One of the best ways to enjoy what South Africa offers is via camping. While the idea seems daunting, it isn’t so. What is even more interesting is that you will get up close and personal with nature like never before.
If you know little about camping or even South Africa you will need to do a bit of homework beforehand. Keeping this in mind, and to assist you in your research, below, I summarize what camping in South Africa is all about.
What to Expect?
For camping in Africa, you can choose from a variety of different experiences. If you are the type who wants to be challenged, you can always pitch a tent in the wild. You also have the option to sleep on the roof of a 4×4 or watch animals from the comfort of your bed. No matter what option you choose, you will not be disappointed by camping in South Africa.
Most people envision setting up an exquisite tent, cooking out in the open and sleeping on the ground when they think about adventure camping, which mostly is true.
If you opt for the adventure camping experience, you will be closer to the African wildlife. Note though, this option is popular amongst people that love the outdoors, or are on a budget. You can save even more if you set up camp outside designated camping areas, also referred to as wild camping.
In the case you are wild camping, you will share a certain area with locals from African villages. Even though you will only get the basics, you will still save a lot. This means you won’t have to pay much for a rewarding experience.
Before traveling to remote areas, make sure they are not owned privately though. If you are still not sure, you can always ask the local authorities to help you out.
Relax at Designated Campsites
If you want to have a more comfortable experience, then you should opt for designated campsites. These are mostly located within private game reserves and national parks. Expect most modern day conveniences including showers and toilets.
With larger campsites, you can expect power outlets, laundry equipment, and cooking facilities. These campsites can either be accessed by self-drive safaris or overland tours.
If you are not sure what an overland tour is, it is having the complete South African camping experience without any hassles. You get transportation, accommodation, and even food and activities included in overland tours.
Solo travelers will most enjoy such tours since the cost is spread across the total number of people taking part. Additionally, they will also spend less time going from one place to another, and will most likely find people they share interests with.
For flexibility and independence, look into an independent safari. Simply put, you will be in charge of how your experience will play out. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want, for as long as you want.
An independent safari, or self-driving safari, gives you the ability to rest whenever you want. Since most 4x4s come with rooftop tents, you can be as close to Mother Nature as you want to be. But if you want more amenities, you can simply head towards and a game reserve or National Park.
Things to Pack
Apart from knowing what activities you can partake in during your South African camping trip, there are a couple of things you will need to ensure you do not have any problems. The things you ought to carry vary, depending on your camping style though.
To camp in the wild, you need to be prepared for anything. You never know where you will go, so it is better to have the necessary gear since what you have is the best you will ever need.
Fortunately for you, there is no need to bring everything from home. You will come across numerous stores in cities, from where you can rent camping equipment. In case you need additional supplies, you can visit these stores at any time.
If you are on a tour, the organizers will provide the necessary gear including bell tents for camping. So the only important thing you need to worry about is packing your suitcase.
That being said, to make sure you have everything you need for your camping trip, here is a comprehensive checklist for you to consider.
Tips to Consider
Whether you are camping at designated campsites, or out in the wilderness, you are still at risk. For this reason, here are a couple of tips for you to consider, for your safety as well as Mother Nature’s:
- Visit your healthcare provider before departing to ensure you are fit as a fiddle.
- Drink plenty of water during your camping trip.
- Keep applying sunscreen, and wear headwear and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
- Pack and clean up your campsite before you head out.
- Buy firewood, or use dead wood for campfires. Always remember to extinguish your campfire before hitting the sack.
- Find a spot that is as flat as possible to set up camp. Make sure your camp is not too close to water bodies and game trails.