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Your ultimate festival guide for South Africa in 2019

By 1st December 2018 No Comments

Are you looking for excitement, adventure and fun at every turn? Then a Southern African adventure with Acacia Africa needs to be on the cards to make your 2019 the best one yet! With some spectacular local festivals celebrating arts, culture, music and even the fruits of the land, it’s time for you to spend your year-end downtime planning the perfect escape to look forward to in the New Year.

Soak in culture, African style

Kick off the year with a true classic of South African heritage- the Cape Minstrel Carnival. Somewhere between Mardi Gras and a rocking New Year’s celebration, this iconic part of the cultural landscape can’t be missed if you’re celebrating the New Year in South Africa.

While Durban is perhaps best known for its beaches, it’s also a thriving hub for the local fashion industry. Celebrate all things haute-couture with the Durban Fashion Fair in September. Or head to the races and doff your Sunday best. The iconic Durban July horse race has become synonymous with glamour and fashion as much as with the racing itself, so come ready to strut your stuff. While 2019’s dates aren’t yet set in stone, the key is in the name- be sure to add this to your July line up.

Get arty and celebrate local heritage

The Knysna Literary Festival opens early March, celebrating not only local authors but also its eco-conscious footprint. The Klein Karoo arts festival in late March also offers you a fantastic way to celebrate local heritage and have great fun at the same time.

The Grahamstown Art Festival is probably the best known of its kind in Southern Africa. Well over 50 000 art lovers call the streets of this University town home for the week of the festival, and you’ll be able to soak in everything from theatre, drama and jazz to stand-up, folk music and opera. This year the festival will open on 27th June. Round off this grand tour with the Aardklop festival in Potchefstroom in October. Celebrating the best of Afrikaans theatre, music and dance, there’s an open-air craft market to enjoy too.

Enjoy the best of the best food and drink

The summer wine season sees all things wine celebrated at Turning the Vine in the Cape Town CBD, while April 2019 will see Cheese take the headlines at the 18th SA Cheese festival. Taste delectable oysters at the Knysna Oyster Festival at the end of June, or learn more about the vibrant Soweto Township with the Soweto Lifestyle and Wine Festival at the start of September. Home to two Nobel Prize winners, diverse street art and friendly faces, this one is a can’t-miss. Cape Town doesn’t lose out, however, with its succulent Street Food Festival taking place at the same time.
If you’re willing to venture a little further afield, Franschhoek Uncorked offers some of the very best of the wine route for eager taste buds, and opens at the end of September. The Magoebaskloof Berry Festival in February (Februberry?) will have you enjoying Limpopo’s succulent, tasty bites. There’s also the Cape Town Festival of Beer to ring in the changes, with everything from niche craft beers to Africa’s best-known favourites keen to show off their wares. It’s a great way to open December for sure!

The best of the best music festivals

If you’re a psychedelic and trance fan, you’ll be glad to know there’s a thriving scene for you to enjoy. The iconic Afrikaburn festival– our local answer to Burning Man- will be held at the end of May in 2019, and allows you to experience the many twists and turns of what it means to be human as well as enjoy some amazing alternative music in the outstanding desert framework of the Karoo.

For something a little slower-paced, soothe your soul with the Jazz melodies of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in March, and soak in some sea views while you enjoy ‘Africa’s Grandest Gathering’. Despite the name, there’s some gorgeous hip-hop, Afropop, funk and soul to enjoy too.

Recreate your own Woodstock at Rocking the Daisies, an annual camping music festival with multiple stages to enjoy (2019 dates TBA), or head to Oppikoppi in October, a South African music festival well known for its hard-edged rock offerings and spectacular bush surroundings.

This is only a smattering of the adventure and excitement waiting for you in South Africa. Every month there’s vibrant, happening festivals in all walks of life for you to enjoy. Why not let Acacia Africa help you make 2019 the very best year yet, and book your African adventure today?