With sunny summers at the end of the year and a festive mood that seems to be there all year round, South Africa makes for the perfect holiday destination in December. All through the month you get to experience and enjoy a myriad of multi-cultural events. First Car Rental has put together a list of the 10 Ten South African events to plan for in December. So get your digital diaries and smartphone calendars ready and plan for a fantastic vacation.
1. Carols by Candlelight, Roodepoort, Gauteng
Every year the Botanical Society of South Africa invites you to join them in their Christmas Celebrations at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens. You can bring your family and friends and sing carols in this majestic location and share the warmth of Christmas.
When: December 6
Where: Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, Roodepoort
2. New Year’s Eve at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape
If you want to enjoy a fabulous New Year’s Eve, the Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape Town is the place to be. There is plenty of exciting entertainment happening all night and the dazzling fireworks display at midnight makes your New Year’s Eve an unforgettable one.
When: December 31
Where V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape
3. Gonubie Christmas Fair, Eastern Cape
From the 13th to the 16th of December set time aside for the most fun market experience you have ever had. The Gnoubie Christmas fair takes place every year on the on the Sports Fields in Gonubie and is the perfect place to get into the festive vibe. From delicious food, to trending fashion, to outdoor furniture, the Gnoubie Christmas market has everything you could be looking for. Finding amazing Christmas presents is a piece of cake at the Gnoubie Christmas Fair and there is a beer tent for parents and lots of fun activities for kids.
When: December 13-16
Where: Gnoubie Sports Fields
4. Sabie Experience, Mpumalanga
Mountain biking is a much loved sport in South Africa and for those of you who love to experience the great outdoors on a bike, the Sabi Experience is an event you certainly must participate in. Taking place in one of the most scenic places in South Africa, the Sabi Experience is a four-day stage cycling event.
When: December 13-16
5. Mapungubwe Arts and Cultural Festival, Polokwane, Limpopo
This eight-day event staged in December in Polokwane is a showcase for the province’s diverse artistic traditions. The festival is a melting post of cultures and visitor enjoy an enthralling experience. Events lined up include music, theatre, kwaito, fashion shows, film and video, and cultural displays showcasing an assortment of traditional foods and performances.
When: December 16-18
6. Lions Kunsmark Arts & Crafts Market, Bloemfontein, Free State
Artists and crafters from all over the country sell their handmade products at stalls at the Arts and Crafts Market in the gardens of Kings Park on the first Saturday of every month. There are a choice of food stalls and many wonderful paintings, sculptures and handmade arts and crafts. This market also offers a large variety of traditional African crafts. From 7am to 2pm.
When: December 7
Where: Kings Way, Lovh Logan Waterfront
7. Richtersveld Light Festival, Port Nolloth, Northern Cape
Organized by the Municipality, the Richtersveld Light Festival is a great gathering of amazing people for an exceptional experience on the little seaside dorp of Port Nolloth. The annual Light Festival promotes the talents and offerings of local artists and entrepreneurs. The four-day event from December 13 to 16 includes spectacular fireworks and a mix of classic, jazz, hip hop, pop, soul and Afrikaans music.
When: December 13-16
Where: Port Nolloth Beachfront, Richtersveld
8. Rainhill Farm Christmas Market, Rustenburg, North West Province
From handmade crafts to delicious treats, the Rainhill Farm Christmas market is where you can and browse for quirky gifts and stocking fillers. The farm yard is a great attraction for the kids, with activities to entertain.
When: December 7- 21
Where: Rainhill Farm, Donkerhoek Road, Rustenburg, North West Province
9. Umhlanga Summer Carnival, KwaZulu Natal
Umhlanga Summer Carnival features a line-up with 14 days of fun-filled beach events designed to encourage outdoor activities for young and old. The carnival kicks off with the Summer Surf Session organized by the KwaZulu-Natal Surfing Association that takes place from 7 - 8 December. Games are organized on the beach front from 9-21 December.
When: December 7-21
Where: Umhlanga Main Beach and Village
10. Festival of Lights, Nieu Bethesda, Western Cape
This annual New Year’s Eve lantern parade is a truly inspiring community celebration that unites people from many different cultures. Organised by the Bethesda Arts Centre, this parade is powerful symbol of hope and beauty. Make your own lantern at one of the workshops, or buy one readymade and parade through the beautiful town of Nieu-Bethesda for a wonderful family friendly event. The festival also offers plenty of entertainment with an outdoor theatre, live band, and dancing under the starry sky.
When: 31 December
Where: Bethesda Arts Centre, Muller Street, Nieu Bethesda
Now that you know what the hot and happening events are in December you can plan your holiday well in advance. Hire a car with First Car Rental and take a trip to any of these great destinations. With 47 car rental branches across South Africa, car hire is easy and quick.