With increased interest from South Africans to head out to some of the country’s social-distance-friendly destinations, more travellers are hitting the road and opting to Go Camp. Here are some of Go Camp’s top tips for an unforgettable outdoor adventure…


1. Your Camping Equipment 

Investing in quality camping equipment can get expensive, but no one wants to pitch a brand new tent only to discover a hole at the top of it while dark clouds accumulate not too high up in the sky above you. If you’re going to be camping regularly, it’s worth spending a bit more on products that are built to last. If the cost of investing in good camping equipment that might only get used once or twice a year or be left to collect dust in your garage for the rest of it already has you hesitant, or if you haven’t had enough camping experience to know which products to go for, then renting your camping gear is ideal.

Rooftop Tents vs Ground Tents

Depending on where you Go Camp, both setups have their practical benefits. Rooftop Tents have become pretty sophisticated over the years and offer quick and easy set-up and pack-up times. While ground tents can take a fair amount of time to pitch and take down, they do tend to be a bit more comfortable and have a wide variety of size options while being ideal for those who want to move around in the tent a bit more.
Being off the ground in a rooftop tent means that you’re protected from certain natural elements like sand or wet ground, and in the hot summer months you’re able to benefit from better ventilation. In winter, however, some campers prefer the insulation of a ground tent. If space-saving is what you’re after, a rooftop tent is an obvious choice, and it’s not just the tent taking up space in your car you won’t have to worry about: most rooftop tents come fitted with a built-in mattress too! If you’re going to be camping in some of Africa’s unfenced wildlife areas, a rooftop tent can offer a sense of safety (so long as you’re a cautious camper when climbing down the ladder!)

Off-Road Trailers

If camping isn’t the only activity you’re focused on when you Go Camp, and you’re likely to be spending your time off-roading or exploring the area you’ve come to, an off-road trailer is ideal. Once you’ve reached your destination, simply unhitch, set up and Go! – leaving your trailer behind as a base to come back to. Unlike traditional trailers, off-road trailers are built to hit the beaten track, so you don’t need to worry if your destination is located in ‘4×4 only’ territory. They’re also super compact, with everything you need fitted inside. Go Camp’s rental range of off-road trailers come equipped with everything you need for a comfortable off-road camping adventure, from fridges, battery power and USB charging, rooftop tent and loads more.

2. Setting Up Camp

Before you head off make sure you’ve checked that your tent is intact and that it has all the correct bits pieces it needs. If you haven’t set it up before, get familiar with things ahead of your trip and avoid having to set up your tent at your destination at night.

At your campsite, avoid pitching your tent near a campfire and whether you’re parking your tent (or rather, your rooftop tent), or pitching a ground tent, make sure you do so on a level surface area. While trees might seem like a good place for a shady camping spot, the sound of dripping water and acorns, or the nesting birds above that might aim for your tent during their toilet break, is not ideal

To retain heat during cold winter months, try to set up your tent during the day so that your tent can absorb as much of the heat throughout the day as possible. In summer, setting up is best in the late afternoon or when things cool down.

3. Wild Camping Dos & Don’t’s 

It’s not hard to get into a debate when trying to define the term ‘Wild Camping’ among some of South Africa’s die-hard camping communities. Broadly speaking, wild camping in South Africa involves camping away from designated camping areas and usually requires heading off the beaten track to reach your chosen off-grid location. It also involves being as self-sufficient as possible in the way that you go about your camping business.   

Playing by the Rules

As much as pitching a tent in a remote wilderness may seem like a dream come true for those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you’ll need to pay attention during the pre-planning stages of your Wild Camping trip:

Make sure you have all the correct permissions in place before you head off. Some areas require you to have access permits for certain 4×4 routes, hiking trails and overnight stays – do not let the rulebreakers and chance-takers tell you otherwise!

Understanding what is allowed and not allowed at your location, such as making fires within the area you’re going to be setting up camp in, is every wild camper’s responsibility.

A responsible wild camper also makes every effort to leave a camping spot just as untouched as they found it, with no trace of litter or damage to the environment. They respect and maintain the solitude and tranquillity that comes with not being near noise pollution and friends who hike with boomboxes are left at home. They return all rocks or branches they might have rearranged during their stay back to their original spot and they don’t disrupt wildlife or try to feed any animals.

For great tips and wild camping inspiration, follow the Wild Camping Southern Africa Facebook Group.

Need equipment and accessories for your off-grid, wild camping trip? Rent it all here: Go Camp Equipment 

4. Route Planning

We’re so spoilt for choice with all the destinations and exciting routes South Africa offers adventurous off-road campers. Yet, things can often get a bit overwhelming or tedious when it comes to planning or designing a new self-drive route and overnight stays. It’s a good idea to speak to experienced travellers about the route and destinations you plan to drive to and with changing regulations due to the pandemic, as well as ongoing environmental factors that affect road conditions, an even better idea to make sure that the information you have is up to date.

We recommend our friends and self-drive route design experts at Ultimate Routes for tailored route design and hassle-free accommodation bookings. The team’s extensive experience in route design, invaluable industry partnerships and knowledge of local attractions throughout Southern Africa can assist with all your accommodation bookings from rustic campsites to luxurious lodges suited to your budget and vehicle ability.

Want to know which route to take and where to stop along the way? Start planning here.