Africa can be the land of your dreams or the worst of your nightmares. Though we’re not pioneer explorers from the Middle Ages going into unmapped territory anymore, Africa is not less dangerous now, than it was 500 years ago for merchants and travellers. Surely, modern technology, such as trusty SUV’s and internet are making things a whole lot easier for us, but they can also become our enemies if we recklessly make use of them, or, in the case of the internet, we do not check the sources of our information. Because I’m a veteran traveler, I would like to offer safari amateurs and novice travellers a short guide for their first trip to Africa, from what I’ve learnt the hard way.
- If you’re a first time camper in Africa, trace a detailed route of your trip and stick to the organized camps for which you have previously gathered thorough information. There are many camps you can choose from throughout the African continent and you shouldn’t worry about facilities: most of them are equipped with toilets and showers. It is true, they are not always clean and water can be cold, but you will rarely find a camp lacking basic facilities.
- Have your car checked up properly before you leave, to ensure it won’t break along the road.
- Buy the best truck tent. In the wilderness and in any kind of emergency, an SUV tent is your safest option.
Why is that? Firstly, because they are near your car. Most SUV tents are attached to your vehicle with a solid strap, and you can go into the safety space provided by your car (more than your tent anyway) without going outside. Secondly, SUV tents are built to provide plenty of space, they can accommodate 6 or 7 people, so they are also an economic solution for a safari. Thirdly, most models designed for SUVs can be modified and set up as a standalone tent, so you have both options included. I’ve been using an SUV tent for a long time now and I’ve always felt safer and more comfortable sleeping in one.
- However, take all the necessary information before you acquire an SUV tent, and don’t forget to check if the desired model is adapted for an African safari.
- Keep your camping equipment clean. Dirt is a road companion you get used to when camping through Africa, but that doesn’t mean it should occupy more space than you do inside your tent. Every time you pack your gear, clean it properly and check for any cracks and holes in your tent’s canvas. Though this may seem like incredibly boring, especially since it will take you a lifetime to pack and unpack your gear in the first days of your trip, it is an absolute necessity to do it daily.
- If you have the necessary funds, pamper yourself a bit. In a long journey, you’ll need to rest at least a day. For that, visit one of the luxury tent camps that you can find along the way.