The Hitchhikers Guide to Quaggafontein (or the AfrikaBurn event encyclopedia).
In years past, this resource used to be called 'The survival guide to AfrikaBurn' and was printed out and distributed to participants at the event. However, a lot of the information required to 'survive' AfrikaBurn needs to be known long before you set foot in Tankwa Town, so today we have this website - Quaggapedia - the online encyclopedia of everything you need to know about attending AfrikaBurn, the event. If you're an old or new Burner, please take a bit of time to read through all the various sections and find out all about gifting, shitting and everything in between at AfrikaBurn.
This resource is maintained by a lovely group of AfrikaBurn volunteers from all around the world. If you want to volunteer and help us build this resource and make it as rich as possible, please contact [the Quaggapedia team] You can help us to translate it, enrich it and add information from your own AfrikaBurn experiences to help 'each one teach one'
Let's start at the very beginning ... AfrikaBurn is a community of creative participants who gather once a year to create art, dress up, perform, build theme camps, make music, create and drive mutant vehicles and express themselves in a multitude of ways. AfrikaBurn is a registered NPC (Non-Profit Company) so we're not trying to sell you anything or influence you to do anything other than be yourself. The AfrikaBurn event is built with a extensive, collaborative volunteer community and gifting culture, with gifting of yourself; your enthusiasm, creativity energy and time being the most precious.
The main annual AfrikaBurn event takes place in the Tankwa Karoo, located between the Northern Cape and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa. The next event in 2023 is from the 24th to the 30th of April. You can find out more about getting tickets to AfrikaBurn here.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES - The ideals that provide guidelines to how we as a community reinvent Tankwa Town (and ourselves) when we attend AfrikaBurn.
IF YOU ONLY READ ONE THING - Then make sure it's this page. It has the most basic of basic things you need to know before you enter Tankwa Town.
DECOMMODIFICATION - Nothing is for sale at AfrikaBurn - except ice.
PHONES, PHOTOS & PRIVACY IN TANKWA TOWN - AfrikaBurn is a 'Temporary Autonomous Zone', which means that you can be whoever you want to be in Tankwa Town. That also means that you need to respect the privacy of AfrikaBurn participants. Find out why it's a good idea to lose your mobile phone in Tankwa Town here.
GIFTING - What do you get as a gift for the person who has everything? Or has nothing? Gifting is a central aspect of AfrikaBurn and it's important to know how to give and receive a gift in the right way. Find out how to be a great gifter here.
AFRIKABURN DICTIONARY - There are loads of bizarre words and acronyms that the AfrikaBurn community has made up and adopted through the years. Make sure you know what MOOP is before you pack your glitter by reading more here. There is also a handy South African Slang page here.
Tankwa Town is the name of the temporary city that we build as a community of participants at every AfrikaBurn event. It's not like any other city you've been to before (even Black Rock City!). The first thing you're going to need to know is where on earth to find it. The journey can be long and treacherous, so please make sure you're educated by reading through this section of Quaggapedia.
GETTING THERE & DIRECTIONS - How to get to Tankwa Town. HOT TIP: Don't use GPS.
ON ARRIVAL - What do you need to get through the gate and into the event
WHEN IN TANKWA TOWN - Getting ready to explore Tankwa Town
TOILETS IN TANKWA TOWN - Our toilets have the best views, but no gold taps. Get toilet trained here.
SHOWERS IN TANKWA TOWN - There are none! There is no running water in Tankwa Town. You have to bring your own water to shower with. Read more here about how to dispose of said shower water: LEAVE NO TRACE
ETHICAL SUPPLIERS AND SUPPLIER DEPOT - Large camps and artworks often need support from the outside world, but we don't just let anyone on site in Tankwa Town. Find out more here.
LEAVE NO TRACE - Quaggafontein needs to look as pristine after the event as it did before. Find out how to leave no trace behind at AfrikaBurn here.
RADIO FREE TANKWA - The only source of up to date information in Tankwa Town. Don't forget to bring a radio!
