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EVENTS & FESTIVALS
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS LISTED BY
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Africa is the festival continent. Throughout the whole continent,
colourful and vibrant festivals range through musical, religous, cultural and
harvest to name just a few.
In this section we have included just some
of the festivals and events that are happening - we shall be adding more
regularly - so please bookmark this page...
an outstanding two-volume survey of the
continent's rituals, rites and ceremonies. Divided into six sectionsAbirth and
initiation; courtship and marriage; royalty and power; seasonal rites; beliefs
and worship; spirits and ancestorsAthe set documents 43 ceremonies in 26
countries. In addition to the more than 800 arresting color photographs, the
text respectfully details each ceremony.
(amazon.com) - USA (amazon.co.uk) - UK
Fespaco African Film Festival
Festival Panafricain du Cinema et de la Television de Ouagadougou -
The week-long festival is the largest African film festival more
than 40,000 people are expected to attend. It will be held in the main stadium
in the capital city, Ouagadougou.
include thrilling durbars of chiefs, when tribal leaders and Queen Mothers
process in decorated palanquins, shaded by the traditional umbrellas, and
supported by drummers and warriors discharging ancient muskets. The dates of
many festivals are determined by the traditional calendars, often decided close
to the event.
festival - Festival of the Kings
7 days : Join paramount, divisional
and sub chiefs to pay homage to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, King of the powerful
Asanteman Kingdom during the colourful spectacular that is the Akwasidee
festival which is celebrated every 42 days (every sixth Sunday).Click to view full itinerary
Aboakyir festival -
May each year
This Festival is celebrated by the people of Simpa or
Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana. The festival is a celebration to mark
the migration of these people from the ancient Western Sudan Empire where they
were led by 2 brothers and a god called Otu. Upon consulting their god, they
were instructed by their traditional priest or mediator between the people and
the god to sacrifice a young member of the Royal family every year to their
Panafest is a biennial festival of African
dance, music and other performing arts that is held every two years in Ghana.
A cultural event dedicated to the enhancement of the ideals of
Pan-Africanism and the development of the African continent. It is organized
biennially for Africans and people of Africa descent as well as all persons
committed to the well being of Africans on continent and in the diaspora. The
essential thrust of PANAFEST is to enhance DEVELOPMENT.
Festival - August/September
The word "Homowo" actually means 'making
fun of hunger.' Our traditional oral history describes a time long ago when the
rains stopped and the sea closed its gates. A deadly famine spread throughout
the southern Accra Plains, the home of the Ga people. When the harvest finally
arrived and food became plentiful, the people were so happy that they
celebrated with a festival that ridiculed hunger.
This is celebrated on the first Saturday of November every year
by the Anlo Ewes of the Volta Region of Ghana. The essential feature of this
festival is a magnificent durbar of chiefs and citizens. Hogbetsotso, generally
known as "the festival of the Exodus" is held annually to commemorate the
escape of the Anlo Ewes from the tyrannical ruler of Notsie - Agokoli of Togo.
The chiefs appear on the durbar grounds in their most charming royal regalia
and sit in state to acknowledge and receive homage from their subjects. The
entire ceremony is laced with non-stop soul-stirring drumming and dancing
Carnival - towards end March- April
Another important event is the week
long carnival in Bouaké each March, a festivity attracting thousands of
Fêtes des Masques (Festival of Masks) -
One of Côte d'Ivoire's most famous festivals is the
Fêtes des Masques (Festival of Masks), which takes place in the region of
Man occurs in November. Numerous small villages in the region hold contests to
determine the best dancers and to pay homage to forest spirits who are embodied
in the elaborate masks.
Fête du Dipri - April
Gomon, near Abidjan, this festival starts around midnight, when women and
children sneak out of their huts and, naked, carry out nocturnal rites to
exorcise the village of evil spells. Before sunrise the chief appears, drums
pound and villagers go into trances. The frenzy continues until late afternoon
of the next day.
Festival in the Desert
This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience!
Visit the festival yourself with this 14 day itinerary
Billed as the "most
remote music festival in the world" the Festival is a three-day Afro-pop powwow
held by the Tuareg, the traditionally nomadic "blue people" of the Sahara. It's
a tribe often feared for the banditry of its rebels and respected for the fact
that it has never really been conquered. Combining traditional Tuareg music and
dance, camel races, and competitions during the day, the Festival comes alive
at night with modern Malian music, which is becoming popular the world over
from incorporation into music as diverse as that of Robert Plant and Paul
Simon. Although the centerpoint of this trip is the Festival in the Desert in
Essakane, the itinerary also includes more well-known Mali attractions such as
Dogon country, Djenne, and Timbuctu. Visit the festival:-Click to
view full itinerary
Festival on the NigerJan/Feb
tradional malian musique and dance, a Forum with theme "development
trough culture and tourism", a Fair with local art and food
Fête des Masques - April
The Dogons are famous for
their masks and during the five-day event many of them are used in ritual
ceremonies that go back more than 1000 years . At each Sigui festival, a new
ceremonial mask is carved especially for the occasion, then placed in the
Tellem caves. Remnants of these masks going back hundreds of years have been
found in the caves.
