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Top travel tips for Festival early birds

Published on 1 March 2020

It’s never too early to start planning your #NAF2020 trip and here are some tips to get you cracking:

No programme? No problem! You don’t need to wait till the programme has been announced to book your trip – as always, we can guarantee there is something for everyone (and, besides, spontaneity is half the fun).

Book accommodation now. From guesthouses to shared spaces, there will be room for everyone at the Festival – but if you want to have your pick of the offering then get browsing now. The team at Makana Tourism will be able to point you in the right direction.

Watch out for travel specials. It’s easiest to fly in to Port Elizabeth, which is an easy hour’s drive from Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown). During Festival time, there are shuttles between PE and Festival central available. Keep an eye out for flight specials. We like Travelstart‘s easy way to compare flight prices.

Extend your visit. The Eastern Cape offers endless beauty and natural diversity throughout the year so why not explore the area before or after the Festival. Take some contemplation time near the beach at Kenton-on-Sea or Port Alfred or visit the quirky hamlet of Bathurst. Check out East London or Port Elizabeth and escape to the Addo Elephant Park  or surrounding wilderness. More info on the region here.

Bring the family. The National Arts Festival always has a fantastic programme of shows and experiences for children. You can even enrol the kids in the Children’s Arts Festival at St Andrew’s Prep School, which offers a full programme of family-friendly shows, workshops and crafts (bookings open 1 April).

On a budget? Rhodes University offers affordable accommodation in their residences, find out more here. If you think you can brave the extreme cold then you could join a long tradition of adventurers by becoming a Festival camper! Pack your warmest thermal woollies and book your stand at Makana Resort or check out Blue Skies Backpackers, just a short distance from town, offering dorms, units and camping.