Cape Town, South Africa, Travel

The Magic of AfrikaBurn

7th May 2015

There is a world where your imagination can run wild! A place that comes to life with music, mutant vehicles, magicians, stilt walkers, colorful costumes, fire dancers, moving rainbows and story tellers. A place where you can get free pancakes, coffee, food and hugs. This is the magic of AfrikaBurn.

AfrikaBurn is not a festival or a party. In a way, it is how the world should be. Giving and receiving with open arms. Expressing yourself through your art, your story, your outfit or your music. In Tankwa Town anything goes. You can wear your most “out of this world” outfit, or even nothing. You can shout, laugh, cry and scream. Here, you will not be judged. You will be received with love and kindness.

Walking towards the San Clan

Walking towards the San Clan

It was our entertainer- neighbor that taught us a valuable life lesson. “How many jokes do you know?” he asked. “Mmmmm...Only a few” we all answered. “And how many crappy stories do you know?” he asked pointing towards us. “Oh! We know plenty!” we said. “Now, why do you focus on the crappy stories? And not the jokes? The things that make you happy in life?“. He had a very valid point. We all tend to focus on the negative things, instead of shifting our focus towards the positive things! I am a firm believer that there is magic around you at any given moment. This was one of those moments. Talking to a stranger about life as if we have known each other for years.  These are the magical moments you will have at AfrikaBurn. Embrace them and learn from them.

Ribbons dancing around in the desert

Ribbons dancing around in the desert


The magic, of this desert- expression- community, is the people. People gathering from all over the world to break away from their “real” ways of life. These magical humans will be seen driving around in the spirit train, playing music, entertaining you through their dancing, giving out hugs or doing free belly button portraits. Yes, you read that right! Free belly button portraits in the middle of the desert! Every person wants you to have an unforgettable experience and some, like our neighbor, will even teach you a few life lessons.

Free belly button portraits in the desert

Free belly button portraits

The desert changes at night. The bright stars come out to play on a pitch black canvass. Bicycles get decorated with little lights, campsites turn into magical fortresses and dresses sweep across the dust as they light the way ahead. At night you can let loose! You can dance your socks off, listen to a live band and hang out with your friends. The landscape turns into a beautiful wonderland. When the first fire gets lit, the crowds start to gather. We all stand around the dancing flames knowing that these beautiful artworks will soon turn to dust. Admiring the precious moments of every burning piece of wood as it falls to the ground.

The burning of Metamorphosis

The burning of Metamorphosis

No wonder we all feel this sense of “reality kicking in” when we return from the desert.  Back home there are no free pancakes or coffee. No beautiful sunsets over the desert. You are back, dealing with your so called “NORMAL” life, and that is OK! You try to wash the dust off for days, but somehow you keep finding it. Hiding away in your shoes, your hair or your sleeping bag. It calls you back. Haunting your thoughts. You, my dearest friend, have been given the biggest gift of them all! You have been touched by the magic of AfrikaBurn. It’s time for us to spread our own little bits of magic into the world. Give out a free hug, tell your story, dance your dance, offer your friends a meal and carry the burn with you wherever you go. However good or bad your day is, always seek for magic!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Mbejezansi 20th May 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Simply gorgeous, thank you!

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