South African Food Festivals: 2011

Posted by Sarah Keevy on 15 February 2011

Whet your appetite on these specialty food festivals around South Africa in 2011.

Eastern Cape

Chilli Festival

Take your taste buds to a new level at the Chilli Festival in Port Elizabeth. Try all manner of hot, chilli-inspired foods and buy chilli plants. You may be inspired to add more spice to your own cooking!

26 – 27 February, Parsons Hill Primary, Port Elizabeth, Adults: R10, Children over 12: R5, Tel: 041-484-4540 or 083-350-0676

Biltong festival

Somerset East hosts the 20th Biltong Festival this year, boasting Karoo hospitality at its best. Besides treating yourself to many varieties of the South African delicacy, you will be able to enjoy great activities like quad biking and paint ball, or just relax in the Castle beer tent or dance at the Bokjol! The festival also caters to kids who can tire themselves out on the jumping castles and have their face painted while running around the market.

15 -16 July, Somerset East, Adults: R50, Tel: 042-243-1333

Free State

Cherry Festival

The Ficksburg Cherry Festival promises a very full programme this year, all in honour of cherries! This is the 44th festival, making it the longest running crop festival in South Africa. From a cherry bake-off to cherry mampoer making, the festival has something for everyone and will include wonderful live entertainment such as the Soweto String Quartet and the Joburg Lipizzaner Horses.

17 – 19 November, Ficksburg, Tel: 051-933-6486


Johannesburg Oyster Festival

Eat your fill of 24 000 fresh oysters at the Oyster, Wine and Food Festival. The festival promises lots of oyster stations so you don’t have to wait too long for your salty indulgence. The entrance is free, but you will have to pay for selected oyster tasting. For those less inclined to eat oysters, there will be wine tasting as well as olives, cheese and confectionery to try.

1 – 2 May, The Brightwater Commons, Joburg, Tel: 011-789-5052


Ballito Prawn and Jazz Festival

Take the whole family to Ballito for a weekend of prawns, music and outdoor activities. There will be live cooking demonstrations, a kids’ fun fair, a half marathon and, of course, a wide selection of gourmet prawns to suck on!

8 – 10 July, Ballito, Adults: R60, children over four: R30, Tel: 082-459-9567, [email protected]


Limpopo Marula Festival

Celebrate a truly African fruit at the Limpopo Marula Festival. Marula, aslo known as “food of kings and ancestors” has a long and rich history in Southern Africa and the festival gives you a chance to mark its harvest with tasting and many entertaining activities.

19 – 26 February, Phalaborwa, Tel: 051-293-8300,

Northern Cape

Hantam Vleisfees

Head to the Northern Cape for everything meaty at the 22nd annual Hantam Vleisfees (meat festival). Vegetarians beware! Calvinia is sheep country and the area pays tribute to mutton over the weekend. Taste different mutton and lamb dishes, listen to “regte boeremusiek” and soak up the atmosphere.

26 – 27 August, Calvinia, Tel: 027-341-8219 or 027-341-8228, [email protected]

Western Cape

Lamberts Bay Kreeffees

Lambert’s Bay becomes the home of crayfish during their annual Crayfish and Cultural festival in March. Sponsored by Graça and Die Burger, the festival offers an abundance of crayfish, plenty of wine and a craft market to keep you and the kids busy. If crayfish isn’t your favourite, there will be other food stalls to keep you satisfied. Don’t forget to enter the Miss Blue Jeans pageant!

18 – 20 March. Lambert’s Bay, Adults: R70, Weekend package for adults: R260, Tel: 027-432-1000, [email protected]

Prince Albert Olive Festival

Olive connoisseurs shouldn’t miss out on the Prince Albert Olive Festival. It’s a chance to taste delicious olive-inspired food, learn about pressing olive oil and treat yourself to other delicious community food. You can run off your indulgence in the Prince Albert half marathon or 10km run or simply relax and enjoy the local musicians at work. The festival has something to offer everyone, with tours by botanists, historians and bird guides and even a late night ghost walk.

30 April – 1 May. Prince Albert, Tel: 023-541-1366, [email protected]

Cheese festival

Cheese-lovers will adore the SA Cheese festival. At Sandringham Estate, you will be able to try over 200 varieties of cheese and all the goodies that go so well with them – nuts, olives, wine and many more. Entrance to the festival gives you access to demonstrations by famous South African foodies. You will have a chance to taste your favourite cheeses and select artisan cheeses that are not normally widely available.

29 April – 2 May, Sandringham Estate, Stellenbosch, adults: R90 (Friday and Monday, R100 (Saturday and Sunday), senior citizens: R70, children under 12 free, Tel: 021-975-4440, [email protected],

Riebeek Valley Olive Festival

For all things olive, head to the Swartland for Riebeek Kasteel’s Olive Festival. The festival will offer a variety olive-based food as well as wine tasting and cultural events. The festival was last year’s winner of the West Coast Tourism Awards “Tourism Event” and is sure to be a cracker.

7 – 8 May. Riebeek Kasteel, Tel: 022-448-1545, [email protected],

Knysna Oyster Festival

Oyster shuckers should head to Knysna for 10 days of festivities in July. The festival has become a highlight of the Western Cape calendar and includes the Knysna Forest Marathon and Featherbed Trail Run. The more chilled oyster admirers can enjoy oyster and wine tasting, the Wade Bales Wine Festival and carousing throughout Knysna for over a week.

2 – 10 July. Knysna, [email protected],

Crayfish & Seafood Festival

The West Coast knows seafood and the Paternoster Crayfish and Seafood Festival is sure to satisfy your craving for all things salt water. Choose your own crayfish from straight off the boat for a braai or try seafood potjiekos and snoek. You can relax in the beer garden or browse the craft market while your kids have their faces painted.

3 – 4 December (TBC), Paternoster Sports Grounds, Tel: 083-692-2201

You may also like

yoast-primary -
tcat - Event blogs
tcat_slug - event-blogs
tcat2 -
tcat2_slug -
tcat_final -