Packing list for Afrikaburn 2014

It’s 66 days to Afrikaburn 2014!  Basically, last year I quit my job, went to Afrikaburn and then packed my bags and travelled to South America with my husband.  One of my favourite people (also a talented architect and creative friend) in Durban has informed me that he will be going to Afrikaburn this year!  I am extremely happy that he is taking this brave step and also super jealous that Dirk and I will not be there to join him.  Grant, this one’s for you!


Happy memories from last year’s burn.

We were very lucky to have been part of a group of fabulous people (yes, also creative architects) who took a roadtrip to Afrikaburn 2013 last year!  There are limited tickets and they sell out fast, so if you get your hands on a ticket, you jump for joy, like we did.  Going to Afrikaburn is like going to the circus for a whole week in the desert!  And instead of observing, you form part of the show!


Installation art in the desert

Here is my advise for Grant, and anyone else who is going to brave the Tankwa desert this year:

You need to take and or do the following:

– Water. 5 Liter per day.  Per person.  This water is for drinking and cleaning yourself.  The rumours are true.  There are no showers.  I got lucky because a camp close to us had a hot shower installation and after waiting for about half an hour in a queue, I had a nice daily hot shower.  The alternative cleansing method to using someone else’s hot shower is to walk off into the desert and stand behind a bush and pour cold water over your body.  It’s a humbling experience.

– A bicycle is handy.  Then you get to explore everywhere faster.

– You need 15mm wide rebar to keep your tent grounded.  You do.  You really do.  Do not forget this.  Your tent will blow away.

– Shade.  “You need to take more than just your own shadow.” quote unquote Dirk.  We had shading cloth/net (skadunet in Afrikaans) last year, and without it, we wouldn’t have spent any time outside our tents.
– A spare tyre.  Or two.  The road to Afrikaburn burns tyres.  You’ll be stuck without a spare one.  If you do get a flat tyre, you can hand in the tyre at a workshop on the road before entering Afrikaburn.  They’ll have a fixed tyre ready for you when it’s time to leave the festival!  Pretty neat!

– Sunblock, sunglasses and hat.  Enough said.

– MOOP bag.  To pick up any Matter Out Of Place.  It’s the right thing to do.

– Something to share.  In the spirit of the no money economy.  People offered us free pancakes, popcorn, tequila shots!  It’s just a lot better if you have something to hand out to spread the love.

– Food.  You cannot buy anything there.  You need to take enough food for yourself to survive for a few days.


Fishing in the desert

– You need to take all the garbage you have or create with you when you leave.  So, to get back to the food topic: be smart about what food you take to make with you.  Biltong, nuts, dried fruit are good for snacks.  You need to take food that will last in the heat and that won’t make a mess, because you have only a little bit of water to clean your hands with.

– Toilet paper.  I think the toilets (long drops, another humbling experience) actually do have toilet paper.  But still, take your own.

– A camera, because I really want to see your pictures!

– A headlamp or torch to walk around with during the night.

– Read the program they hand out at the entrance gate.  That way you’ll know what happens at what themed camps – events like High Tea and free potjiekos or drumming circles should not be missed.

– You need to ring the gong.  Or bang the gong.  Or gong the gong.  Do whatever the verb is that you do to the gong.  All Afrikaburn virgins must do it.  We didn’t and I feel like an incomplete person because of it.

– Warm clothes.  The nights get cold.

– Crazy outfits.  Anything goes.


Be prepared to have your mind blown!  I have never seen so many happy, carefree people in one place.  Expect nudity, dancing, dancing, dancing, crazy outfits, mad tea parties and so much more.


The first burning

Be safe.  Travel safe.  And have fun!


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