Africa Travel News

Dance down Darling Street

Arguably South Africa's best festival is the Cape Minstrel Carnival. The month-long event is filled with music and dancing, but the best time to participate is on its first day, where troupes file through the streets of the city in a bright display of songs, sequins and general revelry. 

The festival dates back hundreds of years, when Cape Town slaves were given one day off for the entire year. That day was historically Jan. 2, though these days the carnival kicks off on the first of the month, according to Cape Town Tourism. The festive nature of the event supposedly traces its roots to the improvised performances of an African-American band of musicians, who docked in the Cape and entertained sailors. Today's troupes draw their bright, sequined outfits, parasols and raucous acts from 19th century American minstrelsy, according to Lonely Planet. 

Cape Town Tourism compares the festival to Mardi Gras for its embrace of freedom, but it is also similar in that the celebration is the result of months of practice and preparation. The songs performed, covering a history of music from 200-year-old tunes to pop songs interpreted in a local style, are rehearsed as far as six months in advance.

Share
Recommended Tours

South Africa Cape & Kruger Safari

7 days from $3,367 pp*
Custom Private Tour
Enjoy a front row seat as the sunrise casts a golden hue across the endless savannah and the wild local residents begin their daily parade.
More Info

Tanzania Highlights

8 days from $4,576 pp*
Custom Private Tour
Search for endangered black rhinos in the Ngorongoro Crater, explore Tarangire National Park and witness the Big Five in the Serengeti on this magical sojourn through the treasures of Tanzania.
More Info

South Africa Wildlife Tracker

8 days from $4,120 pp*
Custom Private Tour
Experienced trackers guide you through three of South Africa’s most famous game reserves - Kapama, Kruger & Sabi Sands Private Reserve - in a range of daily game drives and night safaris.
More Info
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
  • Multi-award winning
  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

Meet Our Experts
Curators of extraordinary experiences, you won't find a more skillful team.
30,000 Delighted Customers
"Kensington, you've done it again...perfection!"

Don't take our word for it.
Here's what our clients say.

"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent."

Newsletter Subscription
Have our hand picked trips, news & specials delivered to you.
Thank you for signing up!

Your details have been received and processed successfully.
Travel + Leisure : World's Best Award 2014 Family National Geographic Traveler : 50 Tours of a Lifetime Travel Leisure Award 2015