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Top 7 September Festivals and Events in Africa


African festivals and events in September include a whale festival in South Africa, a new year for Ethiopians, a salt festival in Niger, a voodoo festival in Togo, and more.

September also means temperatures are cooling off in North Africa and it's a perfect time to visit Egypt and Morocco. South Africa is enjoying full spring bloom and heading into warmer weather making it a great destination this time of year for hiking, swimming and visiting the Winelands.

1. Ethiopian New Year - Enkutatash

Ethiopian New Year Celebrations
Getty Images/Tim Boyle

September 11 will mark New Year's Eve (Enkutatash) and Ethiopia will celebrate the year 2005. Just a few years ago the millennium was welcomed in style.

Where: Ethiopia
When: 11 September (2013)


2. Wodaabe Gerewol (traditionally part of Cure Salee)

Gerewol, Niger
Dan Lundberg (CC)

On the edge of the Saharan desert, the Touareg and the Fulani nomads used to come together once a year for a week. They would dance, make music, men dress as women, women dress-up and they race their camels. The event was known as the 'Cure Salee' and was one of the most unique and colorful cultural happenings in the world. Today, the Wodaabe are staging a separate festival to avoid the tourists and commercialization that has been creeping into their celebrations. You can join a tour to enjoy the festivities.

Where: Niger
When: September (2013)


3. Fetu Afahye

Fetu Afahye is a harvest festival in Ghana celebrated annually by the people living along the Cape Coast Region. Mashed yams are offered to the Gods amidst much drumming, dancing and firing off of muskets. Traditional priests parade in all their finery as do the village chiefs.

Where: Central Region, Ghana
When: 7 September (2013)


4. Epe-Ekpe Festival

Epe Ekpe is a traditional New Year festival celebrated by the Guen tribe in Togo and it's held 30 miles outside the capital of Lome. The festival is essentially a voodoo festival, and it revolves around the finding of a sacred stone by the voodoo priests. The color of the stone determines what kind of year lies ahead. If it looks like a bad year, lots of elaborate ceremonies and rituals are performed to try and placate the evil spirits.

Where: Glidji, Togo
When: September (2013)


5. Joburg Art Fair

The Joburg Art Fair is the only contemporary art fair on the African continent and it focuses on work from Africa and the Global South. It is now in its fourth year and has become the place to buy, sell and view contemporary art from Africa. Twenty one galleries are expected to partake at the event at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Where: Johannesburg, South Africa
When: 27 - 29 September (2013)

6. Hermanus Whale Festival

Hermanus is South Africa's top whale-watching location. This festival celebrates sighting the Southern Right Whales with fine food, crafts and good family fun.

Where: Hermanus, South Africa
When: 20 - 24 September (2013)


7. Meskel

This Christian festival has been celebrated in Ethiopia for over 1600 years and commemorates the discovery of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. Processions include brass bands, colorful priests, flaming torches and beer.

Where: Ethiopia
When: 27 September (2013)

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