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If there’s one thing to love about KwaZulu-Natal, it’s certainly getting to enjoy the warm beaches and many sunny days throughout winter.
That’s what makes KZN the perfect destination for many winter events – especially if you’re the type of person who prefers basking in all things summery – as it provides the ideal weather conditions for all types of events, from major races, to cultural festivals and more.
SEE: 5 Unique KZN experiences you have to try
Whether you want to escape winter in much colder parts of SA or if you just want to experience a slice of east coast sunshine, here are some events worth attending while embarking on your trek through the Zulu Kingdom.
The 93rd Ultimate Human Race is set to be a Down Run, beginning in Pietermaritzburg and finishing in Durban - with the race route annually alternating its starting points between these two KwaZulu-Natal cities.
While 20 000 runners will take on the 89km stretch, if you're not running then make the most of the sunny KZN winter and cash in on the fun along the race route. Spectators usually line the streets of the route, cheering on runners.
SEE: Comrades Marathon 2018: A guide to SA's 'ultimate human race'
There are also special spectator spots boasting entertainment acts such as DJs, bands, professional dancers, cheerleaders and local sports personalities - as well as dedicated kids' zones, food stalls and large screens to view the race. Click here for more information.
When: Sunday, 10 June.
Where: The 46th Down Run starts at 5:30 outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall and ends 12 hours later at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium. This is the first time that the race is finishing at the stadium.
Another athletic highlight on KwaZulu Natal’s winter calendar is the Ballito Pro surfing competition – an international surf and lifestyle event hosted in Ballito. Set to take place over 12 days from 21 June – 1 July, Ballito Pro combines world-class surfing with a vibrant festival.
While surfers compete, spectators enjoy live music performances across a variety of genres, shopping, beach football and other beach and extreme sports, food contests and stalls, among other entertainment.
When: 21 June - 1 July.
Where: Willard Beach in Ballito on the KwaDukuza coast.
Cost: Free entry for spectators.
The fourth annual Zakifo Music Festival returns to Durban from 25 - 27 May, set to feature a line-up of musicians from across the African continent and beyond. The festival will take place across three Durban venues - the BAT Centre, Views @ Twenty5, and Blue Lagoon Beach.
The festival begins with a fundraising concert for the Nelson Mandela Foundation at the BAT Centre, featuring Sekou Kouyate - a kora player from Guinea, and Elida Almeida - a Cape Verdean folk singer. Headlining this evening is South African musician Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse.
MUST-SEE: Adventure out on these KZN summer road trips
Other national and international performers throughout the weekend include Nasty C, DJ Lag, Flavia Coelho, Nathalie Natiembé, DJ Doowap, Oki Dub Ainu Band, K-$, Alice Phoebe Lou, Nakhane, Dub Inc, Guy Buttery, Kanada Narahari, and major international act Aloe Blacc.
Also expect satellite events, workshops and parties, as well as industry-focused events that are a platform for exchanging musical knowledge and experiences.
When: 25 - 27 May.
Where: Durban’s BAT Centre, Views @ Twenty5, and Blue Lagoon Beach.
Cost: Tickets are available via Nutickets at the following prices:
- R500 - 3-day weekend pass (excluding Madiba concert)
- R150 - Friday pass - Views @ Twenty5
- R150 - Saturday pass - Views @ Twenty5
- R300 - Sunday pass - Blue Lagoon Beach
- R300 - Friday Madiba concert - BAT Centre
The Royal Agricultural Show is an annual mixed exhibition that takes place in KZN’s capital city, Pietermaritzburg, boasting a predominantly agricultural component.
According to the event organisers, the Royal Show is “Africa’s largest mixed agricultural show”.
The ten-day event includes shows of livestock and agricultural equipment, a range of public-interest exhibits, displays and activities covering a variety of industries, and a myriad of lifestyle exhibitions.
In addition to the exhibits, stalls and displays, there’s entertainment lined-up for the whole family to enjoy including music concerts, a funfair, and food, craft and shopping stalls.
When: 25 May - 3 June. Opens at 9:00 daily and closes at 18:00 daily (19:00 on Saturdays).
Where: Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg.
Cost: Tickets can be bought at the entrance gate or online, and are priced as follows:
- Super Friday Ticket - R50
- Adult (12 – 59 years) – R65
- Junior (6-12 years) – R45
- Pensioner (60 years + with ID) – R45
- Children (under 5 years) – Free entry.
