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TRAVELBUCKET

Namibia

HOW TO ACT AROUND WILD ANIMALS

Your trip is planned and you are about to set off on your overland trip!  Excitement is big and contagious, but on the other end of the scale you are also a bit nervous as you are unsure how to act around wild animals. Let me, as an experienced and seasoned African traveller, give some basic do’s and don’ts when you are out there: Zip up your tent – no matter how hot it is in side, zip up for various reasons. It keeps out bugs, mosquitoes and slithering things like snakes.  A lion will not bother you in your tent.  They do not realise that they can rip open the canvas with a quick stroke of the paw and no, an elephant will not trip over your tent.  Elephants are amazingly gracious when they walk. When you go to bed stow all food (and garbage) either in your tent… Read more >

WHICH ONE? ROOFTOP VERSUS GROUND TENT

It is quite difficult to decide which is best: a rooftop tent or a ground tent. The truth is that both have advantages and disadvantages and there are a few factors that will determine which one will work best for YOU.  So let us have a look at the broader picture. A rooftop tent is the easiest way to sleep off the ground.  You will have to decide why this is important for you and your family.  We as a family prefer to go for a ground tent as we do not want to carry all the weight on Wallace’s roof as it becomes a bit top heavy then.  Top heavy in a Landy spells danger going down slopes – it always feel like Wallace is going to topple over. The pro’s and con’s One of the pro’s of a rooftop tent is it helps when your campsite is uneven… Read more >

COOKING IN THE BUSH

This surely is my favourite pastime when we are camping in a group – to watch how innovative people can get when preparing a meal with what you have at hand, especially when it is week two of a serious off-road trip.  I myself like to keep things very simple! I prefer to travel as light as possible and keep the kitchen equipment/utensils to the minimum.  Fancy cooking is something that I will attempt when I am at home with all the crockery and cutlery at hand.  After all, this is why we come to the bush – to get back to basics again and appreciate nature.  I can proudly say that I have had a braai in countries like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast and Zambia! When camping there are basically two ways to cook – either with a gas cooker or… Read more >

GOING SOLO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK?

Going solo off the beaten track is not for every off-road traveller whether you visit Botswana, Namibia or venture further into Africa past Zambia, going north.  There are pros and cons to it so you need to consider everything.  If you are a social person and like the company of fellow travellers and hate being alone then going solo is definitely not for you.  Groups also provide some security and you can share costs of planned activities. If you like your own company and have some travel savvy then going solo is for you.  Going solo gives you freedom of choice and total independence to change your travel plans on the spur of the moment if something interests you on the wayside. Things that you need to consider when planning your next solo African trip are the following. You will need the ability to navigate.  There are not many countries… Read more >

WILDERNESS CAMPING

Through social media I noticed that a woman was recently attacked by a beaut of a leopard in the Matopi campsite in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and there is a bit of a hype amongst campers at the moment.    As usual there are a lot of accusations flying around on the how, why, do’s and don’ts.  I want to stress that we have camped in the wilderness for the past 20 years and never ever had any incident/accident while camping in an unfenced campsite in Africa.  We encountered hyenas skimming our tent in Moremi, a shy leopard watching us from the dark behind our tent in Central Kalahari, elephants stepping over our tent ropes in Mana Pools, hippos grazing on the green grass in front of our tent in Nkasa Rupara and monkeys trying to steal our food In Hwangwe, but nothing turned out as a bad situation. If you… Read more >

BRAAI – A WAY OF LIFE!

We have just celebrated Nasionale Braai Dag (National Braai Day) or, as it is officially declared as part of the public holiday system in South Africa, Heritage Day.  This is a yearly celebration on the 24th of September.  I think you can imagine what we as a nation do on this day – we braai!  Although we have 11 official languages in our country the word braai is understood across the board. Now there are no ”official” rules for having a braai.  The people of the Rainbow Nation each has his/her own preference on the when, how and what to braai.  Some of us like to have a basic fire place where you can sit as close as possible to the fire when it is cold – and do not mind smelling like smoke – and some of us like to do a classy braai in a build-in fireplace inside… Read more >

CROSSING THE BORDER (PART IV) – FOOD

        This is always a tricky topic as it is mostly country-specific.   Botswana with its in-country vet fences is a classic example which affect the movement of raw meat and pork. We never take all our food from home as this just adds weight to your vehicle which increases fuel consumption and with Shoprite branches in the major cities in Africa you will find most of the food stuff needs – some at a price, but you will find it.   Weigh up the pro’s and cons and decide where you find your balance! Be realistic when planning your food. Everything is not always as fresh as back home  or as readily available especially when planning some or other exotic dish for dinner.  Remember that you are doing this trip to experience Africa.  Sometimes you have to think out of the box to create a wholesome dish in… Read more >

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