South African Summer - Top 10 Events


The FIFA World Cup 2010 showed just how great the South Africans are at staging spectacular events. Well there’s plenty more where that one came from. Horst W Frehse, newly appointed General Manager of The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, gives you a preview of the highlights this summer.


10th December 2010

The Twelve Apostles Hotel

Horst W Freshe

Cape Minstrel’s Carnival. An incredibly colourful spectacle, the annual Kaapse Klopse is a traditional New Year’s celebration. A flamboyant affair involving up to 13,000 costumed dancers, a colourful parade, live music, entertainment, cultural shows and row upon row of food and drinks stalls.

The Cape Argus Cycle Tour. First took place on 28 October 1978 and attracted 525 entrants. Since then it has grown to be the biggest single-day cycle race in the world and attracts around 35,000 entrants. Contestants cover 109 kilometres in some of the most scenic landscapes on the planet. This year it takes place on Sunday 13th March and is preceded by Lifecycle Week, a whole series of events and expos for the whole family.

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa offers the best vantage point to watch the cyclists on their way to the finish. We have created a unique package for participants and spectators.


Horse Racing

J&B Met. Arguably South Africa’s most glamorous horse racing event, held annually at Kenilworth near Cape Town, the oldest course in the country. The event draws 50,000 brightly bedecked spectators and is a social event that one cannot afford to miss – clear your diary for the 29th of January 2011!

The Splashy Fen Music Festival in Underberg is one of South Africa’s longest-running music events. Concerts and outdoor activities take place every Easter (this year 21st-25th April) on a farm beside the Umzimkulu river in the shadow of the Drakensberg mountains. The festival offers 10,000 music lovers a four-day line-up of some of the country’s hottest acts, top-class sound and lighting, plus a wide choice of outdoor leisure activities for the whole family.

The Comrades Marathon, 29th May 2011. Regarded as the world’s greatest ultra-marathon, it’s run in KwaZulu-Natal between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, a distance of 90 kilometres.

The South African soldiers who gave their lives in World War I gave veteran Vic Clapham the idea to stage a running race in their honour. The first Comrades Marathon was run in 1921 and, except for 5 years during World War II, has been an annual event ever since.

One of the quirkiest fireside tales about the Comrades Marathon involves a Springbok rugby player called Bill Payne, who arrived at the start wearing his rugby boots. En route, he ate a full English breakfast, followed by a hearty chicken curry, a couple of beers at a country hotel and a lot of peach brandy before finishing an incredible 8th. He then played a game of club rugby the next day!



The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon. 17-19 February 2011. An annual event that has as much spectator appeal as competitive spirit and camaraderie. Traversing the Umsundusi River through the Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu Natal . When the Dusi started in 1951 there were only 8 competitors, but now around 2,000 competitors take part with countless spectators waiting along the rivers edge to cheer intrepid adventurers along.

Cape Outback Mountain Bike Expedition. 18- 21 March 2011, Gouritz, in Western Cape. The route takes participants through the rugged, but incredibly beautiful, Hessequa, Cape-Agulhas and Overberg regions of the Western Cape.


Jazz Festival

Cape Town Jazz Festival. 25-26 March 2011. Now in its twelfth year – this proudly South African event will be hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and promises a star studded line-up.

Time of the Writer. International Writers Festival 14-19 March 2011. The written word will envelop Durban as writers from around South Africa and Africa arrive in for a stimulating week of books, ideas and talk. The festival will feature a diverse gathering of literary luminaries that will include representatives from the many branches of the art such as novelists, short story writers, humour writers, political commentators and more.

Ladysmith Swartkop Challenge. Saturday, 09 April 2011. This is an extreme sport event for teams of 20 + 2 leaders to draw a gun weighing some 1300kg up a hill of up to 1:1 over a course of some 130m. It was inspired by feats of arms in the South African War of 1899-1902 when heavy guns were repeatedly mounted on the top of kopjes and manpower was the only resource once the incline became too steep for draught animals.

Whichever of these events grabs your fancy Red Carnation Hotels will be delighted to welcome you to our award winning family run properties in Cape Town, Durban and the Cederberg Mountains.

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