AfrikaBurn is a community driven event and has a gazillion different ways to get involved. Making and being art, volunteering on or off site or supporting other participants in a multitude of ways are just a few. Find out how you can get involved here:
BRINGING ART TO AFRIKABURN - AfrikaBurn wouldn't be what it is without art! All are invited to express themselves creatively and artistically by creating thoughtful, whimsical or provocative pieces to bring to the event.
VOLUNTEER - Volunteering is a cornerstone of the AfrikaBurn experience. In fact, the event could not exist without extensive help from its participants. Volunteering for the event will elevate your burn in surprisingly fulfilling ways. Find out how to volunteer in Tankwa Town here.
RANGERS - The guardians of our participants and our culture. Find out about being a part of the AfrikaBurn Rangers here.
DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles) - Not all the art in Tankwa Town is fixed to the ground. Find out more about art cars and mutant vehicles here.
DPW (Department of Public Works) - The amazing group of people who build Tankwa Town and pack it away again afterwards.
SANCTUARY - A safe and supportive space if Tankwa Town gets overwhelming.
OUTREACH / COLLEXODUS - AfrikaBurn likes to leave the Karoo in a better state after the event has finished. Find out more here.
Survive and Thrive
BEFORE YOU GO, PREPARE - AfrikaBurn is not like any other event ... you need to get ALL your shit together before you take a trip to Tankwa Town.
FIRST TIME AT AFRIKABURN? - These tips cover the basics if you're brand new to Tankwa Town.
INTERNATIONAL BURNERS - Coming from a galaxy far far away? Read this!
CAMPING ADVICE - Help and advice with setting up camp in Tankwa Town
PLUG-AND-PLAY CAMPS AfrikaBurn is a decommodified, no profiteering zone, make sure you're keeping it that way!
BE WATERWISE - AfrikaBurn is held in a desert. Great if you're a xerocole, harder if you're a human being.
SOUND & QUIET - Doof doof doof doof doof doof.
CONSENT - HELL YES. Everyone must understand consent before entering Tankwa Town. Consent is more than just asking permission, so please educate yourself here so we can all feel safe burning with each other.
PERSONAL SAFETY - Keeping yourself and others safe in Tankwa Town.
PARENTING - We love having children in our Tankwa Town playground, but parenting in Tankwa Town is a unique challenge.
MEDICAL INFORMATION - Cut a finger off when building an artwork? Ate the leftover curry and can't stop feeling sick? Funny cough after eating a raw bat for breakfast? You might need to use the medics in Tankwa Town.
FIRE & FIRE SAFETY - Planning an open fire in your camp? Brought a flamethrower to AfrikaBurn? You need be sure you don't endanger yourself or others.
ACCESSIBILITY - AfrikaBurn can be attended and enjoyed by anyone, regardless of physical, mental, or alternate restrictions. However, AfrikaBurn takes place in a very harsh desert, so we need to make sure that appropriate support structures are in place.
BIKING - Fully clothed or not, a bicycle is a good way to get around Tankwa Town.
MUTANT VEHICLES - Want to bring a giant snail to ride on? Then you'll need to register with the DMV.
RULES OF THE ROAD - There are not too many rules in Tankwa Town, but when it comes to death machines there are a few very important ones.
PLANES, DRONES & AIRCRAFT - Planning on flying in for the afternoon? Looking for the Duty Free? Read this.
LOST AND FOUND - We have a lovely lost and found crew who can help you find missing objects, but not lost loves.
WHERE TO FIND (WTF) GUIDE 2023
2023 AFRIKABURN THEME- SPACE. A SPACE ODDITY. SPACETIME. SPACE RACE. SPACED OUT. A SPACE TO BE FREE. IN SPACE. DEEP SPACE. WATCH THIS SPACE. LOST IN SPACE
2023 SPACE POSTER - Artist Stanislaw Trzebinskiartist
Thank you for spending time on Quaggapedia and getting to know a bit more about AfrikaBurn before you arrive. You’re a rock star!
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