Southern Africa is ideal for a camping safari...Why? To go on an African Camping safari you first need a place to camp!
There are numerous camping sites to be found all over the region. This certainly makes it easy to find a place to camp no matter where you are traveling.
There is not a game reserve that does not have camping facilities and to me, a safari is synonymous with camping. I love camping. I love traveling off the beaten track, arriving at a campsite, setting up camp and then to light a fire, sitting back and relaxing while cooking up something on the fire.
To me, camping is simply the cherry on the cake of a Magical Southern African Camping Safari.
It certainly is more demanding than simply staying at one of the many excellent lodges, hotels or chalets available in Southern Africa.
Me, I enjoy planning a safari. The time spent before going on a safari is part of the magic. Checking out all the camping equipment making sure nothing is forgotten, planning the route and where to stay. Then finally you arrive at your destination and it all come together!
But then, and this is me, if you are going on a safari, you have to rough it a little! Travel the gravel roads...sleep in the tents... bath in the river... but then, that is me. Just remember, a Southern African Safari is what you make of it and that is what makes camping South Africa great. You can camp with facilities ranging from a spade to a long drop to a flush toilet to a bidet... Eisch!
The point is, we have something for everyone. That is what makes camping South Africa a great kick off point to the rest of Africa. Get the T shirt here, do the rest later...
African camping safaris and self drive safaris go hand in hand...
Once you have decided on your destination, you get to plan the route, the campsites, the food to take along. Depending on the facilities available at your destination, you might have to take more or less. Also depending on how comfortable you like to be while on a African camping safari you might want to take along additional or more luxurious camping gear.
For example, a comfortable chair certainly makes a difference. Things like gas lights and cookers may be required. If you are camping in a tent you might want to take along a stretcher instead of sleeping on the ground.
On the other hand, a camper or a caravan could be the answer.
Personally, I prefer an off road trailer as this is an excellent compromise between the luxury of caravans and campers opposed to roughing it in a tent.
Not that camping in a tent is necessarily roughing it. There are so many cool camping gadgets available nowadays to make camping a pleasure.
With a caravan you can really set up a camp that is home away from home. Unfortunately, you are limited to traveling roads with good, preferably tarred surfaces.
With a tent, you can go anywhere your vehicle can but are limited as to what you can take along depending on the space in your vehicle.
A camper off course, is a good option because of the ease of setting up camp and departing again the next morning. You have the same luxury levels as with caravan but are not limited to good roads only. It certainly gives you the capability if traveling back roads. This would probably be my choice if I came from abroad on an African camping safari until such time I am comfortable to really get off the beaten track.
If you want to go bush, a 4X4 vehicle with tents is the way to go but once again, you have several choices from stand alone tents to rooftop tents to off road trailers and off road caravans.
Although I have camped extensively with tents and caravans, I have found that a off road trailer allows you to travel just about anywhere and you can set up a comfortable camp very quickly and efficiently.
You are at home in a modern caravan park as well as in the bush with little or no facilities as you can take everything you need with you.
So, ultimately the choice is yours. Just remember though, if you come on a self drive African camping safari, come prepared for all conditions.