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Camping Safaris Guide: How to build a campfireby Dalene Ingham-Brown

We're not all Bear Grylls. We don't eat live scorpions, we don't crawl into small caves for cosy outdoor shelter and we don't start fires using friction. Stuff like that doesn't come naturally to most of us anyway. So if you're venturing out on one of your first camping safaris in Africa, and you feel the need to get in touch with your primitive side, take over the duty of starting the campfire with the below tips on how to build a campfire. Below is a quick video showing you how to build a campfire from scratch.

You’ll be sitting around the dirt eating untoasted marshmallows if you don’t learn how to build a proper campfire for your camping safaris in Africa.

You will need:

1.Wood 2. Matches/lighter


1. Rocks 2. Shovel

Step 1 Make sure a campfire is allowed at your campsite. Some camping safari spots tend to be surrounded by dry vegetation which can ignite easily if strong wind crops up and blows embers into them.

Step 2 See if your campsite has pre-made fire pits. If not, you’ll have to make one.

Step 3 To create your own fire pit, choose a spot at least 10 feet away from brush and other easily flammable materials. Don’t forget to look up – fire pits should not be under branches. Safaris in Africa are about enjoying each area's natural beauty. You wouldn't want to smoke out any critters or birds away from their homes.

Step 4 Surround your fire pit with a circle of stones or rocks to keep your wood contained. If you have a shovel, dig a pit about 6 – 8 inches deep inside your rock pile.

Step 5 Gather wood. You’ll need three different types. 1. Tinder: small twigs and dry leaves. 2. Kindling: larger sticks and twigs still under an inch in diameter. 3. Fuel wood: large pieces of wood that will burn for a while. All wood should be dry and as free of dirt, moss, and debris as possible. Pile it at least 3 feet away from your fire pit.

Step 6 Start by placing tinder in the centre of your fire pit.

Step 7 Using 3 or 4 pieces of your kindling and build a teepee around the tinder.

Step 8 Add more kindling to the downwind side of your teepee, then continue around to the upwind side. Leave an opening on the upwind side that will allow you to ignite the tinder within the teepee. Fire needs oxygen, so be sure to leave space between the kindling in your teepee to allow your fire to breathe.

Step 9 Lay two parallel pieces of fuel wood on opposite sides of the teepee. The end should extend beyond your teepee. Lay two more pieces of wood on top of your first two, forming a square of fuel wood enclosing the teepee.

Step 10 Continue laying fuel wood building up to a box that resembles a log cabin. Two or three layers will suffice. Make sure you can still access the tinder which is now inside the kindling teepee, which is inside your fuel wood cabin.

Step 11 Light the tinder at several different locations. Stand upwind of your fire when you’re lighting it to keep the wind from blowing out your match or lighter.

Step 12 Add small amounts of tinder until your kindling catches fire.

Step 13 Once the kindling lights, switch your attention to the fuel wood. As the kindling burns up, add more fuel wood until it ignites.

Step 14 When the fuel wood has caught fire, continue feeding it with fuel wood as needed. Now if that isn't fire making for camping safaris made easy, then I don't know what is! Good job! Now that your campfire is successfully burning, get ready to roast those marshmallows!

Camping safaris in Africa not only broaden your view of the world but are also a great way to boost confidence and make discover your independent. Today a campfire. Tomorrow the world.

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