We start at the beach & the edge of the sea, then surf the surface, before we dive to the depths & seek to fathom the unknown.
PRELUDE: The wild world of AMAZA starts with a chase of fish after fish, ‘Njami Njam’ by Felix Holm. Superdry the Orca arrives with artist Roelien Brink by way of AfrikaBurn, bringing dreams of whales within your reach. Welcome our sparkling Brazilian guests combined with local Red Zebra drummers. Listen out for the unique goema-samba style of eMzantsi Bloka born from eMzantsi Carnival, the Carnival of the South.
  • SUN GODDESS: The radiant energy of iLanga ~ the sun ~ expressed in the geometric patterns of traditional basketwork & painting is softened in the presence of Amanzi, the flowing energy of water. Sensuous & inviting, the Sun Goddess, the beach lover, welcomes you into the waves ~ Amaza.
  • AVONDALE DRUMMIES & WESTERN PROVINCE MARCHING ASSOCIATION: This skilled marching group returns to Cape Town Carnival from Atlantis. Last year’s co-champions, Western Province Marching Band set the pace.
  • BEACH HUTS: Popping with primary colours, the Beach Huts of False Bay are iconic for generations of South African beachgoers & visitors. Beach-hop by train, everyone’s welcome on the beautiful beaches of Cape Town. Look out for your favourite KFM radio personalities ~ Liezel van der Westhuizen, Sechaba G, Zoe Brown, Deon Bing and Carl Waistie ~ as Aunty Dot & friends celebrate the sunshine with Michelle Davids Dance Company.
  • A COLOURFUL MOUND OF POST-CONSUMER WASTE: forms an island of ocean plastic that enters the marine ecosystem, endangering life. On this precarious perch. El Presidente Penguin is king of the heap but doesn't play the tune. More, more, more, we starve from excess and swallow rubbish if we forget the strength and extent of community.
  • URC YOUTH BRIGADE MARCHING BAND AND DANCERS embody the will of the people represented as African Penguins.
  • AfriCan: New participants AfriCan convey a Mad Max world of water scarcity, encouraging you to save every drop and keep your waste out of the sea.
  • Hermit Crabs, Anemones & Mantis Shrimp are joined by Molly the Mollusc by Brian & Julian Tompkins
  • HAPPY BOYS: take the minstrels to the beach, the distinctive sound & style of the Cape Minstrels, embodied by the Happy Boys.
  • PROJECT PLAYGROUND LANGA & Siyatshisa pulse with the colours and shapes of anemones.
  • STARFISH: Stars of 2016 Steenberg High School returns to the beat of Khanyisa Waldorf School Drummers.
  • KELP FOREST: Jhoomkar traditional Indian dancers perform a sacred dance of light on the water.
  • INDIAN OCEAN: A light and curvaceous expression of the Indian Ocean in blues, turquoise and white. Sparkling, flowing, serene or tempestuous, the Diva of the ocean is fiercely protected by those who love her.
  • TAMBOURINE GROUP: with prayer & joy, this group celebrate the sea.
  • SURFERS: Waves for Change surf instructors help young people from volatile background develop skills, cope with stress & make positive life choices.
  • SHARKSPOTTERS: The Shark Spotters programme is the only program of its kind in the world, attempting to balance the needs of people and white shark conservation, pro-actively reducing interaction & conflict between recreational water users and sharks.
  • NSRI NATIONAL SEA RESCUE: Celebrating their 50 th anniversary this year, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is a charity that has over 1000 unpaid volunteers who respond 24/7/365 to save lives in South African waters.
  • FIELD BAND FOUNDATION: Share a big smile with the Field Band Foundation as they celebrate these vulnerable & protected predators, the great white shark.
  • MUIZENBERG HIGH SCHOOL: Once there were “many fish in the sea”, now globally fish are under threat from indiscriminate overfishing. Muizenberg High School shimmer and shimmy in silver as a shoal of gleaming fish. Snoekie the giant snoek puppet recognizes the importance of this local species to fishermen of the Cape, like Giem & friends who’ve netted a surprise: Rouge Revue mermaids!
  • CHINESE COMMUNITY OF CAPE TOWN: We welcome the Chinese community of Cape Town to Cape Town Carnival for the first time. Chinese mythology is rich with tales of sea dragons chasing pearls, elemental forces in perpetual dance.
