Hey fellow travellers,
Am planning on second Africa trip in 2010 and would like to camp this time rather than just stay in hostels. Planning on heading in to Egypt from Cyprus and making my way down the East African Coast line - some inland travelling planned - to South Africa possibly up the Western Coast.
I know there are camp sites available near most big cities but I am unsure as to camping supplies such as gas bottles for the camp stove.
Are these going to be easy to get hold of in the bigger cities & will I encounter any problems crossing country borders with a gas canister?
Any advice on camping in Africa would also be greatly appreciated.
One alternative to hostels is to join an 'overland' tour group - they travel in big trucks (so maximum of twenty people in the group, can be as little as four). There are a number of companies that do these treks (Dragoman, Geckos, Exodus, Explore - just to name four) with different degrees of comfort and services. Tours can run anywhere from one week to 6 months, and you can combine legs, jump off at different points etc. Generally, you sleep in campgrounds and shop for/prepare your own meals, so it still gives the 'camping' experience, without some of the challenges of figuring out transportation between cities (how many people can fit into a minibus - new records are made daily!), and worrying about things such as white gas etc.
One downside is that they tend to run on a set schedule (as most tours do), so you may find that a bit off-putting as you may not stay in a particular location for as long as you may have liked.
Just an alternative
Camping gas is really hard to get in most places (SA/Namibia etc its ok), and impossible in many. You can almost always get charcoal or firewood though. Large numbers of campsites have braai (BBQ) pits with grills that you can use to cook on as well.
I've camped in much of Southern and Eastern africa without problem (and in several northern countries on sand dunes), though there are obvious risks of theft and such incidents are not uncommon - even if you are sleeping in your tent at the time.
You won't have any problem with gas canisters at most borders, providing they are in your bag, though like most borders of the world, if you run into the wrong official at the wrong time they might at least try to give you trouble
Thanks so much. I appreciate the information
I have never camped in Africa. However, I do know that stoves are made which can burn almost any liquid fuel, such as gasoline, diesel or alcohol. I have also found that a sleep bag (made of silk?) or sleeping bag sheet can be good. It can make an easy to wash barrier between you and your bag. You can also sleep in only it if the night is very hot.