Defeating the odds – Why camping in the tent is great

Why camping in a tent in the Kruger National Park is great

Every muscle is aching and my joints crack, when I get out of our tiny tent. We’ve got self-inflatable mattresses, which provide minimal comfort. It seems to me after one night of struggling to sleep on the hard ground an undoubtedly huge bravery on our part to book four weeks in the Kruger Park at several campsites from Pretorius Kop in the South up to Punda Maria, the northernmost camp.

camping in the Kruger
camping in the Kruger

Strange enough, the body adapts already after one night. The sound of the zip, which opens the narrow entrance flap of only 80 cm high, goes over into your blood as well as the pitching loud wake up call of the franklins at dawn. The Whoooooohups of the hyenas and roars of the lions in the night, which gave you the chills down your spine first, only fulfil you with entire happiness in the following nights.

Lethaba River

When we were initially traveling with a caravan in South Africa two years ago, we laughed about campers, who seemed always to be looking for missed or forgotten items. It is indeed a rather large issue to get organized well with such limited space, so that everything is available without having to search or dig between boxes and bags in the car. We are also not quite there, to be called well-organized. We always forget most essential things (like the tent or a mattress, don’t tell anyone!), but there is always a plan (n’ boer maak n’ plan). Undoubtedly with practise we’ll get better!

Waterbock at the Letaba River
Waterbock at the Letaba River

Despite all the odds – nothing beats camping giving you the entire pleasure of being as close to nature as can be. The beat of the bush gets to you through the thin ground sheet of the tent. Animal sounds and smells surround you, while you count the limitless stars in the pitch black, unpolluted sky. And, by camping in a tent, which height is only half the size of your body, you make sure to stay agile, as you have to bend and kneel constantly. Good exercise for your body! So, after initial doubts, we start to be real campers. Go for it, too. You won’t regret!

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“InspireAs We Saw It travel photo blog

Author: Marcelle Simone Heller

I’m searching for natural beauty and wilderness, while I’m travelling relentlessly to find delightful places and encounters with wildlife. I try to capture the thrill of the moments in photography and words, hoping to inspire others with the love for animals and nature.

4 thoughts on “Defeating the odds – Why camping in the tent is great”

  1. I even lose things in a caravan. I think if we lived in it for longer periods everything would find it’s place though. Camping in Africa would be exciting. I can imagine animal noises at night freaking me out! Our daughter and myself are going camping in a month’s time at a Folk Music Festival in NQ – another first for me! Marty declared himself not interested in joining us.

  2. I’m not a camper (being from the UK we don’t have the weather to promote such an activity!) but I have recently taken the plunge and booked a 5 week overland safari through Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. I was feeling a little hesitant about the camping part but your post has reassured me that it’s going to be alright! Thank you!

    1. It will be fine. We met quite some of these overland trucks with their overnight camps and it looked very nice as you get good value for money, I think. It is simple, but you get a lot to see. We haven’t done it ourselves, though, as we have our own car in South Africa.

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