Top ChoiceMusic in Zanzibar Town

Sauti za Busara

A cultural landmark in Zanzibar since 2003, Sauti za Busara is one of the biggest festivals of its sort in East Africa, showcasing music and musicians of all genres – taarab, jazz, Afro-pop or bongo flava – from...

Sports in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Lewa Safaricom Marathon

It’s one thing to run a marathon to the encouraging screams of people, but it’s entirely another to run it sharing the course with elephants, rhinos and the odd lion! Established in 2000 to raise funds for...

Cultural in Makunduchi

Mwaka Kogwa

Mwaka Kogwa is a four-day festival held in Makunduchi, usually in late July. It's a distinctly Zanzibari event and thought to originate in Zoroastrianism. During the festivities villagers have mock battles, with...

Sports in Diani Beach

Diani Rules

This entertaining charity sports tournament, in aid of the Kwale District Eye Centre, is held at Diani Sea Lodge around the first weekend of June. It’s more an expat event than a tourist attraction, but if you’re...

Religious in Lamu Island

Maulid Festival

Marking the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, this festival has been celebrated on the island for over 100 years and much singing, dancing and general jollity takes place around this time. On the final day a...

Cultural in Zanzibar Town

Zanzibar International Film Festival

Zanzibar's film festival celebrates and nurtures arts from East Africa and Indian Ocean countries as diverse as India, Iran and Madagascar. For 16 days venues around Zanzibar Town host a wide range of screenings,...

Sports in Lamu Island

Lamu Yoga Festival

Can't make it to India? Practise yoga in the Indian Ocean instead. First held in 2014, this festival spills across Shela, Manda and Lamu, and includes workshops, classes and meditation. It culminates in one big...

Cultural in Kampala

Kampala City Festival

One of East Africa's biggest street parties is held early each October with floats and performers celebrating Ugandan culture. Traditional and contemporary art, fashion and music are all showcased over multiple...

Cultural in Zanzibar Town

Jahazi Literary & Jazz Festival

A long weekend of words and music – jazz, blues, poetry and storytelling – every year, with performances at the Old Fort and Livingstone Beach Restaurant in Zanzibar Town.

Sports in East Africa

East African Safari Rally

This classic-car rally in late November or early December is over 50 years old. The rally traverses Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and is open to pre-1971 vehicles only.

Cultural in Dar es Salaam

Goat Races

Each September, have a flutter on Dar's finest racing goats. If your billy goat comes first you get the cash; if not, your money goes to support charities.

Cultural in Lamu Island

Lamu Cultural Festival

Exact dates for this colourful carnival vary each year, but it often falls in November. Expect donkey and dhow races, Swahili poets and island dancing.

Music in Kigali

Kigali Up

Kigali's annual music festival features world music, blues, funk and roots artists from around the globe.

Sports in Nairobi

Tusker Safari Sevens

A high-profile, international seven-a-side rugby tournament, although poor governance issues in recent years have seen its prestige slip a little. Even so, it’s always hotly contested and the Kenyan team has a...

Film in Kampala

Amakula International Film Festival

Hosted at the Uganda Museum, the Amakula International Film Festival is one of Africa's oldest independent film festivals, and shows Ugandan and international features and shorts. It's usually in March, but check...

Music in Nairobi

Kenya Music Festival

Kenya’s longest-running music festival was established almost 80 years ago by the colonial regime. African music now predominates, but Western and expat musicians still take part. It’s held over 10 days in August.

Food & Drink in Dar es Salaam

Nyama Choma

The largest barbecue block party in East Africa, this quarterly festival showcases the skills of Dar’s finest pit-masters alongside live bands, soccer matches and a kids' corner.

Sports in Mombasa

Mombasa Triathlon

Sporty types or keen spectators will enjoy this open competition, with a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run through the streets of Mombasa.