popularity across the world for hosting this event. Because of this event, this town is described by many as the city of diversity and artistic expression. Every July, this national arts festival attracts thousands of people. When you attend this event, you can be sure of being treated to gleaming orchestra.
Comrades Marathon – This marathon started as a tribute to the South African soldiers who lost their lives during World War 1. Hosted in Kwazulu-Natal between the cities of Durban and Pietermarizburg, the run alternates between an up and down run, from the coast inland and vice versa. Many describe this event as the worlds greatest ultra-marathon.
Namaqualand Daisies in Spring – This event can best be described as a road trip event.The 270km trip between Nieuwoudtville and Springbok in the Northern Cape is done over three nights in the spring months of August and September.This is a road trip that takes you through the extravaganza of Nieuwoudtville to the flower fields of the Namaqua National Park as well as the village blooms of Loriesfontein.You cant afford to miss this.
Kaapse Klopse, Cape Town – Also called the Cape Carnival, this event dates back to the 19th century with its roots firmly traced back to Cape Towns slave community. Celebrated on the 2nd of January, this is a New Years carnival that takes place on the streets of Cape Town. Preparations for the Cape carnival start well in advance, with minstrel troupes rehearsing songs, dance routines and parades for months. Costume preparation which is usually bodly coloured satin fabric, bow ties, umbrellas and hats begins in August.The actual event day itself sees about 10,000 banjo strumming minstrels take to the streets of District Six, winding through the central business district of Cape Town on their way