Winter/Spring 2016, Festivals & Events in South Africa

hermanus food and wine

Winter tends to keep people indoors more often than not, but it might also be because there just isn’t as much to do outside when it’s a bit colder. This isn’t true for South Africa, because even when the mercury drops, people are still out doing all kinds of things, and it’s the perfect excuse to get outside to enjoy the winter sun.

We left off with June activities and took a break from events to share animals like the painted dog and penguins with you, but we’re back at it with events beginning in August, and the schedule is just as packed as summer nearly with something to do for everyone. Pairing events alongside Cape Tours means getting the very most out of your trip to South Africa!

Hermanus

Whale lovers rejoice! The town of Hermanus welcomes the return of the Southern Right Whale this time of year! The Hermanus Times Kalfiefees is a massive event that is timed alongside the arrival of the whales which the festival is named for. Tickets to get in are R110 and are sold at the door. The event takes place 4 August to 9 August and is packed with Afrikaans based talent, to include productions, music, exhibitions and a lot more.

Just up the road a tiny distance, still within Hermanus is another festival which overlaps the Whale festival. You can easily come visit and have enough time for both! The Hermanus Wine and Food Festival happens from 6 – 8 August, and tickets are R50 for venue entry, and R100 for the wine area entry – all sold at the door. The event is being held at the Curro School in the Sandbaai area of Hermanus. Perfect for those who enjoy fine wines, beer and dining – the event offers tastings, sales at wholesale pricing and food stalls, as well as live music. There’s a special kids area, so bring the whole family!

Also along the Garden Route is the Klein Karoo Klassique which happens in Oudtshoorn, the ostrich town from 11 August to 14 August. This festival brings together a perfect blend of classical music, food, art, and wine. Famous Cape Town Opera singers are just part of the excitement waiting for you, which pairs wonderfully with the art on display. Regional food and wines are also available between performances where you get to taste authentic Klein Karoo cuisine.

Getting Married?

Thinking of where to go for the big bash? Considering South Africa isn’t a bad idea at all since it’s a cheap holiday from nearly anywhere in the world, and a ridiculously picturesque location to host a wedding AND a honeymoon! There are two events happening which are reasonably close to wherever your tour brings you. The one in the Western Cape is the Winelands Bridal Fair. It happens from 6-7 August at the Spier Wine Farm in historic Stellenbosch. Tickets to get in are R80 for adults, and children get in free. Tickets are sold at the door. You can expect to see fashion shows with top designers where you can buy what you see right off the runway.

The next event for a wedding plan is in Durban on 6 & 7 August at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, tickets at the door are R80 for an adult pass and for children under 10 – R30. Everything from bridal accessories, to shoes, cake makeup artistry and what vehicle to arrive in are covered, not to mention a whole host of groom products and services, as well as photographers, musicians and venue specials!  There is a fashion show here as well, hosting 4 shows on each day with ready to wear gowns from both local and international designers.

Sports

For those who want a bit more activity and sport, look no further.  Wintertime doesn’t scare off the people dedicated to a true athlete, and The Crazy Store Magaliesburg Challenge gives exactly what you need. The event is for passionate trail runners who come from all over the country to participate in a series of trail runs. Held only on 13 August, at Val Gaalen Cheese Farm in the Magaliesburg Mountains, tickets depend on what you’re looking to do. The 50km epic mountain run is R695. A slightly shorter version, the 36km mountain madness is R595. Even shorter yet, for the average runner is the 22km intermediate trail for R450 and last, and the shortest for the aspiring runner is the 12km river trail at R350. You’ll get a free t-shirt, cap and after-race services like a massage.

Perhaps you’re more of a bicyclist and an event geared toward cylcing is more your thing? The Bestmed Cycle4Cansa Road Classic is hosting its 19th annual event on 21 August, with an MTB classic held on 20 August, making it a full weekend cylcing event. The event is held at the Sun City Resort in Bojanala. As with the previous event, this one depends what you want to do there.  The road classic is 103km, and R320. The smaller version of the road classic is 70km and R220.  The kids version of the classic is 1km, and R60.  The MTB classic is 50km at R250, and the shorter version is 25km at R190. There is entertainment provided during the race, with the MTB offering a great techinical ride for more advanced cyclers, and the road race offering more of a flat course for everyone. The race has a record number of 12,000 cyclists in attendance, come be one of them!

