Franschhoek Literary Festival 2022 Itinerary


The Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF) takes place this weekend 13-15 May, after a two-year hiatus during the height of the pandemic. The event was established in 2007 and happens in the town of Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands.

The small town is full of charm, with history, art, fine cuisine and, of course, wine on offer. No wonder then that many festivalgoers make a weekend of it to soak up the atmosphere. This Franschhoek Literary Festival 2022 Itinerary combines the best of the official programme with some of the town’s other attractions.

Highlights of the Franschhoek Literary Festival 2022

All in all, there are over 100 participants at the FLF 2022. The majority of these are South African authors, split between emerging voices and established names. The festival as a whole is a fantastic opportunity to explore local literature and reflect on society and culture. If we have to choose what will best suit active citizens in South Africa, though, here are our top two programme highlights.

Beacon of Active Citizenship Dr Imtiaz Sooliman

The legendary founder of the Gift of the Givers is the subject of Imtiaz Sooliman & the Gift of the Givers: A Mercy to All.

  • Friday, 13 May at 4pm: Dr Sooliman will be in discussion with Shafiq Morton, the author of the biography.

Zimbabwean Author Tsitsi Dangarembga

Tsitsi Dangarembga, whose Nervous Conditions was our Reading Zimbabwe book, will make two appearances.

  • Friday, 13 May at 4pm: She’ll discuss her life and career with Dr Pumla Dineo Gqola.
  • Saturday, 14 May at 10am: She and Sindiwe Magona will discuss female voices and generational trauma withYewande Omotoso.

3-Day Franschhoek Literary Festival Itinerary

Here’s a sample itinerary for the FLF 2022, with enough time to eat and do some sightseeing.

Day 1: Friday 13 May

The Franschhoek Literary Festival kicks off at 10am on Friday and offers a full programme until 5pm. Every hour, there’s a minimum of three events happening simultaneously. Here’s our selection of the best events to attend.

  • 11:30 — Write of Passage

Damon Galgut, who won the Booker Prize last year with The Promise, discusses fiction as an act of resistance.

  • 13:00 — The Human(Ist)

Elif Shafak, author of The Island of Missing Trees, appears via live stream in the NG Church to respond to whether tribes divided by history can understand each other via story.

  • 16:00 — Being the Change

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman of the Gift of the Givers speaks to his biographer, Shafiq Morton.

Day 2: Saturday 14 May

The fun continues on Saturday with both fiction and non-fiction options on the programme.

  • 10:00  — The Female Line

Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of the Nervous Conditions trilogy, and Sindiwe Magona, author of When the Village Sleeps, chat to Yemande Omotoso about women’s voices and generational fiction.

  • 11:30 — Mind the Trap

Dr Greg Mills talks about his work Expensive Poverty: Why Aid Fails and How it Can Work which explores the issue on the African continent.

  • 14:30 — No Mean Feat

Dr Emmanuel Taban, the renowned pulmonologist, discusses his journey from Sudan to South Africa. His experience as a refugee is the subject of The Boy Who Never Gave Up.

Day 3: Sunday, 15 May

The programme winds down on Sunday, with just 15 events on offer. Plenty of time to explore the countryside and drive home.

  • 10:00 — She Said, She Said

Sue Nyathi, Sally Crainswick, Dudu Busani-Dube and Qarnita Loxton talk about creating strong heroines and how fiction can explore women’s social realities.

  • 13: 00 — The Sorbet Secret

Ian Fuhr, founder of beauty salon empire Sorbet, discusses his book Culturenigeering and the place of respect and belonging in his business.

Tickets for the Franschhoek Literary Festival

The full programme is available on the FLF website. You can purchase tickets for all the programme sessions from Webtickets. The full price is R100, with a 50% discount for students. If you join the FLF membership programme (paying R50 a month to support the organisation’s literary projects in the Franschhoek area), you pay R85 per ticket.

To attend, you need to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 PCR test.

Where to Eat during the Franschhoek Literary Festival

So many of Franschhoek’s well-known, award-winning eateries are situated on the surrounding wine farms but here are some in the town itself.

Le Coin Français

  • Formal, French-style menu and decor. Vegetarian menu on request.
  • Open Tuesday-Sunday, 6:30pm-8pm (last seating)

Reuben’s Restaurant & Bar Franschhoek

  • Black-owned, laidback, yet chic with yummy meals by acclaimed chef Reuben Riffel.
  • Daily, 12pm-3pm; 6:30pm-9pm.


  • Casual fine dining in a contemporary space.
  • Daily, 12pm-2:30pm; 5:30-8pm.

What to See in Franschhoek during the Literary Festival

Image by South African Tourism via Flickr

The books and writers taking part in the festival are the main attraction of this itinerary, so this is an abbreviated list of landmarks in the town.

Babylonstoren Gardens

  • 5 hectares of diverse, landscaped gardens that date from 1692.
  • Open Monday-Sunday, 9am-5pm.

Klein Goederust Boutique Winery

Farm Sanctuary SA and Pigcasso Paintings

EBONY/CURATED Bordeaux House

  • Gallery of contemporary art from the African continent.
  • Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm; Mondays, 9am-5pm.

Where to Stay in Franschhoek for the Literary Festival

By now, most of the hotels in the centre of town are fully booked. There are still, however, a handful of options within driving distance of the events and some Airbnb stays in the centre of town.


The Pool Cottage

  • Airbnb garden cottage at R1240 per night.
  • Within walking distance of the village centre.

Le Arc Manor House

  • Two-bedroom apartment from R1000 per night.
  • Country setting, within 1.9km of festival venues.

Village View Studio Apartment L’Ermitage

Head Off to the Franschhoek Literary Festival

The opportunity to hear from local authors like Zakes Mda and Sindiwe Magona — not to mention the Booker Prize-winning Damon Galgut — in a splendid Cape Winelands setting is just too good to miss out on.  This Franschhoek Literary Festival Itinerary is jam-packed with panel discussions and time to get to know the town. After all, travel and literature all in one enticing package…what more could you ask for?

Jenna Solomon

Jenna is a journalism, African studies and social development graduate. She writes about active citizenship and lifestyle in South Africa.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *