This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Are you a person who would rather stay on a campsite than in a lodge or hotel? Do you want to be closer to nature? Do you want to save money? Are you willing to accept a few inconveniences?
When planning your trip, you might wonder what to expect at a campsite in Africa or how a particular campsite is equipped. We want to help you with this on our blog.
When we’re on tour, we usually camp. We have already experienced everything from wonderful to total horror.
In the future, we want to share with you about the campsites we visit. We hope that our reports will help you. But there is the problem that different people have different criteria when they judge a campsite. What is important to us may not matter to you. Maybe the campsites that we think are great are terrible for you.
We have a question for you: What is important to you at a campsite? What could you not do without? Write us a comment. In the future, we would be able to check whether the campsite fulfils this wish.
On a campsite, we cannot do without this
At the moment, the first question we ask ourselves when we are seeking a campsite is, whether we can take our Penny with us. Without Penny, we don’t want to travel anymore. So we ask ourselves:
- Are pets allowed?
Then we ask ourselves questions about the pitch itself:
- Is there enough space so that we can comfortably set up everything and park the car?
- Is the site flat? This is very important if we want to pitch a tent. The pitch should not be sloping. It should not be uneven.
It is amazing how many campsites are too small, too sloping and too bumpy. It is obvious that the operator has never camped himself.
Finally, the following amenities on a campsite are important to us:
- Shade? This is an important criterion for us as we like to spend more than one night on a campsite. We prefer rock shade.
- Barbecue area? We want to be able to cook over the fire. A barbecue grid is not important for us, because we always bring one with us.
The following is also important to us on a campsite
Location, location, location – these are the three most important characteristics of a piece of real estate. With a campsite, we ask ourselves:
- Are we in nature?
When we travel, we want to be in nature. A campsite in a city has to offer a lot for us to stay longer than just one night.
The following is also important when it comes to the amenities of the campsite:
- Water supply? We have to get water somewhere. The water point should be within walking distance.
- Own water tap? This is not necessarily required, but it is comfortable.
- Ablutions? For many people it’s one of the most important criteria, for us it’s nice if there is such a facility, but it’s not essential. We can also go behind a bush with a spade to the toilet or wash in a washing bowl. Nevertheless, it is nice to find the following
- Garbage bin? Can we dispose of our trash here? Is garbage recycled? As soon as we get the impression that in the end, our trash pollutes the environment, we take it with us to put it in a bin in the next town.
Let’s talk about the ambience:
- Is it quiet? This is one of the most important criteria for us. We don’t want animation; we want peace and quiet. We don’t want to hear the talk of our neighbours, the shouting of children or loud music.
- Is it secure? This is a criterion specific to southern Africa. In Europe, this is hardly an issue of concern.
- oFrom criminal elements?
- Is it clean? For us, this is important to feel comfortable.
- Are the garbage bins emptied?
We don’t just want to sit around on the campsite; we also want to experience something. We, therefore, ask ourselves the following questions
- Can we go on a hike?
- Is there an off-road track?
- Can we observe animals?
Nice to have on a campsite
If a campsite meets the criteria given above, we are satisfied and the chances are good that we will stay longer. Sometimes, however, we wish for more comfort and are happy to find the following on the campsite:
On the pitch:
- Is there enough distance from the neighbours? We don’t want to listen to every conversation from our neighbours.
- Do we have privacy, or can the neighbours look into our area?
One more word about location, location, location.
- Do we have a campsite with a view?
- Are there any sights nearby?
To the amenities of the individual site:
- Sheltered from the wind? Especially in areas where there is a lot of wind, a windbreak can be important. But if the windscreen blocks the beautiful view, we can do without it.
- Electricity hook-up? Is the connection just sufficient to charge the mobile phone, or can we also connect larger appliances such as a kettle?
- Light? And can we turn it off when we don’t need it?
- Dishwashing facilities? A possibility to wash dishes is nice, but not an important criterion.
To the facilities of the whole campsite:
- Swimming pool?
- Kiosk/shop? This will be important when the nearest supermarket is far away.
- Waterhole/birdwatching spot or something similar to observe animals?
It often depends on the staff whether we feel comfortable on a campsite. Is the staff:
- Unobtrusive but available?
Costs/bookings for a campsite
Every campsite, whether simple or luxurious, has costs. Here the following is important for us.
- Is the price-performance ratio right? If a primitive campsite costs just as much as one with a little more comfort, then we choose the one with more comfort.
- Must we make a booking or can we come spontaneously? We do not want to book but want to decide spontaneously to visit a campsite or to stay longer.
How do we rate the campsites?
Do we have a catalogue of weighted criteria and do we award stars in different categories? No. That’ s far too complicated.
Over the years, we have found that we rely more on a general feeling when we decide for ourselves whether we like a campsite or not. We ask ourselves two questions:
Question 1: How long can we endure it there?
We can imagine spending
- one night
- Let’s leave immediately!
Question 2: Would we come back?
- Yes! Gladly!
- Only if we have to.
- Never again!
If we say that we could spend weeks on the campsite and want to go there again, then it is a top campsite for us.
Over to you
What is important for you at a campsite? Please write us a comment.