Crossing of the cattle - December
Crossing is the most important Fulani festival in Diafarabe. Every December,
herders bring cattle from the grazing lands to the river at Diafarabe. Here
everyone crosses the river. On the other side families are reunited for a few
days, before they take the cattle to new pastures. The first day is the
Promenade des Jeunes, when the unmarried men and women dress up to attract each
other. There is also a competition to judge the fattest and best looked-after
cattle, with useful prizes.
Festival - Oct
The Durbar festival is celebrated at the culmination
of the two great Muslim festivals Id el Fitri and Id el Kabir. The festival
gives a good idea of the past glories of the emirate before the influence of
International Camel Derby &
Festival - August (TBC)
The Derby takes place at Maralal, Samburu
District, centred at Yare Club & Camp, just four kilometres south of
Maralal town on the Nyahururu road. . It is also a spectacular festival packed
with a variety of events that draws visitors from all over the world. The Derby
has been on the go since 1990, with entries from Australia, America, New
Zealand, Canada, England, France, Spain, Japan, South Africa and beyond
competing against the reigning Kenya champions in both the amateur and
professional races. The route runs through semi-desert regions with varying
levels of difficulty and camels (with or without handlers) are available to
hire for those wishing to compete.
Nairobi International Book Fair
The emphasis is
locally published books and magazines, but is now starting to attract the
attention of publishers elsewhere in Africa and elsewhere overseas. Targets the
publishing trade as well as the public. Up to 20,000 visitors, including
schools groups. Provides a platform for the dynamic marketing and promotion
service industry, and targets promotional book-signings, book-readings,
book-launches and a comprehensive seminar programme.
The Schweppes East African
Concours d' Elegance
Nairobi Racecourse. The annual vehicle beauty
contest organized by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club for all makes and types of
cars, pick ups, station wagons and motorcycles.
Mombasa Carnival -
The Mombasa carnival features parades and floats from every
conceivable cultural, national and religious group in Kenya. There are two main
parades which converge onto Moi Avenue which feature incredible floats,
spectacular costumes and fantastic music.
The Wildebeest Migration:
Wildebeest Migration in East Africa, also known as The Great Migration takes place between
Serengeti National Park and Kenya's
Masai Mara and is one of the greatest wildlife
spectacles on the planet.
wildebeest and zebras migrate between
Serengeti and the
Masai Mara, constantly driven by their search
for fresh grazing. The massive herds are closely followed by predators (lion, hyena and
cheetah), making the most of every opportunity
to catch their next meal.
The precise timing of the annual wildebeest
migration depends on the rains. It is a very unpredictable and spontaneous
natural event, with calving season taking place in the
Serengeti between January and mid-March. The
wildebeest migration starts to head towards the Western Serengeti in May or
June. The best time to see the migration is generally between June and August
when the wildebeest congregate and prepare to cross the famous Grumeti River.
If you are in the
Masai Mara you can expect the wildebeest to
make their arrival as early as July, but they generally arrive between August
& September and remain in the Masai Mara between October & November.
Between the end of November and January the wildebeest gradually begin their
migration from the Masai Mara back towards the Serengeti.
The Great Wildebeest Migration - Lodge
11 days: This safari allows you to witness the very best of
Tanzania. You will revel in all the wildlife viewing opportunities on the
fabled plains of the Serengeti, around Lake Manyara, Tarangire &
Ngorongoro. Spend four nights at the lodge in Serengeti and spend the days on
game drives tracing the direction of the wildebeests migration. This itinerary
can be customised to suit you.
Click to view full
International Festival of Music and Arts
The Annual Bayimba
International Festival of Music and Arts a vibrant platform to celebrate
the power of Music and Arts in Uganda.
Sauti za Busara music
Features a rich variety of African music from the region
with more than four hundred musicians participating over five days in historic
Festival of the Dhow Countries July
Africas largest cultural event, takes place in Zanzibar in magnificent,
historical venues along the waterfront of Stone Town. The festival celebrates
the unique cultural heritage of the "Dhow" countries: the African continent and
the Indian Ocean region and their global Diaspora.
