The beauty of living in South Africa - apart from having natural abundance and cultural heritage to enjoy - is that the seasons are pleasurable enough to allow for a myriad of outdoor activities and unique events.
While winter on the east coast of SA mostly provides an escape from the chill, the cold season brings favourable conditions for special festivals and events on the south and west coasts, encouraging local and international tourists to visit.
SEE: Winter 2018 festivals to experience around SA
If you live in the province, take joy in knowing that you neither need to stay indoors during winter, nor travel far in search of excitement. And if you're visiting from around SA, be a tourist in your own country and make a long weekend or mini vacay out of these events and festivals.
Here are some winter events to warm up to in the Western Cape.
Two Oceans Aquarium After Dark concerts
Two Oceans Aquarium and Texx and the City present After Dark, a series of gigs set to take place at the aquarium at night. The extra special touch to this music event is being able to explore the Aquarium at night.
Drifter Brewing Company will provide buchu-infused gin and tonic or a Pick Me Up Pale Ale to each guest on arrival, and its range of beers will be on sale at each gig.
When: 25 July and 29 August.
Where: I&J Ocean Exhibit at the Aquarium. Doors open at 19:00 for the concert that starts at 20:00.
Cost: There are only 180 tickets available, so be sure to book tickets asap. Tickets are R295 per person at Quicket. A cash bar will be available for drinks only.
Franschhoek Mystery Weekends are perfect for couples in need of a quality winter escape to enjoy Franschhoek’s finest wines, world-class cuisine and bespoke experiences.
The Franschhoek Mystery Weekend includes two nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, a surprise event on the Friday night, dinner on the Saturday night, a light lunch on the Sunday, and a selection of bespoke Franschhoek experiences which will only be revealed when you check in.
When: 27-28 July and 24-25 August.
Cost and info: Four packages are available, from R5 300 per couple. Click here for more info or contact Carmen Arendse on firstname.lastname@example.org. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Knysna Oyster Festival, Knysna
Oysters and sport are the focus at one of the most popular annual events in the Western Cape - the Knysna Oyster Festival. The festival has taken place since 1983, where it began as the Knysna Winter Festival - a combination of sport that drew people to Knysna during the cold and quieter season.
The festival is spread across two weekends of family fun, with the two major sporting events being the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour and the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon. Click here for the full programme, more information, and registration and ticket details.
When: 29 June - 8 July 2018.
Cost and info: Contact Glendyrr Fick at 044 382 5510 or email@example.com.
Greenpop Eden Festival of Action 2018
The Greenpop Festival of Action is a new event on the Garden Route’s calendar, set to bring people together from around the globe to learn, connect, give back and get active.
“For the past 6 years, this event has taken place in Livingstone, Zambia and for the first time in 2018, the Festival of Action is being hosted in the Eden District, Garden Route,” says Knysna Tourism.
There’s a youth programme which promises to be an eco-education adventure for future leaders and active citizens between the ages of 13 and 19.
When: 23 June - 15 July 2018.
Where: Eden District.
Cost and info: Contact Carla at 021 461 9265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disney On Ice, Cape Town
Tinker Bell takes audiences on an enchanting pixie-dust filled journey with Disney On Ice presents Dream Big
The empowering tales of eight Disney Princesses – Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White embark on adventures.
When: 11 - 15 July.
Where: Grand Arena, GrandWest.
Cost: From R51 per person. Click here to book.
126th Rastafari Earth Festival, Knysna
Earth Day, or the birthday of the Rastafarian's spiritual messiah, takes place on 23 July, and is honoured as part of the annual Earth Festival from 22-30 July.
The festival includes musical acts, dancing and singing of traditional songs. Members wear traditional attire, tell stories and recite poems.
The event is family-friendly and open to the public - and serves as a platform for Rastafarians to openly share the traditions and roots of their faith. Tourists are welcome to bring their cameras and learn what Emancipation Day is all about.
When: 20 - 30 July 2018.
Where: Judah Square, Knysna.
Cost and info: Contact Br Dawie Afrikaner/ Zebulon/ Zebs at 076 649 1034 or email@example.com.
The 12th annual Slow Food & Wine Festival is ready to take over the Robertson Wine Valley from 3 – 5 August offering festival-goers an immersive and indulgent foodie experience.
Food and wine enthusiasts will get to savour the flavours of the countryside at their desired leisurely pace. There’s also a Family Market on the Sunday, free of charge for all to visit. Robertson
When: 3 - 5 August.
Where: Robertson Wine Valley.
Cost: Each experience must be booked directly with the host at robertsonslow.com.
SEE: Feast out at the Robertson Valley's Slow Fest + Winter festivals around SA
Poetry enthusiasts will delight in the sixth Poetry in McGregor Festival, set to take place on 24-26 August, featuring more than 160 poets participating at various venues in the town.
New to this year’s festival is the Helenvale Poets “back a buddy” project aims to bring 20 emerging poets from Helenvale, Port Elizabeth, to the McGregor Poetry Festival.
When: 24 - 26 August
Cost: Get your tickets at Computicket from mid-July 2018 and remember to book accommodation in advance.