Kalahari Desert Festival
In March 2013 (Human Rights Month) the South African San Institute-SASI, along with its partners, staged the first ever Kalahari Desert Festival (KDF). This festival is implemented by the South African San Institute (SASI) and hosted by ‡Khomani San on the Erin Game Farm in the Southern Kalahari. Since 2013, the Festival has grown into a larger scale festival, rising from the desert sand and its beauty to a spectacular scene with stages, food and activities. Imagine the Kalahari landscape turning into a feast of activities: drumbeat, dance and people excelling in unique styles, languages and cultures.
The aim of the festival is to represent the convergence of music, art, dance, craft, custom, culture and heritage of desert people and celebrates the life of the indigenous. It thus promotes the understanding and the diversity and creates a platform for artists to demonstrate and perform their talent and performances, not only to the local communities, but to all involved.
Over the years, in collaboration with the National Department of Arts and Culture (as primary donor), the Kalahari Desert Festival has grown into a highly anticipated annual festivity of increasing potential and international excitement.
The Festival has succeeded in providing local communities of the Northern Cape the ability to expand their knowledge and capabilities in socio-economic and cultural progression. The festival is a celebration of local culture and supports community entrepreneurship, cultural and artistic exchange and international exposure. The Kalahari Desert Festival is still growing to become bigger every year in participant and guest numbers. In the past, the festival has been successful in creating social cohesion between different communities and created a platform for expression and development. The programs include the performing and visual arts through music and theatre performances, craft workshops and linguistic preservation and development.
The Kalahari Desert Festival is our annual festival in the Kalahari area - the northern parts of the Northern Cape province close to the Namibia- and Botswana borders on the land of the ±Khomani San communities.
It’s all in the name: experience the warm hospitality of the Kalahari people’s colourful lives in the desert with it’s own beautiful and honest landscapes. Combine this all and get into a festive mood where you can enjoy national and local performers in the Kalahari sand. Experience the Northern Cape as never before!
Emerging from the Covid-pandemic, the 2023 programme will stretch over two days and nights where we use the moon and stars to guide our ways in this remote and beautiful land. Experience silence, experience the drumbeat and touch the stars.