Burn baby burn
Planning to hit the seven day AfrikaBurn Festival in the Tankwa Karoo National Park? Then be prepared for any eventuality. At this festival, which is an offshoot of the infamous Burning Man Festival, anything can happen. Bring your own supplies and settle into the temporary Tankwa Town camp, with up to 10,000 other people, all gathered to enjoy the music, share art, burn large structures and let themselves go. You’ll be camping in the African desert for five days with no access to extra supplies if you forget to bring something. Ice is the only thing for sale and event organisers don’t even encourage bartering. It’s all about giving with no expectation of receiving anything in return. Before you go, plan what you’ll give as a gift.
The trip to AfrikaBurn is an adventure in itself. It’s held 300 km from Cape Town. Fly to South Africa, hire a car and drive the notorious R355 highway, known as a “tyre shredder.” Make sure you pack a spare tyre and a jack. One of the world’s biggest desert parties, AfrikaBurn is a surreal parallel world of raving in the desert, giant creative sculptures, artworks and mutant vehicles.
When is it?
Tips and tricks
• AfrikaBurn runs for a week, which is a long time if it’s your first time. But make sure you make the most of this incredible experience and plan to stay at least three nights.
• There is almost no mobile reception at AfrikaBurn so before you go make sure you plan where you will camp with the people you are going with. That way when you all arrive you’ll find each other. If you need to get hold of someone while you’re there, leave a message for him or her at the Off-Centre Camp (organisational headquarters).
• Bring everything you’ll need with you. Organisers recommend that includes your ticket and ID, a minimum of five litres of water per person per day, enough food and drink for your stay, shelter and bedding, clothing you can layer (expect temps to hit 40 degrees celsius during the day and be freezing at night), rubbish bags, a fire extinguisher, a torch and a first aid kit.
• The R355 is the road leading to AfrikaBurn and the longest stretch of road in South Africa without a petrol station. Make sure you have enough petrol before you embark on this stretch.
• Sealable or zip lock plastic bags are a good idea to keep everything you own, especially your camera, dust free.
• Tankwa Town is huge so make sure you bring comfy shoes and if you can get hold of one, a bicycle is the best way to get around. But make sure you bring your own tyre repair kit.