5 of the most memorable African performances and festivals

1. Whirling dervishes, Sudan

A whirling dervish in Sudan (Shutterstock)

A highlight of any visit to Sudan is a Friday performance by ‘dervishes’ at Sheikh Hamad-al Nil’s tomb in Omdurman, near Khartoum – an age-old tradition related to Sufism.

2. Lake of Stars, Malawi

People on the beach at sunset at Lake of Stars Festival (David Harrison)

This contemporary three-day music festival, staged alongside Lake Malawi, celebrated its 15th year in 2018. Watch out for dates and acts for 2019; expect Malawian and international musical performers and dancers.

3. Ouidah Voodoo Festival, Benin

A man in a trance during Ouidah Voodoo Festival, Benin (Shutterstock)

Voodoo is a part of everyday life in Benin, and this wild festival in Ouidah (in January) showcases the ceremonies surrounding the magic.

4. Saint Louis Jazz, Senegal

A colourfully-designed cart on the streets of Saint Louis, Senegal (Shutterstock)

Africa’s best jazz exposition showcases the continent’s finest performers alongside an array of international talent for performances in the atmospheric river city of Saint Louis, northern Senegal, each April.

5. Timkat, Ethiopia

A celebration of Timkat in Ethiopia (Shutterstock)

Epiphany (19 January) is celebrated across Ethiopia, as Tabots – replicas of the Ark of the Covenant – are paraded amid ecstatic crowds. Addis Ababa, Gondar and Lalibela are all good places to catch it.

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