10 Amazing Food Festivals in South Africa

South Africans not only love their food, but love to share their love of food by having festivals in its honor. Whether it be cheese, wine, olives, cherries, or crayfish, there is a food festival to celebrate it. Here are a few food festivals in South Africa that should be on every foodie’s bucket list.

Crayfish Festival

Photo Courtesy of (Kondo Atsushi / Flickr)

Lambert’s Bay Crayfish Festival

The residents of Lambert’s Bay along the west coast share their love of crayfish and everything seafood once a year in late March/early April. Visitors can feast on deliciously prepared dishes at ridiculously reasonable prices, listen to some of the country’s top musicians, and shop in the goods market for souvenirs.

Kiwi festival

Photo Courtesy of (Tawheed Manzoor / Flickr)

Kiwi Festival, Limpopo

The annual Kiwi Festival in Haenertsburg usually takes place in early May. It is well known in the area for its cooking competition: professional cooks and amateurs compete to win the coveted trophy, producing some rather interesting kiwi-inspired dishes.

Cherry Festival

Photo Courtesy of (Vicente Villamon / Flickr)

Cherry Festival, Ficksburg

If there ever was a town completely overrun with cherry fever, it would be Ficksburg (in Free State) during the annual Cherry Festival. Known as the Cherry Capital of the World, Ficksburg really capitalizes on its best asset during the festival. You can find cherry cake, cherry liqueur, cherry pie, and cherry juice, not to mention never-ending bowls of freshly picked cherries. Co-located with the Cherry Jazz Festival, there is also loads of entertainment to keep you happy while munching on your cherry-filled delicacies.


Photo Courtesy of (Harvey Barrison / Flickr)

Cook Franschhoek

Cook Franschhoek in the Western Cape is the ultimate festival for foodies, aspiring chefs, and others who love keeping themselves busy in the kitchen. The busy programme is chock full of opportunities for festival goers to interact and learn from the country’s best chefs at the most amazing restaurants. Everyone who takes part in the various workshops will leave more in love with food and inspired to learn more.

strawberry festival

Photo Courtesy of (Shubert Ciencia / Flickr)

Strawberry Festival, George

The Strawberry Festival in George (Western Cape) is a fun event for the whole family. In addition to stalls selling food, local wine, cheese, crafts and vegetables, there’s a strawberry eating contest,  strawberry picking in the fields, a trail run, a scarecrow competition, a miniature steam train, pony rides, and tractor rides.

oyster festival

Photo Courtesy of (Charles Haynes / Flickr)

Knysna Oyster Festival

The Knysna Oyster Festival in the Western Cape celebrates one of the most delectable foods from the sea. It is one of the country’s most popular fests, and attracts food lovers, wine lovers, sport enthusiasts and those who are just looking for a good time. It’s centered on entertainment and activities such as the Knysna Marathon.

prickly pear festival

Photo Courtesy of (Peter Grima / Flickr)

Prickly Pear Festival, Uitenhage

The Prickly Pear Festival in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape is a rather unique festival. Celebrating this spiky fruit, this festival processes 16 tons of prickly pears. Products made of the fruit and leaves of the prickly pear include preserves, bread, prickly pear syrup, pickles, chutney and sweets — all available to try out at the festival.

Riebek olive festival

Photo Courtesy of (Smabs Sputzer / Flickr)

Riebeek Valley Olive Festival, Cape Town

Prepare yourself for a gourmet affair, with the noble olive as the center of attention. Taste some of South Africa’s best wine and olive oils at the olive oil and wine tasting events, moving from estate to estate enticing your taste buds with each sip of wine, and dunk of olive oil. Then move on to something to satisfy your hunger with olive and cheese samplings. There is an astounding amount of ways that olives are prepared. 

delicious festival

Photo Courtesy of (Rachel Chapdelaine / Flickr)

Delicious Festival, Johannesburg

Bringing top international and local musicians and bands together with some of Joburg’s top artisan food stalls, this is a festival for music and food lovers. The idea behind this newly established festival is to entice festival goers on a culinary affair while enjoying their favorite music. Hungry stomachs can be sorted out with the delicious goodies on sale at the artisan food market, or perhaps something more fancy at the pop-up restaurants manned by local and international celebrity chefs.

Chilli Festival

Photo Courtesy of: (Amanda Slater / Flickr)

Chilli Festival, Port Elizabeth

All things hot and spicy, the goods on offer at the Chilli Festival in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, are not for the faint-hearted. The chilli is the center of attention, and sure to get your taste buds awake with all the tastes and smells permeating the festival grounds. Filled with exotic foods, chilli trinkets, and rather interesting hot concoctions, the Chilli Festival is an experience to blow your mind (and your mouth).

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  1. Francis Moran
    Francis Moran
    Sep 9, 2014

    Loved the list of festivals. However, the lead referenced a cheese festival, yet none were listed. Are there good cheese...

    Loved the list of festivals. However, the lead referenced a cheese festival, yet none were listed. Are there good cheese festivals in South Africa?

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