Festival - July/August
a traditional festival to celebrate the local New
Year. It is mainly practiced in the Southern Unguja, particularly in
Makunduchi. Originating from Persia and brought here by early, Immigrants,
Mwakakogwa is marked by sacrifices, dances, and the actual field fighting. In
addition to the tourists from abroad, it draws participants from the whole of
Sahara Marathon -
travel to North Africa and live and run in this most
difficult yet breathtaking place on earthThe Sahara Desert.
Telefónica-Dakar Rally -
Tits rich, eventful and adventurous past, its adaptability to
its time, and to the men and women of its time, the Dakar has become a major
highlight of the sporting calendar. Crossing of Portugal, Spain, Morocco,
Mauritania, Mali, Guinea and Senegal.
The Marathon is an international event with over 36
nationalities participating and it is the only A I M S (Association of
international Marathons and Road Races) certified Marathon in the country
Pharaonic Race - CairoNovember
100Kms : The route
of the race will take you first to sites of Sakkara , the ancient necropolis of
Memphis, Egypt's earliest capital. The third highlight will be the magnificent
area of Dahshure , where the bent and the red Pyramids of King Snefru can be
Abu Simbel Festival - Twice every year, 22nd February and
Abu Simbel is located in the heart of Nubia and is
accessible by road or air from Aswan. The most remarkable feature of the site
is that the temple is precisely oriented so that twice every year, on 22
February and 22 October, the first rays of the morning sun shine down the
entire length of the temple-cave to illuminate the back wall of the innermost
shrine and the statues of the four gods seated there
Ramses II, in a fit
of precision and despotic architectural egotism, carefully angled his temple at
Abu Simbel so that the inner sanctum would light up twice a year: once on the
anniversary of his rise to the throne, and once on his birthday. The
combination of human endeavour and natural phenomena provides what must be one
of the most spectacular sights in the world.
South Sinai Camel
Festival - May
This festival gives all travelers a chance to change
their opinion regarding camels being slow plodders. The most speediest and
bumpiest racing of all, takes place at Sharm El-Sheikh.
With its ancient history, and vast motion picture industry,
Egypt became the cultural capital of the Arab world. Egypt's cinema's influence
on the Arabs is as profound as that of the American cinema on the rest of the
world. That why Cairo is known to be "Hollywood" of the Middle East.
Timkat/Epiphany - January
Timket, or the Feast of the Epiphany, is celebrated in the January
of each year. The 3-day event commemorates the baptism of Christ and is one of
the most colourful Ethiopian festivals. The night before the Timket, priests
take the Tabot (which symbolises the Ark of the Covenant, containing the Ten
Commandments) from each church to a tent at a consecrated pool or stream. There
is frenetic activity, including the ringing of bells, blowing of trumpets and
the burning of incense. In Addis Ababa, tents are pitched at Jan Meda, to the
northeast of the city centre. At 02h00, mass is celebrated, attended by crowds
of people carrying lighted oil lamps. At dawn, the priest uses a ceremonial
cross to extinguish a candle burning on a pole in a nearby river. Inevitably,
some of the congregation leap into the river. The Tabots are then taken back to
the churches in procession, accompanied by horsemen, while the festivities
There are a couple of big annual
events that help visitors unravel the mysteries of Morocco. Feasts are
organized during all seasons, celebrating various local traditions. Festivals
are consecrated to the arts and to the popular traditions. "Moussems" are
important gathering to pay homage to a special personalities
||Moroccan Moroccan Sacred Fez Music Festival & Tour
: Artists from around the world flock to Morocco's spiritual capital during the
annual Fez Sacred Music Festival. The event features performances in a variety
of styles, ranging from local Sufi chants to haunting gypsy songs from Spain -
a romantic setting for a fine selection of devotional music.
even the most demanding customer, organizers add annual spectaculars to each
year's program. This has included Whirling Dervishes from Iran. There are also
concerts on the Bab Boujloud Square, children's educational activities and the
famous Sufi nights at Dar Tazi......and much more.
Click to read
|| Marrakech Popular Arts Festival /Marrakech
five days now, the bustling city of Marrakech manages to cram in even more
popular sights and sounds than it boasts already during the Marrakech Popular
Arts Festival. The El- Badi Palace in particular acts as the centre of events
over the course of the festival.
