Generally camping in South Africa is quite easy.
On my trial run in the South of England the week before I left, I had to contend with rain, gale force winds and ground so soft it was like pegging our tent in soup! I’d used 2 sleeping bags, a hot water bottle and a double layer of thermals to keep warm!! Compared to that, South Africa is simple.
My main problem this trip was being too hot to sleep – can’t say I’ve ever encountered that in the UK!!
A potential problem could have been that the ground was too hard for pegs, but my holiday-buddy had read up on that – and had packed nails for both herself and me! (We had 4” ones, 6” would have been even better). We also took a mallet, even though it was heavy…with baked hard ground it was well worth its weight in baggage allowance!!
My buddy had a ‘lunar’ tent by First Ascent. In the picture below she’s left off the outer shell to be cooler. Great idea… until it started raining in the night!!!
I slept in the ‘spaceship’ (AKA hyperlight ultamid-4 ) and if felt luxurious having it all to myself on my comfi new sleeping mat!
Being as the northern part of Kruger Park is a malaria zone, I bought myself a mosquito net. I went with this Sea-to-Summit net because it was chemically treated and has a mesh size of 516 holes per inch. (The WHO recommends a minimum of 156 holes per square inch).
I used a bent paperclip hooked into the holes of our adjustable tent pole to hang it, which worked well. Fortunately I’d had a practise run and realised that tucking it under my lightweight, mummy-shaped mat wasn’t going to work. To get round this I used the loops at the bottom of the net (designed for pegging it out) and tied a piece of elastic between the two at the head-end and the same at the foot-end. This gave me a net which I could suspend from my improvised hook and then loop under my mat securely. After a few nights I learn to take my water-bottle, book etc inside the net with me. By leaving them at my ‘bedside’ it held the net out a bit, meaning it wasn’t so near my face.
The only bit of kit that didn’t work well was my sleeping-bag. I couldn’t bring myself to go camping without it, but even in a compression sack, it took up a lot of suitcase space, and I didn’t need it. A couple of times I pulled it over me, but a thin blanket or even a jumper would have sufficed. More often I woke up sweating and wondering how it could be so hot even though the sun had also gone to bed!