South Africa is blessed with hundreds of top-notch campsites in some of the most spectacular settings you can imagine. From the lush forests of Tsitsikamma, to the majestically desolate Kalahari Desert, the soaring peaks of the Drakensberg and the wilds of Kruger, campers enjoy an unmatched connection with their surrounds.
As temperatures begin to warm up going into spring, it’s time to dust off the camping gear and pitch your tent in these beautiful areas. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.
Check your gear: After being stowed for a long time, your gear could be subjected to damage from insects or dampness. Check for tears or holes in your tents and groundsheets, and make sure that your gas stoves are fully topped up and functional. Also ensure that you have all the correct rainwear, boots and warm clothes needed for the area you want to visit.
Take advantage of technology when planning your trip: Google Earth is a fantastic way to get a better understanding of the terrain and areas you may want to explore while out camping. Print out a satellite image of the area and map out a possible itinerary. Take the map with you as a handy way of keeping your bearings.
Charge up your batteries: Most campsites in South Africa have electrical points where you can power up your electronic devices, but if you’re going off the beaten path, make sure that your cellphone and camera batteries are fully charged. Also make sure that the batteries in your torch and camping lights are full and that you have plenty of spares – it’s not much fun camping without a light source.
Take note of the weather: Remember to check the weather forecast for the area you’re visiting. This will allow you to pack the appropriate gear and stock up on any waterproof or warm clothing that you may not have. Being unprepared for inclement weather can be harmful for not only your morale, but your health too.