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Along with its beauty, diversity, nature and history, Makana is also one of the premier cultural centres in Southern Africa. Throughout the year, a series of events attract thousands of people from around South Africa and abroad.




The Sasol Festival of Science, Engineering and Technology, popularly called Sasol Scifest, is especially designed to make science accessible in a fun way.

The Sasol Scifest takes place in late March or early April every year at the 1820 Settlers Monument and other venues in Grahamstown. The Scifest attracts upwards of 60 000 people and features an amazing array of lectures, exhibitions, hands on workshops, demonstrations, laser and film shows, excursions and street theatre. From birds to bats to steam cars and space travel, the 400 plus events and activities on offer each year fascinate people of all ages.




Every July the National Arts Festival transforms the tranquil city of Grahamstown into a boisterous, bubbling platform for the performing and visual arts. Dancers, singers, musicians, actors, writers and poets and thousands of festival-goers converge to celebrate the arts. Performances and exhibitions, forming part of the Main and Fringe Festivals range from cutting edge to classical, illuminating new trends and inviting fresh insights to the familiar. Shop at the Village Green Fair, take Art walkabouts with expert guides, acquire new skills in the Craftart workshops, learn more about specialised subjects at the Winter School or treat yourself to the best Film Festival. Watch out for wild and wacky antics on the streets of Grahamstown, when performing artists from South Africa and abroad present delightful ingenious tales of life from around the world. For indulgence, stimulation and entertainment, South Africa’s premier arts event is just the thing to chase away the wintry blues.




An artistic celebration for grade twelve learners and their teachers, who come together for five days to participate, within a non-competitive and professionally supervised environment, in dynamic hands-on workshops, and to share in and enjoy a variety of challenging and thought-provoking lectures and shows, all presented by people who have the ability to motivate and inspire young people.


Quality productions are carefully selected and are held over from the Standard Bank National Arts Festival to perform at the Schools Festival. Workshop lecturers are drawn from some of South Africa’s finest artists.


The programme also includes visual arts, musical fiestas, the De Beers English Olympiad Prize-Giving and national debating competitions.


Festivals in Grahamstown: