Top 10 December Events, according to First Car Rental

With sunny summers at the end of the year and a festive mood that seems to be there all year round, South Africa makes for the perfect holiday destination in December. All through the month you get to experience and enjoy a myriad of multi-cultural events. First Car Rental has put together a list of the 10 Ten South African events to plan for in December. So get your digital diaries and smartphone calendars ready and plan for a fantastic vacation.

First Car Rental

Carols by Candlelight, Roodepoort, Gauteng

Every year the Botanical Society of South Africa invites you to join them in their Christmas Celebrations at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens.  Family and friends and sing carols in this majestic location and share the warmth of Christmas.

  • When: December 6
  • Where: Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, Roodepoort

New Year’s Eve at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape

The Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape Town is the place to be for a fabulous New Year’s Eve. There is plenty of exciting entertainment happening all night and the dazzling fireworks display at midnight makes New Year’s Eve an unforgettable one.

  • When: December 31
  • Where V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, Western Cape

Gonubie Christmas Fair, Eastern Cape 

From the 13th to 16th of December set time aside for a fun market experience. The Gonubie Christmas fair takes place every year on the on the Sports Fields in Gonubie and is the perfect place to get into the festive vibe. From delicious food, to trending fashion, to outdoor furniture, the Gonubie Christmas market has everything one would want. Finding amazing Christmas presents is a piece of cake at the Gonubie Christmas Fair and there is a beer tent for parents and lots of fun activities for kids.

  • When: December 13-16
  • Where: Gonubie Sports Fields

Sabie Experience, Mpumalanga 

Mountain biking  is a much loved sport in South Africa and for those who love to experience the great outdoors on a bike, the Sabie Experience is an event worth participating in. Taking place in one of the most scenic places in South Africa, the Sabie Experience is a four-day stage cycling event.

Mapungubwe Arts and Cultural Festival, Polokwane, Limpopo 

This eight-day event staged in December in Polokwane is a showcase for the province’s diverse artistic traditions. The festival is a melting post of cultures and visitor enjoy an enthralling experience. Events lined up include music, theatre, kwaito, fashion shows, film and video, and cultural displays showcasing an assortment of traditional foods and performances.

  • When: December 16-18
  • Where: Polokwane

Lions Kunsmark Arts & Crafts Market, Bloemfontein, Free State

Artists and crafters from all over the country sell their handmade products at stalls at the Arts and Crafts Market in the gardens of Kings Park on the first Saturday of every month. Kings Park’s Arts and Crafts Market has a choice of food stalls and many wonderful paintings, sculptures and handmade arts and crafts. This market also offers a large variety of traditional African crafts and is open from from 7am to 2pm.

  • When: December 7
  • Where: Kings Way, Lovh Logan Waterfront

Richtersveld Light Festival, Port Nolloth, Northern Cape 

Organized by the Municipality, the Richtersveld Light Festival is a great gathering of amazing people for an exceptional experience on the little seaside dorp of Port Nolloth. The annual Light Festival promotes the talents and offerings of local artists and entrepreneurs. The four day event from December 13 to 16 includes spectacular fireworks and a mix of classic, jazz, hip hop, pop, soul and Afrikaans music.

  • When: December 13-16
  • Where: Port Nolloth Beachfront, Richtersveld

Rainhill Farm Christmas Market, Rustenburg, North West 

From handmade crafts to delicious treats, the Rainhill Farm Christmas market is where one can find quirky gifts and stocking fillers. The farm yard is a great attraction for the kids, with activities to entertain.

  • When: December 7- 21
  • Where: Rainhill Farm, Donkerhoek Road, Rustenburg, North West Province

Umhlanga Summer Carnival, KwaZulu Natal

Umhlanga Summer Carnival features a line-up with 14 days of fun-filled beach events designed to encourage outdoor activities for the young and old. The carnival kicks off with the Summer Surf Session organized by the KwaZulu-Natal Surfing Association that takes place from 7 – 8 December. Games are organized on the beach front from 9-21 December.

  • When: December 7-21
  • Where: Umhlanga Main Beach and Village

Festival of Lights, Nieu Bethesda, Western Cape

This annual New Year’s Eve lantern parade is a truly inspiring community celebration that unites people from many different cultures. Organised by the Bethesda Arts Centre, this parade is powerful symbol of hope and beauty. One can parade through the beautiful town of Nieu-Bethesda with a handmade or readymade lantern with family and friends. The town becomes a sea of lights and makes for a wonderful community and family experience. The festival also offers plenty of entertainment with an outdoor theatre, live band, and dancing under the starry sky.

  • When: 31 December
  • Where:  Bethesda Arts Centre, Muller Street, Nieu Bethesda

With this list exciting events in December, holiday plans can be made well in advance. Hire a car with First Car Rental and take a trip to any of these great destinations. With 47 car rental branches across South Africa, car hire is easy and quick. Contact First Car Rental now.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]

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