Experience the Northern Cape, South Africa

The Kalahari Desert Festival is a celebration of the arts and the rich cultural history of this unique region of the Northern Cape Province.  The festival will be hosted in the heart of the Kalahari with its signature red dunes from 21 March by the Khomani San, widely regarded as South Africa’s first people.

The festival will herald Human Rights Month and also commemorates the centenary of the 1913 Land Act.  The Khomani San residents will act as guide as they share their stories, music and lifestyle with visitors under the African sky.

Indigenous groups, outstanding musicians, world-renowned performers and regional artists will provide a spectacular line-up of entertainment on Centre Stage.  The story of the indigenous people of the Kalahari and the astounding diversity of the region will be brought to life through music, stories, visual presentations and dance.

Heading the star-studded cast is renowned multi-instrumentalist Pops Mohammed with The Millennium Experience, the fabulously talented Tommy Gospel Choir, performance poet Dianna Ferrus’ story of the restoration of Sarah Baartman, Alfred Hinkel’s moving production “SEEP” as well as the Kaladusk Jewelery Show and the storytelling of Marlene Winberg.

An unforgettable world of adventure awaits visitors during the festival.  Local guides will lead guests to participate in story telling sessions, gather medicinal plants, learn traditional skills such as archery and arts and crafts.  Visitors can join in cultural dances and form part of poetry workshops, enjoy stories next to the campfire and mesmerising fire dancers.  Traditional food stalls will offer authentic local dishes, while fringe activities include donkey cart rides, wildlife tracking, bush walks and film screenings. 

The hub of the festival is located at the //Uruke bush camp on the farm Witdraai, just outside Askham. The quaint rural village of Askham is approximately 200 kilometres from Upington, the commercial hub of the region.  Upington airport is regularly serviced by SA Airlink from Cape Town and Johannesburg and a shuttle service will be available during the festival by prior arrangements. 

Askham forms the gateway to the fascinating Kalahari Red Dune Route where visitors can savour the timeless serenity and beauty of the Kalahari.  It is also the ideal entry point for cross-border exploration into the world-renowned safari destinations Botswana and Namibia.