Mini Guide to South Africa

Festivals

Sardine Festival

Between May and July, millions of sardines run along the southeastern coast, bringing with them dolphins, seabirds, and sharks for an incredible spectacle. It’s sometimes called “The Greatest Shoal on Earth” and as much as 200,000 tonnes of sardines are caught annually.  During the same time, the city of Durban provides a festival with music concerts, cultural activities, and plenty of entertainment.

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Grahamstown National Arts Festival

Grahamstown National Arts Festival is considered the largest cultural event in Africa, attracting several local and international talents. It runs for 11 days from the end of June to the beginning of July, gathering as many as 50,000 visitors annually. It’s a massive celebration of arts, dance, theater, opera, jazz, poetry, with more than 500 shows throughout the festival.

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Oppikoppi Festival

Oppikoppi usually takes place on a farm near Northam at the end of August and was once considered the fourth best music festival in the world. It started in 1994 with only 27 local musicians but nowadays brings over 160 international talents playing rock, hip-hop, ska, drum and bass, and much more.

People and Culture

South Africa is often called the “Rainbow Nation” due to its multiculturalism. There’s still a strong presence of British traditions, such as the afternoon tea, but the local and surrounding African nations also have an essential part in the mix.

Beadwork adornment is important for both men and women and it reflects a person’s history and values, as well as distinguishing different ethnic groups. And South African music styles are also predominant and tend to incorporate indigenous sounds to their songs (like kwaito or kwela for instance).

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