Festivals are much more than just fun events to attend, they are a great way to get to know a country’s culture and mingle with their local people. There are so many music, art and film festivals happening throughout the year across the African continent. The first African festival we attended was the Lake of Stars in Malawi back in September, which you can read about here and we are also planning to attend Afrikaburn in South Africa next April so we will profile this festival in a separate post. Although not an exhaustive list, we have highlighted 5 festivals we think you should definitely experience at some point.
Bushfire Festival, Swaziland
Mbabane, the capital city of Swaziland hosts the infamous Bushfire festival at the end of May every year. The event is filled with international and local acts performing music, dance, poetry and theatre acts over three days with all profits going to local charities.
At the end of January each year, the Touareg tribe (known as the blue people of the Sahara) host a fascinating music and arts festival that takes place in the remote desert of Essakane, Mali. Enjoy three days of international and traditional Malian music, art and camel races.
Timket (aka the Feast of the Epiphany), is Ethiopia’s biggest festival, which is celebrated every January. This is a three-day religious festival that commemorates the baptism of Christ. The event includes the ringing of bells, blowing of trumpets and people carrying lighted oil lamps and some leaping into the river.
Cairo International Film Festival, Egypt
The Cairo International Film Festival is a competitive event held annually in November. The festival brings together filmmakers, writers, directors, producers and actors over 10 days showing various international films and hosting an awards ceremony.
The Gerewol Festival, Chad
Each year the Mbororo people gather for a very colourful week of celebrations known as the Gerewol. Apart from the dancing and feasting, the main attraction is the young Mbororo men, who decorate themselves in make up and jewellery to display themselves to young women in search of a partner.
Have you been to any of these festivals? Let us know I’m the comment box below.