Chris’s Road Trip to AfrikaBurn

Two weeks ago I took a road trip down through Namibia and into South Africa to visit the AfrikaBurn festival, which is South Africa’s answer to Nevada’s Burning Man. Jenna stayed at CCF to take care of the garden and her other projects.

My trusty car / house

My trusty car / house

I rented a car in Windhoek that came with a built-in bed and camping equipment – necessary items for surviving out in the dry “karoo” desert where the festival has taken place since 2007. The car might be the only “Condor” that you will see in our Condor and Cheetah blog!

Quivertrees, or Kokerboom, named because the San used hollow branches to hold their arrows

Quivertrees, or Kokerboom, named because the San used hollow branches to hold their arrows

My first night was spent at the Quivertree Forest near Keetmanshoop in Southern Namibia. It was an unreal landscape with Dr. Seuss style trees, and I found some unusual friends living in the rocks nearby.

Curious rock hyrax at the Quivertree Forest

Curious rock hyrax at the Quivertree Forest

The B1 highway that runs south to the South Africa border is long and lonely, with tiny towns spaced widely apart with drier and drier landscapes in between.

Crazy plant along the lonely B1 highway through southern Namibia

Crazy plant along the lonely B1 highway through southern Namibia

After a surprisingly easy border crossing, more desert driving and a night camped on the side of a gravel road south of Calvinia, South Africa, I arrived at AfrikaBurn. The following pictures will give a little taste of this festival, which celebrates radical self-sufficiency, gift sharing and free expression (and of course, lots of art, dancing and burning stuff).

The view out on the "Binnekring" - the main open area where the art pieces stand

The view out on the “Binnekring” – the main open area where the art pieces stand

P1000876

P1000882

P1000897

Nice day for a... purple wedding

Nice day for a… purple wedding

P1000912

P1000923

P1000933

This mutant bus comes complete with a dance party

This mutant bus comes complete with a dance party

The San Clan (the central art piece) burns on Saturday night

The San Clan (the central art piece) burns on Saturday night

After 4 days of wandering around, meeting friendly South Africans, enjoying desert art and dancing at night, it was time to start making my way back up north to my home base in Namibia.

At the Nieuwoudtville Wildlife Reserve

At the Nieuwoudtville Wildflower Reserve

My campsite on the Orange River, the border between South Africa and Namibia

My campsite on the Orange River, the border between South Africa and Namibia

I left enough time to make a detour out to see the Fish River Canyon, which may be the second largest canyon in the world (after the Grand Canyon) depending on how you measure it. The road from the Orange River to the canyon was one of the driest, most desolate and fiercely beautiful roads I have ever driven.

P1010020

P1010022

P1010028

Fish River Canyon - the largest canyon in Africa?

Fish River Canyon – the largest canyon in Africa?

It was a long way to drive, but I had a lot of fun and saw some amazing sights.

Back with the quiver trees, at the Mesosaurus Fossil Site, near Keetmanshoop, Namibia

Back with the quiver trees, at the Mesosaurus Fossil Site, near Keetmanshoop, Namibia

Chris

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Chris’s Road Trip to AfrikaBurn

  1. steve

    awesome pics chris, beautiful camp site on the river. it must have been nice to get out on the road again. i can feel your happiness.
    steve

    Reply
  2. lonna

    thank you for the travelogue, chris. amazing stuff. i especially was intrigued by that weird plant you photographed. almost looked like flattened puff ball flowers. what a long, strange trip it’s been huh?
    love to you both,
    lonna

    Reply
  3. David Airey

    Wow what a trip! And what a Trip! (AfrikaBurn!) Great to see all that Chris. Reminds me so much of the American Southwest, Grand Canyon an’all. Thanks for sharing.
    Love to you and Jenna
    David

    Reply
  4. gregory kulbacki

    hi, chris…
    thanks for the travelogue into south africa.
    i save all of your photos and their descriptions…
    you have brought a new world to me out here
    in carlsbad, ca. it’s good to remember that there
    is a different way to live. i wonder how this experience will
    change you…when (if?) you ever return!!!
    greg…

    Reply
  5. Chavoux

    @Ionna: Hi Chris
    That “weird looking plant” is a n!oba or Hoodia sp. (used in some appetite-suppressing medicine). You can cut a “branch”, skin it and eat the bitter insides to get some fluids, if you run out of water. Apparently it also helps for hunger.
    Hope to see you guys again in Namibia some-time!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s