Hiking and camping in Africa can give you unforgettable experiences during the summer holiday. But, the experience can be risky. In this article, we give you safety tips that when taken into consideration, you get to enjoy the summer holiday. By following the safety tips, you will have an unforgettable experience in Africa.
Safety tips for hiking and camping in Africa during the summer holiday
- Dress properly
It is very important that you dress appropriately for safe camping in Africa. Remember to carry wind and rain-proof outwear. This is helpful in adapting to changing weather conditions. You should consider wool for inner wear to keep warm in case you get wet. Your jeans are not suitable for hiking.
A first-aid kit should be kept in the top of your backpack. It should have things like painkillers, antiseptic, bandages and plasters among others.
Also, pack some light-colored clothing for use during sunny days. Choose neutral colors such as brown, khaki, and beige. White color is not recommended. It tends to scare animals away. This will limit your wildfire experience.
In the backpack, carry;
- Hiking books
- Gloves, scarf, and cap
- Recharged phone
- Pocket knife
- Walking poles
- Reflexive vest
- Any other item that would make your hiking experience great
- Close your tent
Sandra Anderson, a travelling essay writer and blogger at Essaymojo.com says, “Always sleep with your tent closed. Ensure that all the holes are closed. There are many animals that can be harmful to you. Some animals such as carnivores tend to look for prey at night”. She goes on to remind us to note, you may not see these animal but they see you. You don’t want them to bite your beautiful face. Others such as snakes, spiders, mosquitos, and bugs among others can easily ruin your camping experience. This is why you should sleep with the tent closed.
This includes not leaving the tent. Staying inside ensures that you are safe.
- Always stay calm
It is possible to hear some big animal walking around the tent. In such a case, always stay calm. Avoid any movement. Also, avoid any sound. This way, the animal will lose interest in the test and leave. But, when you make sudden movements or sound, the animal will feel threatened. This can cause a big problem. You don’t want a hippo bulldozing your tent. Just stay calm.
- Avoid leaving food in your tent
This is a key safety tip. Any smell of food attracts animals to your tent. Animals always respond to the smell by trying to open the tent. By using their sharp claws, they can easily do this. Then they will consume all your food. Unfortunately, you are also edible. So, if it’s a big carnivore, you may also be consumed. Other small animals and insects may also be attracted to a tent with food. These can also ruin your camping experience.
- Check weather forecasts
Always remember to check weather forecasts. At the beginning of your hiking, the weather can be sunny. This can change as you move towards the top. It can be rainy or stormy. But, by checking weather forecasts, you increase the chance of enjoying safe weather conditions. The locals can also help you with expected weather patterns.
- Carry mosquito repellents
Mosquitos tend to be very active during the summer. Without a repellent, they can really be a bother. They may turn your hiking into a disaster. Apply sunscreen first then after 25 minutes apply the repellent.
- Consider a guided hiking
If it is your first hiking experience in Africa, consider a guided hike. This is also good if you feel insecure. With good guided hiking, your hiking can be turned into a great experience. In case you don’t have a guide, always stay in the main trail.
Also, when you want to move from your lodge to another at night, consider armed guards’ help. They are always happy to walk you through. This will ensure you are safe in the dark.
The guards may also suggest better routes and good places to visit. So, know and always check in with them.
- Carry a flashlight
Sometimes you have to walk in the dark. Without a flashlight, you may not see animals. This can be dangerous. Imagine walking into a hippo grazing right in front of you. Yea, you don’t want to imagine that. Always have a flashlight.
- Leave nature better
African nature is still vulnerable. Always leave it better. This means carrying all your wastes. Respect animal and plant life. This will ensure that you help in preserving the landscape. After all, you want to visit again in the future.
- Don’t go hiking alone
Hiking should always be a group activity. Under no circumstances should you go hiking alone. When alone, the chances of getting lost are higher. You can also get injured. In case, you are alone and you get lost, stay calm. If you panic, you might make the situation worse. Avoid wandering off and this will make the work easier for rescuers.
- Take water
Drinking enough water is important for your health. It is even more important when hiking. Carry enough water. Water from most natural sources may be unfit for consumption. You don’t want to get bacterial infections. Regardless of weather conditions, always stay hydrated.
- Always have a map
Having a map will help you to know the environment. This reduces the chances of getting lost. It also makes moving easier.
- Inform someone of your hiking
Tell someone where you are going hiking. This makes them aware of your location. Things do happen and it is important that someone knows where you are.
Visiting African during the summer holidays can be beneficial. For instance, hiking has several benefits. These include; enabling you to control your workout. You are able to set your own pace. Second, you get to work your whole body. Third, hiking boosts your mood. Outdoor experiences are associated with decreased tension, stress, and anger, positive engagement, and increased energy. You also get to develop long-term friendships.
There have been reports on the death of tourists in Africa. But, there have also been reports of great experiences in Africa. So, you don’t have to be scared. Just put your safety first. Enjoy your hiking and wild camping carefully. Ensure you are safe wherever you are. By making yourself familiar with the tips above, you are good to go. Feeling nervous is okay. But you should be able to move beyond any fear. This is the only way to enjoy the beauty of Africa.