  • The bleached Coral Queen brings an urgent message: her coral home is in danger, from exploitation, pollution & climate change.
  • YELLOW SUBMARINE: The ocean explorer discovers riches on the seabed but is he missing the wonders of the coral garden?
  • BRIDGETOWN THEATRE COMPANY: the varied hues of tropical fish dart and dash in a blaze of colour.
  • BROUHAHA INTERNATIONAL: this international group returns to Cape Town to share global carnival spirit.
  • DANCERS OF FIRE: make way for the hot-tempered Lion Fish
  • LION FISH – A spectacular creature of the sea, this giant Lion Fish struts his stuff, fins aflutter, in a showy display of stripes and pattern, undulating in the current as he swims down the parade, patrolling warm waters off the South African coast. Along with Siyazama, Bulumko High School & Rainbow Academy, he reminds us: we are all guardians of the Sea.
  • AMABHACA & SILUKAMVA: These traditional groups use voice & dance to honour local cultural associations with water & the sea, including healing & sangoma initiation.
  • THEATRE THROUGH MOTIVATION & LAVUTHI BHAYI: in blue & white these dance groups mix the traditional & the contemporary
  • THE SEA SPIRIT – Proudly brought to you by Tsogo Sun. Design & visualization by Buhle Siwani &; Tozama Dyantyi. Be still and listen to her murmur the rhythm of the waves. Beyond personal identity, the spirit of the sea is vast, we come to her for healing, honour her essence, she brings us together, but take care the sjambok!
  • JELLYFISH GARDEN PARTY: A spectral soiree of UbuRasta Jellyfish pulse down the parade with a retinue of jellyfish colonialists, colonizing wherever fish are depleted.
  • ATLANTIS: A proud civilization sunk beneath the waves: were they warned? Did they miss the signs? Were they too busy with their own drama to listen until it was too late?Sinuous and flowing, Aphrodite Belly Dance evoke the rhythm of the divine feminine.
  • ANGLER FISH: This freaky denizen of the deep lures its prey with light.
  • DEEP SEA MER-PEOPLE : bioRithm & LEAP Science & Maths School bring the energy of the deep sea mer-people to life in costumes designed by Mansoor Galant.
  • SUNKEN SHIP: Undead pirates ~ Limited Edition ~ beat their drums for the ghostly remains of a sunken ship and its skeleton crew ~ Eoan Crew ~ wrecked centuries ago, now lurking in the gloom of the ocean floor, its sails in tatters, overgrown with seaweed. The pirates are caught in an ongoing battle with a Giant Squid!
  • COSMIC SQUID: The intelligence of nature takes a new form: technology. Seductive, powerful & pervasive, the Cosmic Squid is rising to the surface of our awareness bringing hypnotic pleasure as it consumes and devours. The Cosmic Squid is the behemoth of the unchartered depths, controlled from the highest platform by Octavia, dominatrix and Octopus Queen. “Become one with me & the machine”, she says as her Jungle Theatre Company tentacles beckon.
  • PHATIZWELETHU MARIMBA vibrate with primal sound for the energetic movement of Qingqa Mntwana Primary School, Cape Town High School, Hope Dancers, Likhwezi Arts Project & Masizakhe Youth Arts Project choreographed by Pamela Mtati.
  • SEA URCHIN: Radiating spikes and beams of light, the Giant Sea Urchin emerges from the ocean depths like an alien mother ship, rippling as it moves through time and space. Piloted by the sharp witted, strutting Urchin Jester King, this expressive entertainer is laughing to the top: “Live large, whoever you are. Celebrate yourself. You’re the star of your own adventure.” All hail his irreverence!
  • AMOYO PERFORMING ARTS FOUNDATION brings youth together from Hout Bay in the finale of Cape Town Carnival 2017.
  • MERBALL: International star Oshri Elmorich. The Sirens caught a big one! Mermaids perched on a pearl have lured & captured a dashing sailor. Seated near him, they flap their tails languidly, comb their hair and try to reel in members of the audience with fishing rods. He may seduce them (and you) with his song “Crazy but Free” as he INVITES YOU TO DIVE IN AND FOLLOW THE FANTASEA STILTWALKERS TO THE CAPE TOWN CARNIVAL PARTY AT P12, NEAR THE GREEN POINT CIRCLE. JOIN IN!