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The Kingdom of Eswatini

Events Calendar

Eswatini has a annual calendar full of traditional & modern events

Below is a Calendar of Events in Eswatini, ranging from the major annual cultural festivals, to organised hikes or small one-off event evenings at a particular hotel or restaurant. They are listed in date order but can also be filtered by Type and Date and Location (though Eswatini is so compact, any event can be attended wherever you are in the country!)

Eswatini is known around the world for the magnificent traditional festivals that the country hosts. Chief amongst these are the Umhlanga (Reed Dance) held in August / September, the Incwala  held in December / January and the Marula Festival in February-March. These are living cultural events that, bar the odd wristwatch and mobile phone, have hardly changed in two hundred years. Visitors are allowed to watch, but the ceremonies make no concession to tourism; even the precise dates are not published in advance, being dependent on the vagaries of ancestral astrology. The main events happen at the royal parade grounds at Ludzidzini or other royal residencies, but the mood of celebration sweeps the nation, and visitors to the country around the time of the events will doubtless see wandering bands of warriors or maidens decked out in full regalia as they head to or from the festivities.

Alongside the traditional, there is now a growing number of modern events gaining international recognition. One that leads the way and has gained an excellent international reputation over many years is the MTN BUSHFIRE Festival – a performing arts festival held every May. Hot on its heels is the younger Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival, held in late September in 2022 at the same venue.

The country also plays host to a number of sporting events around the year, particularly a series of challenging mountain bike races.

For a calendar of Public Holidays, check the Travel Advice page, and for further advice about the best times of year to visit Eswatini, check the When to Go page.

A new PDF Events Calendar has also been produced for 2023. You can download it here.

August 2023

galp Classic Car Rally

Date: August 2023 - TBC

Across Eswatini

This is the biggest Classic Car Rally in Africa and take places across South Africa, Eswatini and Mozambique every June. 2019 saw the celebration of 10 years in Eswatini, with the event returning in 2022. The event is expected to return again in 2023, with more details revealed closer to the time.


Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival

Date: 4 - 5 August 2023

House on Fire, Malandelas

Luju Food & Lifestyle festival is a celebration of the tastes, smells, sights and sounds of Eswatini and surrounds, sponsored by Standard Bank. It features an eclectic mix of food along with classes, demonstrations, fashion shows, music and comedy performances. Luju, which usually takes place in August, for its fifth instalment this year, taking place from 4 - 5 August 2023.

Sibebe Survivor Challenge

Date: 5 - 6 August 2023

Sibebe Rock

One of Eswatini’s most popular events on the annual calendar promotes domestic tourism as well as bringing international attention to the country’s famous Sibebe Rock, the second largest rock in the world! Another 5000 people will take on this year’s challenge, following a course from Sibebe Resort to the top of Sibebe Rock and back again. It is aimed at raising funds for the Rotary Club projects such as support for government hospitals.

Mbuluzi Trail Run 2023

Date: 12 August 2023

Mbuluzi Game Reserve

An annual fund raising trail run aimed at sharing the beautiful Mbuluzi Game Reserve with the adventurous and energetic in a well organised event to benefit the communities around the Reserve. Route included, jeep track, single track & rough terrain. 3 Events: 18km: E295; 10km: E195; 5 km: E120. For more information - Tel/What's App: +268 7625 9380 email or click the 'Find Out More' button below.

Mlawula Magazavane Challenge

Date: August 2023 - TBC

Mlawula Nature Reserve

The Mlawula Magadzavane Challenge is an eco-challenge walk up the Lubombo Mountains on the Maputaland Biodiversity Hotspot to help bring back nature walks and appreciation of the biodiversity hotspot. Start and finish at Siphiso Campsite where camping can be arranged. Choice of 2 routes


Umhlanga Reed Dance

Date: 29 Aug - 4 Sept 2023 (Main Day Monday 4 September)

Somhlolo National Stadium

This is Eswatini’s best known annual cultural event. In this eight-day ceremony, young girls cut reeds, present them to the Queen Mother (Indlovukazi) – ostensibly to repair the windbreak around her royal residence – and then dance in celebration. Up to 40,000 girls take part, dressed up in brightly coloured attired – making it one of the biggest and most spectacular cultural events in Africa.

Swazi Rally

Date: 31 August - 3 September 2023

Riders Ranch, Sidvokodvo

Swazi Rally is an annual biker’s event held at Riders Ranch in Sidvokodvo, Eswatini. The rally is held over the last weekend in August. Thousands of motor cycle enthusiasts congregate and have a fun-filled weekend with biker friends, and make new long lasting biking relationships. The organiser, Carlos Paiva, with the help of his wife Sonia and a dedicated team began the Swazi Rally back in 1993.

September 2023

King's Cup Golf Tournament

Date: Early September 2023 - TBC

Royal Swazi Spa

This annual golf tournament is held at the Royal Swazi Golf Club, one of only two 18-hole courses in the country. A product of King Mswati’s 2004 Job Creation Summit, it attracts business people from South Africa and around the region, and tends to pack out the hotels in Ezulwini.

Eswatini International Trade Fair

Date: Early September 2023 - TBC

Mavuso Trade Centre

This annual exhibition event is held over ten days at the Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre in Manzini and receives support from the king and government. It attracts over 35,000 exhibitors from different private and public sector institutions, as well as foreign companies and governments.

