Amazing AfrikaBurn 2011
AfrikaBurn has been the most mind-blowing festival I have ever experienced. For five days a group of people ranging from toddler to granddad escape the hasty daily routine and build their own peaceful village in the middle of the Tankwa Karoo National Park. This village is a place where the usual rules and regulations do not apply. The whole festival takes place in the spirit of gifting and sharing. People are extremely friendly and everyone is welcome to express themselves in every possible way.
If you need some wheels to get to AfrikaBurn, you might want to visit car hire South Africa to find the perfect set of wheels to get you there.
[photo by Caroline De Geer]
My own AfrikaBurn experience started with the pick up of our rental VW Polo Vivo at Buitengracht, Cape Town, on Thursday morning. After five hours of driving, we had almost reached our goal, Tankwa Town in the Karoo National Park. But as often happens in travelling adventures, things don’t always work the way they should; shortly before the Tanka Town, the gravel road made one of our tires pop.
Even though we were five European girls stranded in the desert, none of us has changed a tire in our lives, the problem was solved quite easily. A very friendly man stopped and after 20 minutes the tire problem was solved and we could continue our journey.
When we arrived, setting up our camp was accompanied by the most beautiful desert sunset. Later that evening we decided to discover what AfrikaBurn’s nightlife had to offer, so we wandered off into the pitch-black desert illuminated only by stars. All parties were outdoors, within five minutes walking distance and offered a broad variety in music, so we enjoyed ourselves and partied till the early morning.
[photo by Nadine Lara Dil]
After a short sleep, we got up and checked out AfrikaBurn’s daytime activities. What we found were fascinating art projects, a post office in the middle of the desert, a tea room, concerts, workshops and chill-out areas. The offered program was very broad and could easily fill a day.
On Friday the camp grew to its full glory, most people came that day and contributed to building this very special place. The following night and day the discovery continued: partying in a gigantic cactus, having a human-car-wash party, body painting, making bracelets while babysitting a Boa Constrictor, sliding down a heel slide, or simply lying in the sun or working on the tent.
[photo by Sanne Stolker]
A very important part of the festival is the decorated vehicles. They are so much fun to look at and form a big part of the entertainment program. Bands drive around on trucks to sing at different tents, the Vuvuzela Wagon and the Party Boat offer amazing parties, the Jungle Gym is a lounge place, and the Bumble Bee and the Jelly Fish simply look so cute. Driving a normal VW is nice, but all you really want at the festival is to take off with the Shark Motorbike or the Bug Car.
The highlight of the festival takes place on Saturday night: The burning of the man. It was absolutely fascinating to see all the art, built with lots of love, burn. The bonfires are terrific, the centrepieces of a warm and exciting atmosphere. People wear amazing costumes, juggle with fire, walk on stilts or simply spin cartwheels naked.
[photo by Sanne Stolker]
On Sunday most people left the festival, however, I recommend staying for this extra day if you can. It’s worth it, every day offers new events that wait to be discovered. Even the “bathroom” is an experience, I promise, you never had this kind of view.
Monday morning we had to pack up our camp and head back to Cape Town. On our way back we flew over the gravel road without any incidents. Back in Cape Town, we all went home as quickly as possible to get a hot shower and put on some clean clothes. But after those things had been done I could have left right away again for another week at AfrikaBurn, though this time I might opt to hire a camper van for Afrikaburn. I noticed quite a few people ‘glamping’ at Afrikaburn, and this definitely seems to be the best way to enjoy the festival.
I am so glad to have experienced this festival and can only recommend to everyone to do it once in your life, no matter what age you are.