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Music festivals to road trip to in South Africa

Road tripping is always a good time to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Road tripping to a music festival is even better as you know you’re about to experience remarkable live music in a beautiful natural setting by the mountains or near rivers or fields. South Africa, has some of the most diverse landscapes to hold music events in the world. Hire a car in South Africa to accommodate your travel.

From the majestic mountain range of the Drakensberg to the dusty Highveld of Northam, there is another musical world out there just waiting to be explored. Just grab a few friends, get in the car and hit a music festival, here are five great ones to go to this year or next.

Splashy Fen, Underberg, KZN

With a new management company behind it, and the fact they are finally getting international acts has enabled this once sleepy festival to become a contender with larger festivals in South Africa such as Rocking the daisies and Oppikoppi. Situated in the Underberg of KwaZulu-Natal on a quaint trout farm with the same name ensures that patrons of the event are treated to nothing but the best scenery the area has to offer from breathtaking mountain views and cool rivers and streams. It’s also the oldest live music festival in the country. Visit their website for more.

Oppikoppi, Northam, Limpopo

This is by far South Africa’s biggest music festival in terms of attendance and many would also say it’s the best due to its selection of not just top local acts but leading international ones such as Gogol Bordello and The Deftones (to mention a few). Situated not far from the mining town of Northam, Oppikoppi is far rougher than its KZN predecessor (Splashy Fen) and patrons brave much harsher rugged elements to endure the 4-day event. However, this hasn’t stopped almost 20 000 people attending yearly and in 2008 they were named by the Daily Mirror as the 4th best music festival in the world. Visit their website for more.

White Mountain, Central Drakensberg

This is definitely one of the smaller music events in the country and an event geared around family and acoustic music.

Situated in the scenically flawless central Drakensberg, near Estcourt, White Mountain also has all the comforts that a festival such as Oppikoppi wouldn’t dare have and the fact that it’s situated on a resort makes accommodation options varied if you happen to book in advance you might even get your own luxury chalet or self-catering unit. This is definitely a festival that your parents would enjoy. Visit their website for more.

Rocking the daisies, Darling, Western Cape

This is by far Western Cape’s biggest and best music festival and possibly South Africa’s most eco-friendly. Situated in Darling on the country's West Coast region amongst beautiful fauna and flora, Rocking the Daisies has become a firm favourite on the South African festival goers list. They even have a unique option where patrons can hike to the event from Cape Town to lower carbon emissions. Visit their website for more.

Up the creek, Swellendam, Western Cape

This could very well be the Western Cape’s smallest music festival in terms of attendance but also one of the best as seen by its loyal patrons and longevity. They only have two stages, and one of them is unique as patrons can enjoy the music whilst swimming in the cool waters of the Breede River. There is also no VIP areas so festival-goers get to mingle with all the artists performing. Visit their website for more.


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