Ezulwini Farmer's Market

Date: Sat 9 September 2023

Legends Shared

Ezulwini Farmer’s Market, which launched in March 2023 will return in September for the 4th instalment as it becomes a regular Farmers Market like Ekuphileni Farmer’s Market in Mbabane and Guba Makers Market in Malkerns. Market days are alternating with Ekuphileni and Guba so customers in this area will get the opportunity to be served regularly with fresh farm products, handmade crafts and much more. The market will take place 9am - 3pm Every 2nd Saturday, Every 2nd Month.

Swazi Reserves MTB Race

Date: 23 September 2023

Mlawula & Mbuluzi

A day of energetic fun with friends and family in the African bush, riding through 2 of Eswatini’s pristine game reserves along jeep tracks and animal trails. Entry is open until 17 September, with the race taking place on 23 September. The race starts at 07h15 with multiple distance races available to register for – 70km (E300) 45km (E220) 27km (E120) and 10km (E100).

December 2023


Incwala Festival

Date: December/January


This is Eswatini’s most important annual cultural event. A ceremony that has lasted for hundreds of years, it is one of the last remaining examples of what was previously common practice in many African countries. It has a spiritual power that is largely lost on outsiders, and indeed many of its inner workings remain shrouded in secrecy.

January 2024

Eswatini Birding Spectacular

Date: January 2024 - TBC

Mbuluzi Game Reserve

The sixth annual Eswatini Birding Spectacular is expected to take place in January 2024. More information will be released in due course.

February 2024


Marula Festival - Buhleni

Date: February / March 2024

Buhleni Royal Residence

The Marula season begins each year in February/March, bringing with it a celebration of the harvest of the marula fruit. The previous event of the festivities in 2023 took place 24 - 26 February, held at the Royal Residence at Buhleni.

March 2024


Marula Festival - Hlane

Date: March 2024 - TBC

Hlane Royal Residence

Eswatini holds an annual Marula Festival celebrated at the Royal Residence of the King at Hlane in the Lubombo Region. Both the King and the Queen Mother are presented with Marula beer from each household, in keeping with it being a ‘fruit fit for kings.’ Only afterwards can Swazis drink their home brew.

April 2024

Mahamba Gorge Hike

Date: April 2024 - TBC

Mahamba Gorge

The Mahamba Gorge Hiking event is not for profit, with its primary aim being the promotion of the socio-economic development of the people of the Shiselweni region, and Eswatini at large. Each year, hikers enjoy exhilarating four kilometre hiking on the undulating and rough Mahamba Gorge terrain, taking in the breathtaking scenery.

May 2024


MTN Bushfire Festival

Date: 31 May - 02 June 2024

House on Fire, Malandelas

MTN BUSHFIRE is an annual performing arts festival held over the last weekend in May (and in 2024 falling into June) at House on Fire, Malandela’s. It is one of the biggest and best of its kind in southern Africa, with everything from live music and theatre to film, workshops and a global food fair – in short, everything you’d expect from Eswatini’s answer to Glastonbury.

Imvelo MTB Classic

Date: June 2024 - TBC

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Imvelo is an annual mountain biking competition held year at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary sponsored by Nedbank Eswatini & Big Game Parks. It comprises a series of races over different distances, followed by a party for all cyclists. There are 4 routes allowing cyclists of all abilities to enjoy Mlilwane: The International Tool Hire 64km Classic, The 35km Challenge, The Spur 22km Family Fun Race and The 12.5km Hoglets.

June 2024

Border 2 Border Cycling Race

Date: June 2024 - TBC

Ngwenya to Lavumisa Border Posts

Cyclists from Eswatini and South Africa will take on the Border 2 Border race as they begin from Ngwenya Border Post to the Lavumisa Border Post. The 200km, which is arranged by local cycling collective Eswatini Cycling, in partnership with Eswatini Tourism Authority, will see riders pass through many towns, connect with Eswatini’s surroundings and be active tourists in their own country.

July 2024

Ngwenya Glass MTB and Trails Run

Date: July 2024 - TBC

Ngwenya Glass

Race held annually at the Ngwenya Glass Factory. The event is broken into three categories, The MTB challenge, Oracle Trail Run and the Cheshire Home Wheelchair Sprint.

Eswatini's Biggest Braai

Date: July 2024 - TBC

Mavuso Trade Centre

Thousands of people come together to braai at the same time in a modest attempt to raise funds for the elderly. All proceeds are donated to Philani Maswati Charity Organization whose patron is Her Majesty the Queen Mother.

Events in Eswatini
Eswatini's biggest music and arts festival, and Africa's answer to the Glastonbury Festival.
Luju Food and Lifestyle Festival is a celebration of taste, sounds, sights and aromas of Eswatini.
An internationally recognised MTB stage race held annually in North West Eswatini.
A world famous cultural event that takes place annually bursting with colourful costumes.
Eswatini's most ritual and important festival, a tradition that is hundreds of years old.
A very popular biking and car stunt show which draws participants and spectators worldwide.
Marking the harvest of the Marula fruit, this lengthy festival is full of cheer and celebration.
Other Eswatini Experiences
Eswatini has some of the best Cultural Experiences in Africa.
You can still experience the 'Big 5' in the little country of Eswatini.
Eswatini has a incredibly diverse terrain with breathtaking views.
The perfect destination for the thrill seeker and adventurous traveller.
Leave your mark on Eswatini by Volunteering.
From championship golf courses, to fishing in the country's many dams.