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What’s a Ranger?

Rangers are non-confrontational community mediators, and are there to promote awareness of potential hazards, ranging from sunburn to tent fires, and lots of other stuff in between. Ranger shifts are divided into day time, and night time rangering.  At its essence Rangering is about creating awareness of the Afrikaburn Ethos, creating good neighbourliness, and responding to crisis situations such as lost children, desert practicalities, and overwhelmed participants (fellow burners).

First time Rangers need to be familiar with the eleven basic principles upon which AfrikaBurn is based and what they mean in terms of security and dealing with conflict. AB is guided by the following eleven principles: Communal effort; Participation; Civic responsibility; Immediacy; Decommodification; Gifting; Leaving no trace; Radical inclusion; Radical self-reliance;  Radical self-expression and Each One Teach One (the role of education).

Our event has accredited security that are hired for the period, and they are there to lock down the gate if required, and back up the Rangers under extreme circumstances. Within Tankwa Town ‘law and order’ is maintained by two assumptions, firstly that Radical Self Reliance entails that each participant is proactive in terms of their own wellbeing and in terms of Participation and Civil responsibility proactive in terms of the wellbeing of others. Secondly is the assumption that a volunteer-based Ranger system can perceive dangers and mediate or manage them.

Rangering entails coming to a 5 hour training session and then signing up for at least one shift at the event. The more shifts, the more events, the more experience, the closer you become to the secret clan of deep desert Meerkats and the sacred order of the lower case orange.


There are three levels of rangers:

  • Dirt Rangers are the orange line that helps keeps the participants of Tankwa Town in their immediate participatory space.
  • Shift Leads are based in the Ranger HQ and play the dual role of supervisor and record keeper. Think of the crusty desk sergeant in the police station. Shift leads are experienced Rangers.
  • Ranger Commissars are the veteran Ranger go to for advice, oversight, and assistance with escalating or tricky situations.

Cape Town Training dates 2016:

Unless otherwise specified, Ranger meetings are at AfrikaBurn offices
(2nd floor Bijou building, 178 Lower Main Rd and Cole St – entrance via Cole St)

28 Jan Thursday (17:30 – 21:00)
06 Feb Saturday (10:00 – 14:30)
11 Feb Thursday (17:30 – 21:00)
20 Feb Saturday (10:00 – 14:30)
25 Feb Thursday (green dot / harm reduction focus) (17:30 – 21:00)
05 March Saturday (10:00 – 14:30)
07 April Thursday (17:30 – 21:00)


Johannesburg Training dates 2016

(all dates are Saturdays 10am – 4pm)
January: 9th and 16th
February: 6th, 13th and 20th
March: 12th and 19th.

Venue: 6 De Wet Street, Horison. (Ranger headquarters in JHB)

Please inform your aspirant Ranger friends to come along!
RSVP powerflower888@gmail.com (or Whattsapp on 0721864281) as spaces are limited to 10 people per training session.
(We’ll supply you with lunch and possibly some beers grin emoticon)

Training on site

Those interested in attending training on the weekend before the event please contact Ranger Bob to apply for early entry permits. We will also need a small dedicated crew to come early and help set up the ranger HQ, Sanctuary, and Ranger Accommodation (This year we have around 10 international rangers coming and local rangers are welcome to come camp under the ranger stretch tent together with visiting rangers and key sanctuary crew. Please let ranger bob know if you want to camp in ranger accommodation).

Questions asked about the Tankwa Town Rangers:

How do they manage to flame so well?
Why the car guard bibs?
Why do they seem so mellow in the face of danger?
What is fixation with orange?
Is Cpt Mushroom really a mushroom?

Much can be learnt from observing the Tankwa Town Ranger in his/her/its natural environment.

Listen to the banter of the rangers as they flock:
– at every start of a shift for a briefing at the ranger HQ
– at every sundown at the petrolheads burn briefings at the DMV

But biggest and most sacred is the Ommm:

The 2nd Orange Magnificent Moo Moo, where all Rangers on site are encouraged to come to Ranger HQ in full dress uniform and sing to the new laatlammetjies. Your children will ask you to tell the story of the day over and over again.

Interested in Signing up for Ranger Shifts?

Sign up here for Ranger shifts at AfrikaBurn 2016. 

Check out the Facebook Page here (comes with added event pages)

Get in touch: rangers@afrikaburn.com