“We came to the desert.
Looking for a party,
Looking for adventure.
Instead, we found ourselves.
We are the party.
We are adventure.”
I can guarantee you that if you ask anyone who has been to Afrikaburn what their experience was like, you’d get the same reaction. Their faces would light up with excitement as they re-experience the magical moments of this magical place. They’ll mumble and laugh and every now and again they would say “I just don’t have the words to describe it”. The memories are there but it seems so surreal that you’re not entirely sure if you really just experienced all of that or if you’re waking up from a dream.
Some prepare months and some only a few days. Some build beautiful art sculptures and some just send a smile your way. Some embrace their nude bodies while others create unique outfits. Some are old and some are just babies. Yet, every single person you bump into will greet you with endless amounts of happiness and love, no matter what you or they look like, you will feel like you belong, like you matter.
So, first things first, the road to Afrikaburn is no joke. Everyone mentions it because it’s true. Driving along this road gives the illusion that you’re the main character in a horror film. The only thing missing from this film is the stranded “Motel” next to the road. But other than that, every few kilometres you either find people changing tyres, stranded cars or cars stuck in ditches. No matter how slowly you drive (talking average of 50km/h), your chances of changing tyres are still very high but if you’ve made it there and back without any problems, consider yourself part of the lucky ones. Luckily, not this hell of a road (or dust) can keep us from going to this majestic place.
Upon arrival you are welcomed by friendly people dressed up as all sorts of beautiful characters. You are hugged by strangers and everyone wants to help you find your way. You are surrounded by a welcoming atmosphere everyone calls “home”.
The playground or “Binnekring” is magical. With too many themed camps to visit and beautiful art sculptures to explore, there is not one moment where you won’t have something to do. Every camp is unique with a different vibe and a different activity to keep you busy with. Some of my favourites were obviously the camps where I got free wine and gin. (Not only because it was alcohol but also because it was served with ice) and ice in the desert is equivalent to heaven on earth.
Then of course, the people! Oh, so many beautiful people! Many embraced their bodies by walking around naked. It was beautiful to see people express themselves but it was even more beautiful to see how accepting everyone was of each other. How naked bodies weren’t sexualised and creativity was praised. This is the world we all dream of and once you’ve experienced this beautiful form of humanity, it’s difficult accepting anything else.
Night time is a completely different story. Everyone and everything is decorated with neon lights. The dusty desert turns into this massive carnival. Mesmerised by all the different forms of lights, you can’t help yourself as you follow the moving lights across the desert. Every day and every night you walk kilometres and kilometres. There are just too much to explore and you’ll find yourself asking “what is this place” several times a day.
Everland, or “The Octopus” as many called it, was definitely our favourite stage. With countless amounts of stars shining bright above your head and groovy music you can move to all night long, this stage was easy to call our home. Although, the famous “Spirit Train” didn’t fail to impress as my friends and I greeted Friday morning’s sunrise with absolute bliss. Never have I ever experienced such happiness and how incredible it was to share it with some of the best people in my life as well as complete strangers. This same morning the nicest man pushed me on a swing as I listened to the music and watched people get lost in the moments. This same man even left me with my new my desert name, “Sahara” (I guess this means that if I ever find myself in the Sahara desert I have to tell people my name is “Karoo”).
I can go on forever about how incredible Afrikaburn is. Everyone that’s been can go on forever about this life-changing experience. I urge you, if you’ve ever had the slightest thought of going, look past the dust because you learn to love your dusty, desert hair. Look past everything else that is keeping you from going and just do it. This is the one place on Earth where you have no worries and where everyone is accepted for who they are. Go, experience, come back and live your life according to the changes Afrikaburn brought.
And P.S the answer to questions such as “what is this place” or “where did you get the ice” is always magic. Because Afrikaburn is a place where magic truly exists.
Love and Light to you all <3.