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Monday, April 15, 2019


The 2019 National Arts Festival is just around the corner! Running from June 27 to July 7, 2019, it takes place in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape and is South Africa’s premier arts festival.

Here are six suggestions to plan now for NAF2019

1. WHERE TO STAY: Festival time is peak season in Makhanda so you'll need to secure your accommodation ASAP. There's a wide range of places to stay – from 5-star guest houses to more rustic backpacking and camping. Check the hospitality brochure for listings.

2. GETTING THERE: The closest airports to Makhanda are Port Elizabeth and East London. You can catch a shuttle from PE Airport or hire a car.

3. EARLY BIRD: You can secure tickets to three Main shows already at Other must-see events will also be opened for early bookings in the run-up to the Festival. Keep an eye on our social media feeds for the latest news – #NAF2019 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

4. YOUR BUDGET – Tickets range in prices from R30 to R150, but there are also free Fringe performances on the first day of the Festival, as well as other specials along the way, such as two-for-one performances. There are buskers and public art performances. All visual art exhibitions are free to enter. And don't miss the legendary free Sunset Concerts every evening at the Monument.

5. GETTING AROUND – You don’t need a car in Makhanda as distances are relatively short, people are generous in sharing lifts, with 3-wheeler tuk-tuk rides and bike hire being options. There’s also the Festival Hopper, which travels between Festival venues and is free to use (although tips are appreciated by the drivers).

6. HAVE A HOLIDAY – As Makhanda is situated close to the Sunshine Coast, why not combine a beach holiday with your Festival by staying in nearby Port Alfred (57km), Kenton-On-Sea (59km), Cannon Rocks and Boknes (72kms). If you're on a tight budget, an option is to rent a house in one of these seaside towns to share with a group of friends or artists. Other options are game farms or farm stays. Contact Makana Tourism for more information.

To link direct to the NAF site click on the large banner that runs across the top of this blog or visit or visit Facebook:; Twitter: @artsfestival or Instagram: nationalartsfestival)