Botswana Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Botswana, BW, Southern Africa)

Beautiful view of the Otse areaOver the years, many of Botswana's traditional village festivities have been replaced by larger, more modern events. For today's visitors they are a great opportunity to enjoy demonstrations of dancing and music that is indigenous to Southern Africa.

It is certainly worth planning your stay in Botswana carefully, so as to incorporate at least one festival into your itinerary of things to do. Many of the biggest events are staged in the Gaborone area, so do check the city's latest programme of events if you are planning a visit.

Botswana Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • New Year - early January, celebrating the arrival of the New Year on 1st and 2nd January


  • World Wetlands Day Botswana - mid-February, with a variety of activities, including a wetlands march, tree-planting ceremonies and an environmental exhibition, in aid of nature conservation


  • Ditshwanelo Human Rights Film Festival - over several days, a series of themed screenings held at the AV Centre, Maru a Pula School
  • Maitisong Festival - major performing arts festival staged in and around Gaborone. Events include traditional theatre and music, as well as street dancing. The festival lasts for nine days, during which time a carnival atmosphere takes over the city
  • Autumn Music Festival - held in Gaborone, with various concerts


  • Maun Festival - late April, a two-day celebration featuring live entertainment, from music and parades, to poetry, dance and theatre, as well as the visual arts. This event is aimed at raising funds for local schools and to celebrate the rich culture of north-western Botswana


  • Tjilenje (Ngwao Boswa) Cultural Festival - held in Nlapkhwane in north-eastern Botswana, with traditional games, dancing and tasty local dishes


  • Toyota 1000 Desert Race - mid-June, tough off-road motor racing event held in Southern Africa for cars, bikes and quads. The course takes different routes around Botswana each year. Some 25 spectator points allow visitors and locals to catch up with all the action


  • National Music Eisteddford - held at Selebi-Phikwe. National choirs travel from all over Botswana to perform and compete
  • President's Day - held on the third weekend of July, this four-day holiday is a time when people tend to return to their home villages. The holiday usually features dancing, singing and speeches


  • Kuru Dance Festival - mid-August, a colourful event held on Dqae Qare Game Farm, near D'kar in the Kalahari Desert. The farm is the only Bushman-owned farm of its kind in Botswana. As well as featuring traditional dancing, this three-day-long festival also features local music


  • Botswana Day Celebrations - remembering the independence from British colonialism each year on 30th September
  • International World Tourism Celebrations - late September, a series of events and festivities including shows, and displays of local African arts and crafts


  • Jwaneng Spring Cycle Race - popular event in the country's sporting calendar, with a long-distance road race, which starts from Bonwelo Rugby Club. Other activities include a shorter distance off-road race and a children's race
  • Domboshaba Cultural Festival - traditional Kalanga music, dance and food


  • Orange Youth Cup - a tournament featuring some of the country's top youth football teams, taking place every year over three days


  • Christmas celebrations - traditionally, a major holiday in Botswana, with many seasonal festivities being held throughout the country