South Africa is brimming with stunning places in which to go camping, ranging from the exquisite Drakensburg Mountains to the coastline of the wild Transkei. Camping is special. It allows holiday-makers to experience the country in a very personal way; being part of the natural flora around them without the physical limitations of hotel rooms or lodge boundaries.
Still, without the luxuries of formal accommodation establishments, the only way to enjoy a camping trip is to prepare for it properly. This means making comprehensive checklists of what you need to pack and packing well ahead of time to ensure that you have absolutely everything you need. All too often, last-minute packing leads to a motley assortment of random clothing items and foods, leaving a lot to be desired from the camping trip.
So, to enjoy your camping experience as much as possible, include the following things in your bags
- Insect repellent and citronella candles. These will keep bugs and mosquitoes at bay so that you are comfortable and healthy during your excursions. Consider getting mosquito nets for children, if necessary
- A high-factor sunscreen. Reapply this throughout the day, even if it is overcast. Sunburn can make your camping trip a painful experience. This is especially important for children, who tend to spend camping holidays playing outdoors, completely unaware of the effects of the UV rays on their bodies
- A hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and face from harmful UV rays
- Water purification tablets. Whether or not there is not safe drinking water available, you may find yourself in a situation in which you urgently need clean water and it is not readily accessible to you
- Comfortable shoes for walking / hiking as well as for showering in a public ablution block
- Light, but warm clothing for evenings and mornings, even during the warm summer months. Of course, camping during winter means packing plenty of warm, even thermal, gear
- Safe drinking water
- Copies of your ID book as well as any medical information that may need to be conveyed in the case of you not being conscious or able to talk. Being away from home and without the medical facilities of a hotel makes you vulnerable. In addition, you will likely be swimming and walking long distances, opening you up to accidents that are a little out of the ordinary
- A first aid kit containing anti-septic, soothing coolant for burns, bandages, pain killers, anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea tablets, antihistamines, and so on
- Your camera and binoculars, so that you do not miss out on a thing
- A solar-powered torch and/or lantern
- Plates, cups and crockery, as these are not usually provided by campsites
- One or two dehydrated meals that are filling, nutritious and only require being heated up on the fire (such as tinned curried vegetables) or rehydrated
Camping makes for a stunning family holiday or romantic getaway. With a little preparation, you can ensure that yours is a camping holiday to remember.