Camping safaris can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences you ever have, but only if you’re properly prepared with the right knowledge and the right gear, especially when you’re venturing off on safaris in Africa.
Watch this quick YouTube video about camping safari tips for beginners and get clued-up in a jiffy. Alternatively, just read the great camping tips below.
The Tent on Camping Safaris
First and foremost, you need a tent for camping safaris. The number of people you’ll have sleeping in your tent will determine the size of the tent you need. Rule of thumb: always get a tent that will sleep two more people than you intend to have. If you’re a family of four, get a six man tent. Why? You’ll need the extra room to store your duffle bags, backpacks, shoes, boots and other gear.
It’s also nice, but not necessary, to have a tent you can stand up in. It makes getting in and out a little easier, as well as getting dressed and undressed.
You’ll want to set your tent up on level ground, it is very uncomfortable to pitch your tent on uneven or slanted terrain. You’ll need all the sleep you can get on safaris in Africa, with days filled with hiking, game viewing, dilated pupils and adventure.
Meal Planning on Camping Safaris
Okay, so you’ve made it to the campground. The tent is up, the gear is in. Well, you could take a break. I mean, you worked hard! You deserve it! Crack open a cold one and relax. Okay, enough relaxation, time to plan your meals.
If you’re going camping with a group of people, then you’ve got some meal planning to do. How many people are you going to feed, and how often? Perhaps each person, or family can be responsible for one meal, or one day of meals for the entire group. Talk to each other beforehand. Good meal planning can prevent waste, and starvation. As far as what food to bring, well, whatever you normally eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner is what you’ll bring.
If you’re going on an overland trip with fellow passengers, your overland guide is a great source of help for what food you should prepare for an overland truck full of hungry bellies, if it’s your turn to cook.
Campfire Building on Camping Safaris
Okay, now you want to get some kindling. Kindling? Small pieces of wood that will burn quickly in order to get the fire started. Go out and gather some small branches. Pick them up off the ground in the area surrounding your campsite. On a camping safari, you don’t want to venture off into the bush without a guide on a safari in Africa. There are wild animals out there. Also, cutting branches off trees is a no-no. Green wood won’t burn anyway.
If you bought a bag of firewood, there should be some narrowly cut wood in there. Use that. Firstly, take some newspaper, or any other paper, for that matter, scrunch it up in a ball, and place it in the middle of the fire ring. Now you are going to build a little teepee around it. Use the kindling first, then surround it with larger logs. Now you’re just about ready for ignition. Light the paper in the middle, which in turn will burn the kindling, which in turn will burn the logs.
All right, you’re not going to have a real flamer in 10 seconds, it is going to take a little work: you may have to re-light it a few times, blow on the embers, stoke it a bit, but eventually you will succeed.