Sunday 18 April 2021
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A Continent Rich With Cultural Festivals

A Continent Rich With Cultural Festivals


Every year there are thousands of festivals that take place in different parts of the continent. Some of these have become definitive – gaining global recognition and appeal while others are slowly making their mark. The range of festivals is eclectic – from literary to film festivals. From food and drink festivals to comedy, poetry, theatre, and storytelling festivals.

There are festivals covering all genres of music from Jazz to rock, classical to reggae; and of course there are the multi-disciplinary arts and cultural festivals. Our mission is to showcase them. We invite you to journey with us.

The journey begins.
To streamline the process, we have chosen to start with a focus on music and multi-disciplinary festivals. So, to get started we have provided a ‘list’ and brief introduction to a few of the more innovative and popular fests as they take place month-by-month and in their different locations.
As each festival draws near – we will be able to zoom into the event itself capturing elements of the social, cultural, touristic and investment potential each country has to offer. As an imperative, with 2019 having been declared International Year of Indigenous Languages by the UN/UNESCO we hope, through this, we can get closer insight into the people and broader languages of each country.

Disclaimer/A small caution
his list by no means represents the “biggest” festivals or the most attended, and unfortunately we know, that it is hardly representative of the continent (only 15 of 54 countries come up) but we know as we journey along – and as we look at other festival types – it will become more inclusive.

We also welcome your input…if there is a festival in your hometown that you think is worth boasting – images to share – we look forward to hear about it.

Selection/List of Festivals 

  Month Dates 2019 Festival Name Location Type Of Festival
(on hold since 2015 but planning a come back)
Le Festival au Désert Timbuktu, Mali Music, poetry, song, dance


  February 1-3 Origin Music Festival Helderstroom, South Africa Alternative
  February 2-9 Festival Sur Le Niger Ségou, Mali African and Malian Music, performance


  February 7-10 Up the Creek Outdoor Music Festival Swellendam, Barrydale, Breede River, South Africa Indie, Rock, folk
  February 14-17 Sauti za Busara Festival – (Sounds of Wisdom) Stone Town,


African music


  February 15-17 Amani Festival
Festival for Peace in the Great Lakes Region
Goma, DRC Song, dance, traditional


  March 1 -2 Ultra South Africa Festival Cape Town & Johannesburg
South Africa
EDM (electronic dance music), electronic, House
  March 6- 10 Asa Baako Festival Takoradi,
International music and artists, beach party
  March 29-30 Cape Town International Jazz Cape Town,
South Africa
  April 6-15 Jazz à Carthage Gammarth, Tunisia Jazz
  April Kriol Jazz Festival Praia, Santiago Cape Verde Jazz


  April 18-22 Splashy Fen Music Festival Underberg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa  
  April 26-May 1 Saint Louis Jazz Festival Saint Louis, Senegal Jazz
  April Jazzablanca Casablanca, Morocco Jazz
  April 30-May 5 HIFA – Harare International Festival of the Arts Harare, Zimbabwe Multidisciplinary
  May 24- June 2 Zakifo Music Festival Durban, South Africa Multidisciplinary


  May 16-18 AZGO Festival (Vamos!  Let’s Go!) Maputo, Mozambique Festsival Circuit


  May 23-25 Bassline Fest (Africa Day) Johannesburg, South Africa Africa day celebrations


  May 24-26 MTN Bushfire Festival Malkerns, eSwatini Pan African music, culture
  June 7-9 Sakifo Music Festival
This has spurned ZAFIKO Musik Festival held in Durban since 2015.

Réunion Island

Local & international


  June 13-15 Sandbox Music Festival-A festival on the Red Sea. El Gouna, Hurghada, Egypt Electronic


  June 14-22 Fes – Festival of World Sacred Music Fez, Morocco Sacred music
  June 20-23 Gnaouna Festival Essaouira, Morocco Traditional, Cultural
  June 21-29 Mawazine Festival (Rhythms of the world) Rabat, Morocco Global Music Festival with traditional North African
  June 27 -July 7 National Arts Festival, (Grahamstown Arts Festival) Makhanda, South Africa Multidisciplinary
  July 3-6 Timitar Festival Agadir, Morocco Traditional
  July 25 – August 2 PANAFEST Elim, Cape Coast, Ghana Music, Dance Theatre


  August 1 -4 Bayimba International Festival of the Arts Lunkhulu Island, Uganda International
  September 6-9 MTN Nyege Nyege Festival Jinja, Uganda Musical celebration


  Sept 13-15 Oasis Festival Marrakech, Morocco Music and culture
  September 28-30 Lake of Stars Festival


 Salima, Malawi  
  October Felabration Annual Music Festival Ikeja, Nigeria Music, arts Festival


  October Madajazzcar Festival Antananarivo, Madagacar Jazz


  December Sabolai Radio & Music Festival Accra, Ghana  
  December 29-30 Victoria Falls Carnival Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe  
  December 30-31 AfroPunk Fest Johannesburg Johannesburg, South Africa Alternative



Nomsa Mwamuka She is a researcher, writer, producer and media project manager who has worked on various radio, television, film, print and online media platforms. Inspired by African arts and culture she has contributed to and curated several film festivals and music events. A published author and contributor to books, her current projects include: Township Girls (Weaver Press) 2018 and The Black Girls Little Black Book of Beauty (Mimis Publishing) 2018 - Both available on Amazon.