Click to read
||Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival /Essaouira
the bustling city celebration of the mysterious music of the
Gnawas, the product of a mystic tradition with branches as widespread as
Haitian voodoo and Brazilian Candomblé. A picturesque port painted in
blue and white, Essaouira is the ideal resort that most travelers dream of when
they think of North Africa: laid-back and yet vibrant, atmospheric and
Click to read
||Live 1001 night in the Moroccan Sahara New Year
Spend New Years Evein Morocco. As night falls, watch traditional folkloric
dance and listen to the heady intoxicating beat of Berber drum music and song
during the traditional pouring of mint tea. delight in a Moroccan feast. At the
crest of the gathering, the sun sets on an old year, outlining the dunes in a
complexity worthy of the future: vast and unpredictable as the tales of
Sheherazad, and the 1001 nights to be lived before the sun rises.
Click to read itinerary
El Jem International Symphonic Festival Jly - Aug
classical works, set in the candle-lit surroundings of the best-preserved
Roman coliseum in the world.
& Cultural Festival - October
Each year on the first Thursday of
October, the Festival is alive and kicking again. The main days of the Festival
will be Friday through Sunday. During the four days of the Festival about 40
events will take place at 8 venues in Morija which cater for all tastes in
music, dance, drama and film. At the main Arena, Thabeng Football Grounds, are
also found arts & crafts displays and sales, as well as information booths
and tents marketing a wide range of products, including food and drinks of
different traditions. Concerts, Jazz, Famo, Gospel & Kwaito will highlight
each day.The friendly & festive atmosphere of this Festival is unique and
each visitor is highly welcomed
The "Sardine Run" begins around mid-May, when huge schools
of Sardinaps Sagas begin their migration from the Agulhas Banks to the South
African coast, bringing a myriad of predators and other creatures in their
wake, including dolphins, whales, game fish, sharks and flocks of diving
Click to view full itinerary
Maraton- 029 October 2009
Experience the challenge of Southern
Africa with this 7 day, 250km self-sufficiency run in the Great Kalahari....
Elephant 100 & 50 Miler Trail Runs - 02 May 2009
Have you ever
run with elephants and rhinos, pushed yourself to the limit against time? Join
us for the second 100Miler and 50Miler Trail Runs through the Addo Elephant
Cape Town Festival - TBC
The Festival will include
concerts over three days, our popular Festival Imbizos or Cultural Talks,
diverse foods representing different religions and cultures, and a range of
activities targeting youth, etc.
South Africa's premier youth music and lifestyle festival - 3 Stages
representing the top rock, pop, hip hop, and contemporary acts in South Africa.
Complete beat bliss of all genres of dance music, situated 2km from the main
stage in a valley of its own. featuring some of SA's top extreme sports
entertainers and sporty stunt men.
Festival(Sept : Dates TBC)
The fun Festival with the most
spectacular natural setting on earth brings you a combination of music, music,
music, live theatre, sport and adventurous environmental activities - the
ultimate Enviro-Arts experience. A whole week of theatre, music, craft stalls,
sport and fun is planned - bring the whole family.
2008 Absa Cape Epic: :
the largest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world.
It starts in the beautiful Garden Route town of Knysna and finishes eight days
later in style at the grand Spier Wine Estate, just outside Cape Town.
Festival - Grahamstown- TBC
The National Arts Festival is one of the
most important event on the South African cultural calendar, and the biggest
annual celebration of the arts on the African continent. Starting at the end of
June/beginning of July, it runs for between 8 and 10 days and is held in the
small university city of Grahamstown, which is situated in the Eastern Cape,
130km from Port Elizabeth.
Old Mutual Two
Oceans Marathon - 11 April 2009
Splashy Fen Music
longest-running and most renowned annual music festival,
Splashy Fen has evolved into the ultimate outdoor experience for music and
nature lovers alike
Absa Klein Karoo National Arts Festival
Gardenex & Outdoor Living
the biggest gardening and floriculture exhibition
in the Southern Hemisphere
Pink Loerie Mardi Gras
Held in Knysna offers days of
parties, exhibitions and art performances
Durban International Film Festival : 22 July - 2nd August
presenting over 300 screenings of films from around the world,
with a special focus on films from South African and Africa.
Knysna Oyster Festival - 3-12 July 09 .
Indian Ocean Islands
is a spectacular event, and a deeply symbolic one. In
Mauritius it is treated as a spring cleaning both of the inner and the outer
worlds, as families get together to celebrate the beginning of a new year with
vows, fireworks, good food and celebration.
African Events outside the African continent
The first Ugandan UK Convention show casing Uganda business and
employment opportunities as well as organisations interested in the Uganda
Diaspora on 27th August 2011
The London International African Festival of the Arts
(LIAFA) a massive global celebration of the best of African and
International Arts from 100 countries, the festival runs from 20-22 August