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Camping in South Africa Do’s and Don’ts

The farther one gets into the wilderness , the greater is the attraction of it’s lonely freedom. We can never get enough of nature.

To be whole, to be complete, wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to, rather than what we are separate from.

They say camping is not for everyone, but I feel that with proper preparation and research camping can be for everyone, this is coming from someone who used to hate the idea of sleeping outdoors.

It’s normal for first time campers to be nervous and unsure of the thought of being away from civilisation , away from the city lights, away from the comfort of our own beds and to be one with nature.

To put your mind at ease and offer you a little guidance for your first camping trip in South Africa, here are the Do’s and Don’ts for a successful camping trip.

The Do’s


  • Research the park you will be camping at
  • Make a booking prior to your arrival instead of just showing up, this guarantees you a spot and saves you from disappointment.
  • Make a list of  all the essentials you will need in order to make sure that nothing vital is left behind.

Example of a list of essentials for camping

  1. Tent
  2. Sleeping bag
  3. Mosquito repellent
  4. Lot’s of food and water
  5. Sun screen
  6. Proper shoes
  7. Warm clothing
  8. Toiletries
  9. Wood
  10. Fire lighters/blitz
  11. Braai grill (unless it’s provided by the park)
  12. Matches/lighter
  13. Coolerbox
  14. Pack flash lights
  15. Black bags (for thing you will need to dispose of)
  • Pitch your tent properly on a flat surface, his way you’ll be more comfortable and less likely to wake up with a sore back and make sure that rain cover is secure and on properly over your tent.
  • Take some entertainment , such as card games and board games incase the weather changes . Despite what the weather man says, it’s always important to have back up as mother nature has proven us time after time that she can be pretty indecisive.
  • Pack outdoor games such as a soccer ball or a bat and cricket ball, as we know, mother nature does love showing off as well.
  • Pack a first aid kit, anything can happen while camping and there is a possibility that the nearest hospital will be hours away.

The Don’ts

  • Litter (take black bags/disposal bags)
  • Leave food and other things of value laying around unattended
  • Show up without a booking
  • Leave fire blazing when you retire to your tent
  • Get there in the dark, this will make setting up more of a mission than it already needs to be and it can be dangerous.
  • Feed the wild animals
  • Disrespect your neighbours
  • Last but not least, don’t forget the toilet paper.

Remember that camping is about getting away ,shutting out the busy world

breathing in fresh crisp air and clearing the mind. It’s the best kind of escape:)

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