BewilderBeast Five | Oppikoppi


Once a year, during the second weekend of August, revellers from all walks of life assemble at the bottom of a hill in the mining town of Northam. To the rest of South Africa, this weekend is cause for the celebration and upliftment of women. But to the 20000-strong microcosm of species in the Northam Rock Reserve, the only thing that matters is OPPIKOPPI.

For 19 years all-sorts have taken the journey to Limpopo to unleash their beasts and this year, Oppikoppi BewilderBeast will be no different. With the festival ‘ommi draai’; the Fuss in association with National Geographic has compiled the BewilderBeast Five. This is a non-scientific representation of the type of beast you’re likely to encounter on the dusty paths of the Northam Rock Reserve. Think the Big 5 without the over-zealous game ranger.

The Sleeping Beast

Scientific Name : Hibernationus Bearum


The Sleeping Beast is a staple at arts and music festivals throughout the world. This class of beast can be found in hibernation anywhere from the portaloos to the corner of Freedom Avenue and Diepsloot. This species has developed the uncanny ability to slumber obliviously in the soaring heat of the day as well as the blistering cold of the night. This skill comes to Hibernationus Bearum through the copious consumption of fermented barley or distilled spirits – which allows this beast to give zero fucks about its environmental surroundings (as pictured above).

The sleeping beast is often seen clutching an empty jug in its right paw with a return-to-sender stamp tattooed on their left arm. The wild sleeping beasts are characterised by the absence of a return-to-sender marking – Do not attempt to awake a wild sleeping beast. If you are worried the beast has been injured, alert one of the Northam Rock Reserve rangers.

The Sitting Duck

Scientific Name : Sofaking Voorberei


This normal looking species is characterised by the decorated furniture (formerly known as an oppicouch) which acts as a mechanical extension of its body. Ant-like in it’s perseverance – one case has been documented where Sitting Ducks hauled an oppicouch from Dionysus Drive, on the outskirts of the Reserve, to the top of the koppi. The tireless ability of the Sofaking Voorberei arises from its pursuit for comfortable lounging as well as an opportunity for an unrivalled view of the rituals which take place on the reserve.

This social beast is usually spotted in groups of two or more and you will never find this nomadic species travelling alone. After years of observation animal behaviourists concluded that there is only one social precept this species subscribes to – Geen dra, Geen sit.


Scientific Name : Optimus Prawn


This species is arguably the most common you can locate on the Northam Rock Reserve. While its reptilian namesake transforms it skin in order to camouflage, the Oppikameleon goes through a exterior transformation to ensure it does not blend in with its environment.

The most evolved species, the Optimus Prawn has grown a diversity of sub-species. Pictured below are but a few of the various types of Oppioppioppikameleon (From top left, clockwise) – Cosplay Oppikameleon, Onesie Oppikameleon, OppiCARmeleon, Fluorescent Night Oppikameleon.


The species population has grown at such a rate that the Northam Rock Reserve Committee has introduced a new feature to this years’ program of festivities; The Running of the Beasts. Think opening sequence of Lion King – just less feline and more surreal and beastly.


Scientific Name : Gallop Kaaloop


A new species, the Boomslang was discovered in 2012 during Oppikoppi SWEETTHING. Not much is known about this species and some thought it a myth until the species was documented in photographs.

The Gallop Kaaloop only comes out once a year for a short duration to perform a ritual known as the Boomstreet500. During this ritual the Boomslang sheds its exterior coating to reveal what is scientifically known as a birthday suit.

Thus far only the male breed of this species has been discovered, leading researchers to believe the Boomstraat500 is a territorial ritual.


Scientific Name : OK Veteran


This is the oldest Northam Rock Reserve species known to man. This mythical species was around when the reserve opened its gate’s in 1994. The Rafiki’s natural habitat lies close to the intersection of Kramer Draai and Piet Botha Duikweg. Informally known as The Walking Koos Kombuis Encyclopedia, this species keeps with it the secrets of the hills.

They know what lies on the other end of the reenboog nasie.

There is a myth that if you look deep into a Rafiki’s eyes you will see the Unknown Brother.

There would be no Oppikoppi without the Rafiki.


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