When “Black Panther” was released in theaters in February, it became a cultural phenomenon. Millions of moviegoers around the world became acquainted with Wakanda, the mythical African nation whose advanced society is hidden from the outside world behind a holographic camouflage. In the film, technology plays a big role, from the prevalence of vibranium to the use of kimoyo beads to remote piloting of planes.
We asked readers to share their views of what Wakanda would look like if they could actually visit the country. Here are some of the best responses we received, with visions of the fictional country by the artists Richie Pope and Ojima Abalaka.
Kacper Jarecki Using hologram technology, visitors can play and cuddle cheetahs. This is really popular with families. There is a cheetah gym facility where people get to experience running at 40 miles per hour!
There is also a giant rainbow waterfall, which is the biggest water park in the world. Of course, this water park is not completely real, but the thrill is just as real, if not more so.
The library is very beautiful and every person who lived in Wakanda has their own book, which is a computer-generated biography. It’s really fun reading about all the different people. And architecturally, the building is second to none.
Then, of course, there is the amazing night sky, with close-up views of the stars and planets. Tourists can actually zoom in with their fingers to enlarge and expand the night sky.
The New York Times is free to everyone in Wakanda, and boisterous political discussions can be heard in cafes in the mornings 😉
Britni Rillera Start with three days in the city center on walking tours through the markets and riding the trains to chic destinations. Then I’d want a waterfall-infinity pool tour! Possibly with snorkeling in ceyotes? I imagine staying in an eco-friendly boutique hotel in a cave with an incredible spa. And then a luxe resort high in the mountains with unbelievable star gazing, gorgeous hiking trials and an incredible chef.
Jyhjong Hwang Here’s a 10-day tour that showcases the variety of renewable energy sources adapted to different environments, along with traditional attractions.
1. Hydropower plus natural infinity pool: Enjoy the view over the lip of the waterfall, like the Angel’s Pool at Victoria Falls. Downstream at the waterfall where the ritual combat took place, see the run-of-the-river hydropower plant, which is like the Gouina Hydroelectric Plant in Mali.
2. Geothermal plus hot springs: Because there was a meteor strike not too long ago, active geological activities gave rise to geothermal plants, like the Olkaria Geothermal Stations in Kenya. Then jump into hot springs infused with vibranium.
3. Wind turbines plus mountain gorillas: In the windy mountains where M’Baku’s tribe lives, wind turbines line the snowy valley, as they do in some places in Alaska. Then visit the mountain gorillas below the snow line, just like you would at Virunga National Park.
4. Solar panels plus rhino safari: In the open plains around the borders of the country, there is a mix of photovoltaic panels and solar towers like they have in South Africa. Then a safari drive among hundreds of wild rhinos.
All transportation will be via underground maglev trains, like Japan’s Chuo Shinkansen under construction now, or electric/hybrid cars, which constituted over half the new cars sold in Norway in 2017. Wakanda does not produce crude oil (too much geological activity), nor does it import any from surrounding countries. If Wakanda had to rely on imported oil for all their development, they would have blown their cover long ago.
This is not science fiction. This is and can be real life. Try harder, human. Make this one a better place so you don’t have to escape to another.
Lisa Hernandez Wakanda has several specialized science museums with advanced interactive exhibits for explaining physics, astronomy, biology and other branches of learning.
One should definitely attend performances from Wakandan griots that take place in neighborhood outdoor amphitheaters. These are generally small, casual spaces and allow the audience to mix in and participate. Depending on your interest, you can find griots specializing in history, engineering, design and aeronautics, as well as more traditional fictional tales. Performance schedules are publicized through fliers, posters (Wakandans take great pride in their graphic design traditions), in local media and on WakandaNet.
Because of safety and national security concerns, there are no tours of the vibranium mines, but the Cave of the Winds was a small gold mine that was historically used for research and development, and testing for vibranium-mining equipment and techniques; it later became a center for Wakandan airship technology, as gold mining became increasingly irrelevant to the Wakandan economy. The Cave of the Winds now boasts unique aeronautical adventure courses in which jetpacks, hovercraft, maglev transportation and other small air technologies are tested. The Amawele course (the twins course) is gentle enough for tourists to try with a “umoyashare,” a two/four-person aircycle that is commonly used by Wakandan teenagers. Those who prefer a more comfortable seat than the umoyashare offers can go to a virtual reality parlor where several courses can be experienced.
Those interested in masks and other carving arts should note that as mining technology advanced in Wakanda, much of the older equipment was repurposed or redesigned for sculpture and modeling, so don’t be surprised to see many Wakandan buildings with elaborate moldings and dioramas carved into the doors and entranceways of even the smallest buildings in the most remote parts of Wakanda.
Casey Chon I’ve always imagined Wakanda having a Center for Languages — where people can come and go and become fluent in any and all languages. It would be full of human interaction aided by technology, not the other way around. And then of course, you’d leave the center and go straight to the country whose language you’ve just learned.
Debbie Smyth It should have lakes as blue as Tahoe, white sand beaches and beautiful wildflowers. The weather should be mild like Oakland, and it should have the best barbecue on earth.
Louis Kramberg I would plan a trip to Wakanda the same as I would any other vacation. I always want to meet the people of an area and experience their daily lives as closely as possible. My favorite scene in the movie was the walk through the marketplace contrasting with their advanced technology. For me, this would be the immersive Wakanda experience.
Meher Khan A graceful levitation. Mysterious nooks and crannies. Breathtaking glimmers of past, present and future. Infinite potential. Uncurling state-of-the-art quarks, physiology, art, soul, singularities. Finally a lustful cry into the burst bubble.
Esther Greenfield I would see the rhinos which are being trained as warriors — when, that is, they are not playing and kissing their trainers.
Jenny Arlene Small neighborhoods of souks exhibiting vibrant batik tunics, biodynamic coffee beans, Wakandan theorists à la bell hooks and Frantz Fanon.
Large preserves of indigenous gorilla families, overseen by the mountain tribe warriors.
Small cul-de-sacs containing gyms, tracks and spear sheds, where girls entering their teens train for the Wakandan military.