Everything you need to know about the Cape Town Carnival

Every March, the streets of Cape Town burst into a colourful and joyous celebration with the Cape Town Carnival. Think Rio Carnival, but with real African flavour and Cape Town pizzazz. There will be dancing, pyrotechnics, enormous colourful floats, giant puppets, live music, and hot firemen and women. Here’s everything you need to know about this not-to-be-missed Cape Town event.

This year’s event takes place on 16 March 2019.

The theme

The 2019 theme is “VUKA UKHANYE! Rise ‘n Shine. It is a call to “wake up and step up! Shake off limiting habits and ideas, unlock your power & potential and be all you can be. A jolt of energy, a call to action, a celebration of human potential” (capetowncarnival.com) Cape Town Carnival


Where & when

The Fan Walk in Green Point is for pedestrians only for the event. The parade officially kicks off in the evening, and afterwards there is a family-friendly Carnival party starts. There is usually an exciting headline act at the Cape Town Carnival Village, followed by up-and-coming artists, and DJs. It’s best to get there early to secure your spot, enjoy food and beverages from the vendors, and have your face painted. The Fan Walk is a 2km long stretch offering many great viewing spots where you’ll be able to see the over 2,000 dazzling costumed performers and magnificent floats.


The event is completely free, just show up in your dancing shoes and dress comfortably. Food and drinks will be on sale from various vendors. Seated and VIP tickets are available if you’d like to get a better view or seat for the evening.

Community upliftment

The Cape Town Carnival brings the city together for a night of celebration, but the people behind the scenes work for a whole year to make the magic happen. Last year the Carnival generated work for 1,172 people. The event assists and encourages skills development in creative fields with hundreds of costumes being made and the construction of the massive floats. It’s a testament to the people of the city and it’s a great experience to see their determination and hard work really come to life on Carnival night.

Cape Town Carnival


Sustainability and water conservation

This year’s theme perfectly lends itself to messages of water conservation amidst the Cape Town drought. Serious water saving measures were also implemented in the building of the floats like the installation of rainwater-harvesting tanks at the main production workshop in Maitland and a zero-waste-to-landfill policy being enforced. The team reuses and recycles everything they can in creative ways, so old and well-loved floats are never discarded, but rather given new life.

For more information, check out capetowncarnival.comCheck out pics others have shared from the event, and share your own using #lovaecapetown!