Chocolate & Wine

Mmmm chocolate. The Winelands Chocolate Festival is going on at the Blaauwklippen Wine Estate in Stellenbosch on 20 and 21 August. Tickets are sold online with varying prices from R15 to R250 and can be bought here. The entire thing focuses on a fully chocolate experience for the mind, body and soul. There are people who will help inspire, teach, and also showcase upcoming and famous chocolatiers, chocolate artists and patisseries.  Chocolate available for tasting stands at over 40 different artisans, and doesn’t stop there. There are fashion shows, cake competitions, and even pairings with brandy, whiskey and wine. To ensure you don’t have to go when real food calls, there are food stalls with plenty of delicious local offerings alongside live music.

Into September we go with the Bot River Spring Weekend. Spring has officially sprung in South Africa, and in the Overberg region – that means time for fun. There are 11 wine farms in the area which will be present for the festival, showcasing local offerings like olive oils, deli foods, fresh produce, farm foods, incredible wines and plenty of local talent. Occurring from 2 September to 4 September, tickets vary in price and can be bought here. You’ll find the experience refreshing, a nice break from a fast pace of life. The residents of the area believe in the slow life and its benefits will be felt. There will be wine pairings, sausage making courses, a guided fynbos hike and even a family picnic. Complete with a petting zoo and live music, there is so much to do that it’s impossible to list it all here in a summary. This is one event not to miss.

From 2 September to 4 September, Johannesburg (Joburg) hosts the Joburg Bierfest in an authentic 4000 seat bavarian brauhaus at the Silverstar Casino. With beer being the main call for this event, it isn’t the only one. This event celebrates all things Bavarian and German related, complete with a band which goes great with the Oktoberfest festivities like beer pong and a best dressed contest. The servers are dressed in traditional Bavarian barmaid costumes who are happy to bring you authentic German dishes like bratwurst and bockwurst, rotkhol (red cabbage) and plenty more. Like some of the previous events, tickets vary from R195 to R875 depending on your preference and can be bought at the door.

More chocolate!  And COFFEE! Much like the prior event, this one happens in Cape Town at the Green Point Cricket Club from 9 to 11 September. Tickets are R100 if purchased online and R120 at the door. Kids get in free under age 10. Coffee history will be taught, as well as how to pour the most divinely perfect cup ever. There are chocolate pairings, and a competition for baristas to get a cash prize of R10,000. Live music, chocolate beer, coffee that cannot be beat and so much more make this an event to make a priority if you’re in the area.

The Redberry Farm Strawberry Festival is as sweet as it sounds.  Happening from 1 – 2 October at the Redberry farm in George, the festival hosts many amazing foods, local wines and crafts, live music and a ton of activities.  There are bike relays, strawberry tours, strawberry eating competitions, and even a CrossFit competition. There is an amazing amount of kids activities here like inflatables, slides, target shooting, face painting, bumper boats, pony rides, mini-train rides, bubble ball, a hedge maze, sand art and so much more.  Come welcome the Spring with the strawberries!

Flowers

Just as sweet as its name, the Darling Wildflower Show offers something totally different.  It’s the 99th show happening this year, nearly at its 100th anniversary so be sure to come back for it next year as well! Happening from 16 September to 18 September, it takes place at the Darling Golf Club. This year’s theme is The Weather and The Wildflowers. The show represents the best of springtime, but there are also flowers on display which have bloomed well out of season. You can come and see the amazing array of flora here, and maybe get some ideas about what to purchase back home!  There are over 100 food and craft stalls at all, as well as live music and a free ride on a tractor drawn wagon. Kid friendly to the extreme, the event is one for the whole family. You can buy your tickets here.

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