It’s time to stop to smell and the roses. While the continent is known for throwing some of the top-rated food and culture festivals, Africa’s incredible nature is also celebrated in festivals by the people who live there. Whether you’re in Morocco or deep in the Cape Winelands of South Africa, the continent is an oasis for lovers of all things flowers. So get ready to join the festivities, here are the fabulous flower festivals throughout Africa you must attend!
Kelaa-des-Mgouna Rose Festival
Imagine finding a utopia in the middle of the desert with pink and red roses dominating the land. There is such a place in the province of Ouarzazate, Morocco (about 6 hours east of Marrakech) that’s alternatively called “Valley of the Roses,” a stunning area with the jagged Atlas Mountains in the backdrop. Roses are in season almost all year but every May, locals from the town of Kelaa-des-Mgouna harvest the roses to make into rose water while celebrating the plant with a rose-themed parade, traditional dancing and music, and a rose beauty pageant. The event is so popular that up to 20,000 tourists and locals flood the city to celebrate the week-long festivities.
Namaqualand Flower Festival
Anyone who is familiar with South Africa’s Namaqualand region will know the area is known for its stunning miles of fields blanketed with wildflowers. During peak season, the area is popular among tourists who love to explore the land for photo opportunities and be immersed in a greeting card image. Every fall around September, the area hosts the Namaqualand Flower Festival, a weekend-long celebration where visitors can camp out among the flowers and join multiple group activities like singing, dancing, yoga, stargazing, trail runs and more. Other activities include a beehive workshop, a silent disco and waterfall hikes.
Hermanus Flower Festival
Another fantastic South African event is the Hermanus Flower Festival that takes place every fall around September. Hermanus is a small town in Western Cape facing the ocean and is home to the pristine Fernkloof Nature Reserve that’s more than 800 meters above sea level (meaning the festival is on a hilly terrain with a spectacular view of the sea and wildflower field). During the weekend-long festival, guests will join a variety of fun activities like watching a snake demo, art workshop, brain teasers, floral arrangement workshop and more. Bring the kids along, there’s plenty for them to do including Bugz Train and creating their own fairy garden.
Free State Medeira Flower Festival
Celebrate flowers in South Africa, Portuguese-style! The Free State Medeira Flower Festival originated from (where else?) Madeira, Portugal and got so popular that they expanded to Parys, South Africa that has a decent Portuguese population of its own. The sleepy town of Parys saw up to 30,000 visitors around November during the flower festival that’s outfitted with a parade with flower floats, concerts, dancing, and vendors featuring local artists.
Mangaung Rose Festival
In October, the town of Bloemfontein comes alive with flowers and festivities at the Mangaung Rose Festival. Locals celebrate the area that’s known as the “fountain of flowers” since its residents take great pride in their homes by planting lavish gardens. The most iconic flower at the festival is the rose, and many planned activities are rose-themed like High Rose Tea, the Miss Rose Beauty Pageant, a cut-rose contest, and more. Additionally, local residents open their gardens to the public to allow spectators to admire their finely pruned flowers.
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