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Top 5 Festivals in Africaby Dalene Ingham-Brown


Everyone loves to have a good time, and where there is a mix of a vibrant atmosphere; food and drink; and other people enjoying themselves… a good time is sure to follow. If you're on the hunt for this type of good time adventure, why not visit one of the Top 5 Festivals Africa has to offer.

1.  Wacky Wine Weekend - Robertson - June

wacky-wine-weekend
Swirl, sniff and palate. If wine is your thing (you like to drink it, keep it or buy it), then Robertson is your playground. The Wacky Wine Weekend is held in Robertson every year, round about June. The weekend is jam-packed with each wine farm in the area hosting their own variety of fun activities, delicious food and amazing wine. Hop from farm to farm eating, drinking and being merry. So basically, it's just a great excuse to drink wine and have an absolute ball under the illusion of being a master connoisseur. Sssh, don't tell anyone!

2.   Lake of the Stars
Powered by volunteers, the Lake of the Stars is one big music festival… on the beach. The festival sees loads of truly awesome African artists gather on the shoreline of Malawi to showcase the area ‘s amazing artists, culture and Malawi as a tourism destination. The vibe, the setting, the passion for music: all felt by everyone who's ever attended. Here's what other people have said about the festival: ‘Simply the finest festival in the world.’ - UK’s leading music magazine: Q Magazine "Lake of Stars was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. An inspirational example of the power of the human spirit and the universal accessibility of art, music and community." – Goldierocks

3.  Sun Festival of King Ramses II - Egypt - February and October
Abu Simbel

A gazillion years ago, in 13th century BC, the temples of Abu Simbel were built by King Ramses II. The King had his people build the structure so that twice a year the light would stream in through the temples’ passages and illuminate the statues of the gods inside the inner most sacred chamber of Abu Simbel. This, of course, is the main attraction of the Sun Festival of King Ramses II, but locals decided to take this bi-annual occurrence and turn it into a massive celebration of music, dancing, eating, drinking, markets and fun.

4.  Festival of the Desert - Mali - January
Festival of the Desert

Mali’s sand is vibrated with jovial celebration of Tuareg culture.  The festival is three days of singing, dancing, poetry, ritual swordplay, camel races and artisans' exhibits. Traditional Tuareg music, as well as world-music is performed on stage with lights and sound; all made possible by the flick of a switch on a trusty electricity generator. World music: I doubt a performer is likely to bust out with an African rendition of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Sexy Back’, but music from different cultures are shared among the jolly atmosphere.

5.  Up the Creek - Swellendam - February
Up the Creek

Along the serene riverbank of the Breede River, 361 days of the year, you can hear wind whistling through the trees and crickets chirping in the grass. The other four days of the year, amplifiers are plugged in, stages are erected and music is pumped into the eardrums of 2000 happy, earth-loving festival goers. Happening over a weekend in February, comedians and music artists of different genres gather and make sure that your socks are sufficiently rocked. Monday rolls on and once again, the wind is whistling and the crickets are chirping. Africa plays host to the most awesome festivals. It has the culture. It has the setting. It has the vibe. All you need to experience it, is a ticket and a smile. Pair your overland trip with a festival and get the most out of your African exploration.

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