27 April 2009

International camping

The only camping we have done so far has been in Kruger Park in South Africa these last few days, but local similarities to the camping professionals that are the Kiwis are becoming obvious already. Camp sites are quiet and people obviously stay for a long time. As in NZ they seem to treat the camp as their holiday home where they return every year with their families. We saw this at Abel Tasman with families visiting regularly for 30 years without fail. This also means that groups arrive with incredible amounts of equipment, from fridges to double beds, bicycles and surf boards, wind screens and tents the size of houses. Here, though, we see a lot of very well equipped off- road vehicles with high lift jacks, roof tents and spare jerry cans, probably because it is so easy to drive into the bush to Botswana or Namibia, whereas in NZ most camping is fenced.

A glaring difference is the fact that camping here seems to be an exclusively White affair. I a week in Kruger I have not noticed one Black camper. Kiwi sites, specially up in Northland, were much more mixed.

I guess camping is a tempting holiday option in countries where it is expensive to fly somewhere else, and South Africans may feel similarly restricted in destinations as New Zealanders.

And by the way, this is our semi-pimped Defender. It now has a built in kitchen with a table, water tank and extra fuel tanks.

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