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Festivals to discover during a stay in Africa

In Africa, there are more than 3,000 ethnic groups and 2,000 different languages that embody the cultural diversity of this beautiful continent. Festivals are just one of them.
To start, the Mombasa Carnival in Kenya, which usually takes place in November, is the largest annual festival in the country. The Ministry of Tourism is the main organizer of this event which highlights a carnival of floats, costumes, music, and dance. These activities honor the cultural diversity of the region. During this festival, traditional and contemporary musicians make the locals dance in the streets, lined with stalls offering various local specialties. As for the participants, they are usually dressed in traditional kikoy and kanga. Then, the parade heads to the beach of Fort Jesus, where a boat regatta is organized. In Zanzibar, the Dhow Countries festival usually takes place in July. It is an unmissable cultural event in East Africa. It brings together the arts and cultures of different countries in the region, but also those of India, Pakistan, the Gulf States, Iran, and the islands of the Indian Ocean. In reality, it is a film competition, but it also attracts a wide variety of artists from the world of music, theatre, and the performing arts. This event spans several incredible and historic locations near the Stone Town waterfront. One thing is sure; this is one of the most attractive activities to do while visiting Zanzibar. Then, in South Africa, particularly in Grahamstown, the national arts festival occurs from June to July. It is Africa's most significant cultural event, and the celebration transforms Grahamstown's quiet streets into the vibe of colorful activities that attract local and international stars. Parks and sports fields become flea markets with more than 600 distinct acts, theater, music, or stand-up comedies. Still in South Africa, but this time at the end of September, you will have the opportunity to attend the Hermanus Whale Festival. It is qualified as an Enviro-Arts event featuring southern right whales that migrate at this time of year. Hermanus is a land-based observation site that allows you to see whales from the seaside town. The festive atmosphere brings families together with children's entertainment, street parades, movies, shows, music, arts, the Marine Eco Village, or local crafts. In Botswana, you must go to Gaborone in April to attend the Maitisong festival. After more than 30 years, this event is still very popular with locals and international visitors. Moreover, music is one of the biggest attractions with gospel, kwaito, and afro-pop. Then, bridging the gap between Northeast Africa and the Middle East, Egypt organizes the Abu Simbel festival in February and October. Lovers of ancient Egypt will be delighted with this event governed by the magic of timing. The particularity here is that it is organized at two different times of the year when the sun aligns with the entrance of the temples of Abu Simbel, honoring Ramses II and Queen Nefertari, his wife. As a result, two of the temple statues are illuminated to leave Ptah, the god of the underworld, in darkness. Nowadays, the festival is celebrated with traditional Nubian dances, live music, and many street foods outside the venue. Finally, head to Chad to enjoy the Gerewol festival in September. It is an exciting celebration to experience as a traveler. The nomadic Wodaabe tribes gather at the end of the rainy season to perform a male beauty contest. This festival lasts a week, and the tribes gather on foot, camels, or donkeys before embarking on a frenzied dance to attract a mate. Men spend long hours preparing their outfits and makeup for the Yakke dance. Then, three female judges each choose a winner. It is a unique opportunity for tourists to broaden their cultural horizons.
Festivals to discover during a stay in Africa
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