The world has a lot of festivals, but none can compare to Africa’s colorful celebrations. From the Great Migration in Kenya to Tanzania’s wildebeest migration, there are so many great ways to ring in the New Year. Here are six festivals you should know about:
The wildebeest migration in Tanzania
The wildebeest migration in Tanzania is the largest mammal migration in Africa, and it happens each year between July and November. The Serengeti National Park is home to this massive spectacle, where millions of wildebeest travel from their winter grounds to their summer grazing areas. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to see this incredible event unfold before their eyes.
But why should you go? What makes this event so important? And how can you help ensure that future generations can enjoy it too? Let’s look at some answers below!
The Great Migration in Kenya
The Great Migration is the largest animal migration in the world. It’s a natural phenomenon that happens every year, and it occurs between July and October. The annual event attracts millions of tourists from all over the world to Kenya to witness this spectacle firsthand.
The Maasai people have been observing this yearly event since they first settled in Kenya thousands of years ago. Their stories tell us that their ancestors used to follow wildebeest during their migration, so they know exactly when and where it will happen each year!
The Rift Valley’s Maasai Mara
The Maasai Mara is a national park in Kenya, famous for its annual wildebeest migration. The park is home to the highest concentration of lion prides in Africa and hosts some of the most colorful festivals on this continent.
The Maasai are a group from southern Kenya who speak a language called Maa, which means “people” in Swahili. They were originally nomadic people who lived off their cattle and moved around depending on where there was grass for them to graze on during certain seasons. Today many still practice this lifestyle but some have settled down because they need schools or hospitals nearby or because they want access to electricity like everyone else does these days!
Swaziland’s Umhlanga Reed Dance
If you’re looking for a festival that will take you out of your comfort zone, look no further than Swaziland’s Umhlanga Reed Dance.
The name “umhlanga” comes from the word for reeds, which are used during this annual ceremony. It celebrates the end of harvest season and marks the beginning of winter in Swaziland (which is located near South Africa). During this time, people gather together to dance and sing traditional songs while wearing traditional clothing or costumes–and if that sounds like your kind of party then keep reading!
To learn more about this fascinating tradition check out our guide below:
Zanzibar’s Sauti za Busara Festival
Sauti za Busara is a festival of music, dance and culture held in Zanzibar, Tanzania. It celebrates the music and culture of the Swahili people–the predominant ethnic group on mainland Africa’s east coast. The three-day festival takes place every year at various venues around Stone Town (Zanzibar’s old capital).
Sauti za Busara means “Voice of Africa,” which makes sense considering that it aims to preserve local traditions while also encouraging youth participation in them. As part of this mission statement, there are workshops for young artists from around East Africa where they can learn new skills while working alongside established performers like Mbilia Bel (pictured above) who was born in Congo but now lives in South Africa — she’ll be performing at this year’s event with her band Super Mazembe!
Durban’s Drum Fest
Durban’s Drum Fest is an annual celebration of music and culture. Held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, it features a variety of music, dance and food from across Africa. The event takes place in June and is free to attend.
Capetown’s Cape Town Minstrel Carnival
The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival is a celebration of African culture and identity. It’s a fusion of the Cape Malay culture, Afro-American music and dance and the African diaspora.
The carnival is held each year in February, when thousands of people descend upon Langa township for this amazing spectacle. The festival takes place on Saturday night at Langa Stadium where you can watch some amazing performances by local artists as well as international acts such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo or Brenda Fassie (RIP). There are also food stalls selling delicious treats like bunny chow (fried bread with curry) or momos (dumplings).
Africa is full of colorful festivals you’ve never heard of.
You may have heard of the famous festivals of Africa, like the Serengeti Migration or Oktoberfest. But there are so many other events that you’ve probably never heard of–and they’re just as fun and exciting! Festivals are a great way to experience the culture of a place, meet locals and try new food and music. Here are some highlights from my journey through Africa’s colorful festivals:
- The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) is held every year in Stone Town on Zanzibar Island near Tanzania’s mainland coast. It takes place over two weeks starting in January or February, depending on when Ramadan ends. This event showcases African filmmakers who create movies about social issues using local actors rather than Hollywood stars who might not understand the culture they’re portraying in their films.*
- If you’re looking for something outdoorsy during your visit then consider going to Kilimanjaro Climbathon which takes place every June at Mount Kilimanjaro National Park.*
If you’re looking for an adventure, I highly recommend visiting Africa. It’s full of colorful festivals that you’ve never heard of, and the people are warm and welcoming. If you want to learn more about these events or find out how to get involved in them then check out our website!