ALSO SEE: #FindYourEscape at the Gin, Wine and Jazz Festival in Lesotho's Maluti Mountains
Camelot is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner and
Frederick Loewe based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the epic TH
White novel The Once and Future King. It features some of Lerner
and Loewe’s most beautiful music, with songs like Camelot, If Ever I
Would Leave You, It’s May and I Loved You Once in Silence.
Note: the play is not suitable for children under eight
When: 18 May – 3 June.
Where: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UZKN Durban
Cost: From R185 per person. Book
With the first race run in 1897, The Vodacom Durban July is one of South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious events.
While horse racing started off being the focus of the event, the race shares the spotlight with the local fashion industry and has grown to be one of the biggest lifestyle events on the country’s social calendar.
This year’s fashion theme is “Time”, so get ready to strut your stuff in those avant-garde garments that reflect the theme and your creativity at this chic KZN event.
Be sure to also explore food and entertainment stalls in between races and enjoy the local music line-up set to entertain at special marquees (which you will need to purchase a ticket for separately). Dress up, turn up and catch the uber-luxurious party vibes at the Durban July.
When: Saturday, 7 July.
Where: Greyville Racecourse, Durban.
Cost: Entry is R220 per person. Tickets can be purchased from Computicket.
This family event aims to bring peace in the city, featuring
top local gospel artists.
When: 13 July.
from R180 each. Click
here for tickets.
Registration is open for the second edition of the Nature,
Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers Congress (NEWF) which creates a path to
conservation through film by providing a platform for delegates to engage,
network and contribute to the industry.
NEWF2018 offers topics to inspire story and spark lively and
robust debate, informative panel sessions, case studies and interactive
demonstrations. An array of keynote speakers, industry leaders and special
guests have been invited
When: 16 -
Cost: For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Pragna on 064 294 0669.
The acclaimed Drakensberg Boys Choir will present an afternoon
of choral entertainment.
You don’t have to be a music connoisseur to enjoy this blend
of western classical, pop and indigenous folklore music presented by the young
When: 6 June.
Boys Choir Auditorium, Winterton.
from R135. Click here to buy
Run, jump and crawl your way through 24 built obstacles for
all levels of athletes, at this night event on 22 June.
The Jump City Challenge at uShaka Marine World boasts a new
route, as you make your way along a gauntlet of new and exciting challenges.
When: 22 June.
entries available. Click here
for more information and for bookings. Book early to reserve your batch and
receive a free t-shirt with your entry.
Vuma 103 presents a family-friendly food and music event featuring
some of SA’s top acts to thrill audiences. It promises to keep the whole family
here for more information.
When: 16 June.
Park, Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Cost: R200 per
person. Book at Computicket.
Trail Challenge takes place from 29 June – 1 July, at St Lucia’s Sugarloaf
Campsite where the race village is set within earshot of hippos at the Lake St
Lucia Estuary mouth.
From the outset, the
event is about spectators and family involvement with the weekend starting off
with a 6km ‘Full Moon’ leg-stretcher on the beach being open to all.
The event consists of 3 stages. All stages start and finish
at Sugarloaf Campsite where the race village is located, other than the third
and final stage that starts at Cape Vidal.
- Stage 1 (29 June 2018): Full moon beach run 6km (Open to
spectators, family and friends not doing the full event)
- Stage 2 (30 June 2018): Maphelane Loop 37km / 20km
- Stage 3 (01 July 2018): Cape Vidal to Sugarloaf Campsite, Lake
St Lucia Estuary 39km / 16km
When: 29 June – 01 July 2018
Campsite, Lake St Lucia Estuary, iSimangaliso Wetland Park
For entries visit isimangalisotrailchallenge.co.za
DJ Fresh, Shekhina, Tbo Touch, DJ Ganyoni and Khuzani will
entertain the crowd at this family-friendly event in celebration of Nelson
Mandela. With the theme centred on nation and unity, the event aims to send
messages about Madiba’s legacy.
When: 28-29 July.
Sports Ground, Richards Bay.
range from R100 - R500. Click
here to book.
The Ethekwini Motor Festival Fashion Show is a networking
platform where automotive meets fashion.
Local designers get paired with a car brand to create its
fashion identity in a night of glitz, glamour and creative inspiration. Bring
your friends over and enjoy some food, wine and music. No children allowed.
When: 23 June at
Cost: R150 each
The 39th Durban International Film Festival is
the one of the biggest film festivals on the continent, set to take place in
conjunction with the Durban Film Mart and Talents Durban. If you are a lover of
fine art, nouveau films and have an appreciation for creative and provocative cinema,
then this is the film festival not to be missed.
When: 19 – 29 July.
Where: Various venues
across Durban. Click here
for all the venues.
Cost: Click here for more information.