From Cape Town to Madagascar: The top African festivals and events to plan around in 2020

2020-01-02 04:45 - Marisa Crous
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Planning a trip to Cape Town? To Mozambique or Zanzibar, maybe? Then be sure to visit your favourite African destinations when the vibe runs at its highest! 

From music to arts festivals, the African continent has some of the best events planned for 2020 - so you better book that flight and start planning your outfit now. 

Here are some events not to miss in 2020: 

Up The Creek Music Festival - February 2020, Swellendam, South Africa

What can be better than floating down a river on a lovely summer day? The event takes place along the Breede River in the Swellendam, South Africa and features multiple stages with an assortment of live music. Soak it all up (plus some sun) as you drift along listening to the best indie folk music around. 

Sauti za Busara 2020 - 13-16 February 2020, Zanzibar, Tanzania

This annual music festival takes place on three stages, over four days. People come from all over the world to experience this vibe - all 100% live. See the upcoming and established artists from all over the continent perform here.

Festima 2020 - February 2020, Dédougou, Burkina Faso

The International Festival of Masks and the Arts (FESTIMA) is a week-long event that draws costumed troupes from villages around the country and especially from West African countries such as Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, and Senegal.

Why not join in on the festivities? They are very unusual, we promise...

Go watch the moves, even try out a few yourself, and indulge in this rich cultural experience - all while wearing a mask.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2020 - March 2020, Cape Town, South Africa

One  of the largest jazz-focused events in the world and the single largest music event on the continent - you have to attend this grand event at least once in your life!

WATCH: Skiing in Lesotho – an African winter wonderland

Nosy Be Jazz Festival 2020 - 10-13 April 2020, NosyBé, Madagascar 

The first of its kind, this international jazz and urban mixed music festival takes place on an idyllic island paradise, Nosybé, Madagascar. Listen to live music while you'll also have the opportunity to explore the island's diverse cultures in this breath-taking archipelago setting.   


AfrikaBurn 2020 - April 2020, Tankwa Town, South Africa

Go to the isolation of the Tankwa Karoo National Park in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa for an experience like no other. It's a bit of a trek on some bad roads, but once there you are cut off from the world, almost literally. Cycle, dance and indulge in the art installations scattered around the desert. 

MTN Bushfire 2020 - 29-31 May 2020, Malkerns, Swaziland

This event is massive! Think over 29 000 attendees from all over the world! The beautiful Malkerns Valley in Swaziland is the perfect destination for an uplifting weekend that celebrates the music and arts of Africa.

It is not just a music festival, however. It is a full-on, 360-experience mixed with art, food, crafts and more. Go for all three days to truly immerse yourself in the vibe of this place. 

STRAB festival - 27 May 2020, Ponta Malongane, Mozambique

Enjoy a beach party against the backdrop of the ocean! The Subterranean Rhythm & Blues (STRAB) is a music festival that was born in 2004 when a group of scuba divers decided they wanted to add some lively music to their beach experience. A few years later, and it's still going! 

If you're planning a diving holiday in this area, be sure to check this festival out!



Mawazine Festival Rhythms of the World - 19-27 June 2020, Rabat, Morocco

This festival is significantly more modern in its content and origin. Mawazine (Rhythms of the World) is a music festival that is spread over eight stages with performances by major international artists as well as local Moroccan musicians. 

Durban July - 4 July 2020, Greyville Racecourse, Durban, South Africa

One of the most-anticipated events on the social calendar, this is wear all hats come out to play! Head to Greyville Racecourse to witness South Africa’s best thoroughbreds head to the finish line while stylish spectators stand by with breath that is bated. 

READ: The allure of a hotel in ruins on the coast of Mozambique 

Nyege Nyege Festival 2020 - September 2020, Jinja, Uganda 

This is a wild party! Float down the Nile River while listening to psychedelic jazz grooves and hip-shaking kuduro beats from the shore. Wild, right? The annual Nyege Nyege Festival is an international music festival that takes place on the Nile Discovery Beach. Surrounded by tropical forest, this truly is a place to escape to and feel like you are on your own private beach.


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