Camping in the wild
When camping it is known that many campsites in South Africa are in areas frequented by wild animals. So here are some that you may come into contact with while exploring the wild.
There are about 2,000 varieties of scorpion worldwide, including many varieties that live in the desert, and all of them are poisonous. But don’t worry. Most of them don’t have enough poison in their glands, or the right variety of poison, to kill a human being. Most but not all.
Though most South African campsites are pretty safe there are some sites where lots of different wild animals can enter. Hyenas are especially attracted by the smells of cooking and leftover bones. So to keep yourself distanced, take all scraps and rubbish and hang it in a tree away from your campsite to dispose of the next morning. This will keep the hyenas away from your tents and after the bones. Also remember to always zip up your tent- you never know what curious critter will want to crawl inside your tent.
Another tip is to not place your tent too close to rivers – hippos can be very dangerous and they like to graze at night – you really don’t want to startle these fellas. Also be weary of crocodiles near rivers – they love to sunbathe on the banks and sit in the reeds.
There are plenty of bees out there so look out for beehives and keep sweets and cool drinks closed. Drink liquids in a cup that has a lid and a small hole (such as a coffee cup) that bees can’t get into – to prevent getting stung in the mouth. Ouch.
But if you do happen to get stung here are some natural ointments that you may have lying around your South African campsite.
Honey: Honey’s antibacterial properties will prevent the sting from getting infected.
Baking soda: Bee stings contain formic acid, so applying a paste of alkaline baking soda and water helps to neutralize the sting and its side effects. (If you’re suffering from a wasp sting, which is more alkaline, apply vinegar to the sting instead.)
Toothpaste: Although it might sting at first, applying toothpaste to the stung area can help neutralize the pain. Like baking soda, toothpaste contains alkaline ingredients that neutralize the venom in the sting.