AfrikaBurn 2024 Survival Tips

Welcome to AfrikaBurn 2023, where the scorching sun, whipping dust storms, and lack of amenities will make you question why you willingly paid to be here. But fear not, dear Burner, for I, your trusty survival guide, am here to impart some sage advice that will make your experience less like Mad Max and more like Burning Man. So, buckle up (or should I say, dust off) and let's get ready to survive AfrikaBurn 2023!

AfrikaBurn is the regional version of Burning Man in South Africa has been steadily growing since its inception in 2007, and in 2024, it’s set to be bigger and better than ever before.

With over 13,000 attendees, AfrikaBurn is not your average music festival – it’s a full-blown survival adventure in the unforgiving Karoo desert.

But fear not, intrepid Burner! If you’re lucky enough to have secured a ticket to this epic event, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate AfrikaBurn survival guide.

From staying hydrated in the scorching sun to navigating the notorious dust storms, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to make the most of your week in Tankwa Town.

So get ready to embrace the chaos, let your freak flag fly, and make some unforgettable memories at one of the biggest festivals in Africa.

Take a lot of water

Don’t underestimate how much water you need. Since you’ll be pretty active, and hopefully showering, you’ll need at least 3 litres per day to drink. Signs of dehydration, including feeling dizzy, weak, or hyperthermic, decreased urination and increased heart rate.

Eat the right nutrients

AfrikaBurn is more than a week and you’re facing various harsh elements – keep your immune system strong. Eat meals that are relatively easy to make but give you the right kind of nutrients. Cook in groups for convenience.

Some things to pack include spinach, tuna cans, quinoa, chickpeas, green onions, walnuts, dried fruit, honey, energy bars. Funnily enough, pickles and drinking the pickle juice is pretty good for you too.

Superfood shakes provide a combination of nutrient-dense superfoods (like Raw Cacao, Chia, Hemp, Maca root, Mesquite, etc) from around the world. Meal replacements packs plant-based protein and all the vitamins and nutrients you need in the desert.

Take your own cutlery

Plastic cutlery for the entire week results in a ton of waste. Pack proper cutlery and look after them. Imagine how many pieces of plastic cutlery we would save on if all 13 000 people did the same for a week? Find other eco-friendly alternatives for items you might be purchasing.

Get a bicycle

Taking a bicycle to AfrikaBurn has several advantages. Firstly, it is an efficient and eco-friendly way to get around the event. Secondly, it is a fun and convenient way to explore the art installations, participate in activities, and visit different camps. Finally, riding a bike will help you stay fit and healthy while you enjoy the event.

Wear loose-fitting clothing

It is important to wear loose-fitting clothing to AfrikaBurn to ensure maximum comfort, and to keep cool in the hot desert climate. Loose-fitting clothing allows for air to circulate more freely, which helps to keep the body cooler, and reduces the risk of heat exhaustion and sunburn. Additionally, many of the activities at AfrikaBurn involve dancing, moving, and physical exertion, so loose-fitting clothing allows for greater freedom of movement.

Take a scarf or sarong

Take a scarf or sarong with. Whenever you leave your campsite, wet it, so that it’s cold and you’ll get less dust in your mouth when walking or travelling.

Pack a basic first aid kit.

While the medical team at AfrikaBurn will be able to assist with serious (and small) injuries, it’s always better to keep a basic first kit aid that can be purchased just about anywhere. Take the usual like:

  • Plasters
  • Sports tape
  • Ace bandage (sprains)
  • Panado
  • Rehydrate (for hangovers)
  • Melatonin (for sleep)
  • Magnesium pills (for cramps)
  • Inhalers (if you’re asthmatic)
  • Eye drops (to combat the dust)
  • Saline nasal spray

Waterless shampoo or apple cider vinegar

Take waterless shampoo to keep your hair clean of the dust without using water, or for a natural alternative rinse a bit of apple cider vinegar in your hair.

Wear comfortable shoes

It is important to wear comfortable shoes to AfrikaBurn 2024 because the event is held in the Karoo and the terrain can be quite challenging. There is a lot of walking, dancing, and standing involved, so it is important to wear comfortable shoes to keep your feet from becoming sore. The Karoo can also get hot during the day, so a breathable shoe is also important.

Bring a portable power station

It can be a good idea to bring a portable power station to AfrikaBurn, as electrical power can be limited and unreliable in the desert environment of the festival. Having a portable power station can provide a reliable source of electricity for charging devices and powering lights.

Dance safe

While AfrikaBurn isn’t a music festival at all, there’s a ton of dancing taking place over the week and it’s important to be smart. Make sure you’re always nourished, get a good amount of sleep, replenish your electrolytes and always have someone looking out for you, especially if you’re attending alone.

AfrikaBurn FAQ

Where does AfrikaBurn take place?

AfrikaBurn takes place in the Tankwa Karoo, an arid semi-desert area located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

How far is AfrikaBurn from Cape Town?

The driving distance between Cape Town is just over 300km. For a long duration you will be on a dirt road. Don’t rush, it will take you roughly 4 hours to get there.

How many people go to AfrikaBurn?

The last edition had more than 13 000 people from around the world.

Is AfrikaBurn the same as Burning Man?

AfrikaBurn (“Burning Man South Africa”) is a regional version of Burning Man. It is the largest regional event in the world.

Are there toilets at AfrikaBurn?

There are loos available at AfrikaBurn.

Is there water available at AfrikaBurn?

There is NO water at AfrikaBurn. Please make sure you take enough for the duration of the event (to drink, wash, etc).

How many people went to AfrikaBurn 2022?

Approximately 6500 people attended AfrikaBurn in 2022 after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic. In 2019 the event welcomed over 11 000 guests.

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