The African continent is a surreal and amazing festival destination for those who go looking.The Sherp uncovered a few wonderful, feel-good and culturally poignant African festivals that really give you some perspective.
Where: Tankwa, South Africa
When: April 27 to May 3
For the lot of you who don’t know, AfrikaBurn is Burning Man’s largest regional event and is held in Tankwa, South Africa during the end of April to early May (bang in the middle of the country’s beautiful winter). Pictures from this year’s edition revealed some fairly interesting and impressive art and various forms of creative expression much like what we see at Black Rock City.
Similar to its mother festival, AfrikaBurn adheres to the ten principles of Burning Man like – The Leave-No-Trace philosophy , self-expression, self-reliance, and communal effort. The event has been running from 2007 and aims to be “radically inclusive and accessible to anyone”.
Simply put, the festival is participant oriented that experiments with community building, creativity and self reliance among the citizens of Tankwa Town in Karoo once a year.
“Nothing is for sale but ice at the event. Nothing. There are no vendors, no advertising or branding. It just doesn’t fit in. It’s not even a barter economy – it’s a de-commodified zone with a gift economy that’s about giving without expecting anything in return.”
Where : Sahara Desert, Morocco
When : April
‘A Dunes Odyssey’ is what Transahara identifies itself by. Held right in the middle of the harsh, yet undeniably beautiful Sahara Desert in Morocco. This fest usually includes an amazing yet minimal lineup of trance, techno and house in unison with art, culture. With just 1000 people at the fest, you can expect an intimate and spell binding time.
(Images Courtesy : Transahara/Facebook)
Where : Dedougou, Burkina Faso (Western Africa)
When : April
Hidden away in one corner of Western Africa, Burkina Faso plays host to one of the regions most colourful cultural festival. The International Festival of Masks and the Arts or FESTIMA is a celebration of abright and beautiful African creatures by masked dance troupes who perform ritualistic dances in an effort to connect with ‘spirits’. The tradition calls for many villagers with lovely coloured masks that represent monkeys, crocodiles and wood peckers to dance and sing hoping to win favour from these spirits.
The seven day-long event draws in participants from villages and countries in the region, including Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali and Nigeria, with over 100,000 people attending. It truly is a experience.
Where: South Africa
When: August 7 to 9
A South African revelry whose name translates to ‘on the hill’, Oppokoppi features some of the best talent in the country spread over various genres. From hip hop, EDM to Jazz and a South African version of house music – Kwaito there is enough music and debauchery to go around for everyone. Head over to Oppikoppi is you want a taste of how the Afrikaans party.
(Images Courtesy : Fest300/Derius Erasmus)
5. Lake Of Stars
Where: Malawi , Southern Africa
When: September 25 to 27
Virtually unknown to anyone out of Africa, Lake of Stars is a quaint celebration of home-grown music and DJ talent, in the small southern African country of Malawi. The festival takes place on the banks of the third largest lake in the African continent, a beautiful spot to host such a lovely and intimate festival.
(Images Courtesy : Lake Of Stars/Facebook)
6. Zakifo Muzik Festival
Where: Durban, South Africa
The Zakifo Muzik Festival is an eclectic live music event, connecting Africa with the Indian Ocean Islands, Europe, India, Australia and beyond. With a diverse and eclectic program ranging from pop to reggae and world music as well as indigenous sounds from Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.
No further details regarding line-up and tickets have been revealed. A world-class line-up of independent acts are reported to be performing at the June 11- 13 festival so stay tuned to this page to know more.
7. Chale Wote Street Art Festival
Where: Jamestown, Ghana
The Chale Wote Street Art Festival, Jamestown, Ghana, is an annually held street art festival that celebrates and appreciates the work of local and international artists who aim to colour the streets with the ethnicity of contemporary African art. These artists tell vibrant yet melancholic stories with their depictions and some of these are so brilliant, we absolutely had to share them. These images of a street art festival, held in an old African slave town, depict the evolution of African art perfectly and will make you wish you were there.