Shelter while overlanding

By Peter Barber

Your peaceful morning game drive in the cool of the new day was idyllic and your party returns to camp, anticipating their delicious breakfast. By the time that’s over the day warms up and before long you are into another scorcher!

This is the typical pattern for overland travellers in Africa, and on our return from our overland trip to Ethiopia the neighbouring countries of Zambia and Namibia reminded us just how much hotter it can be in Southern Africa than in East Africa. In fact, apart from the our visit to the Danakil Depression, which has the highest average temperatures year round on Earth, nothing compared to the heat in the Caprivi Strip, where even the most sun loving traveller was hunting for shade.

When you camp you are exposed to the elements and the longer your overland trip, the more important it is that you prepare well for shelter. Shade is not the only kind of shelter that an overlander needs. For those who frequently move onwards, shelter must be quick to erect and flexible enough to handle sun, wind and rain. It should cover the cooking, seating and eating area. Continue reading Shelter while overlanding

Tents: canvas or nylon?

You have decided to go camping; so the first thing you need to equip yourself with is a good tent. But this is not an easy venture as, apart from the variety of brands that complicate your choice, you also have to choose between canvas or nylon.

According to a recent discussion on the 4×4 Community Forum there are pros and cons to both types of tents. Your needs and your budget will mostly determine which is ideal for you. Continue reading Tents: canvas or nylon?

Are they really fairy circles?

You might have noticed the inexplicable bald patches in the landscape when travelling Namibia and the Northern Cape. Tourists have often wondered if these were caused by radio activity, meteorites, UFO’s or maybe even fairies.  The indigenous San and Himba people believed that these circles may have been caused by dragons that stayed underground, evil spirits or gods.

These circles can be seen all over Namibia, but more often in western Kaokoland, as well as along the N1 between Springbok and Van Rhynsdorp. They are between 2m and 10m wide with grass growing rampantly on the edges while the insides are barren.

For the past 30 years scientist have been researching this phenomena and came up with various theories to explain it. The newest finding was published in New Scientist recently but it seems like not all scientists who work on fairy circles are convinced that the answer was at last found. Continue reading Are they really fairy circles?