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Share your handy tips

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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Share your handy tips

Unread post by Dreamer » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:26 pm

I'm sure many of us have handy tips that we put to good use while travelling during the day in the park.
A great one of ours is also having ice cold water and cooldrinks when stopping at picnic spots. We do not have a fridge in the car, well not yet!
We fill a stainless steel flask with ice blocks. These stay well seperated and frozen for the whole day!!!
It also helps when your water is ice cold to begin with, so we place individual water bottles in the freezer at night. The children have put cooldrink in their bottles and later in the day enjoy what they call ''slush" (juice that has semi defrosted)
It has been a rather warm day here in C.T. today which has prompted me to share this 'cool' tip
Any others from all you well travelled formulitesWould be great to hear them.

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Unread post by arks » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:40 pm

Great idea, Dreamer! I usually freeze those little juice boxes and take a few with me in the coolbox as well as water and snacks. Frozen juice boxes, plus bags of ice, also help to keep milk, butter, meat and veg chilled in transport between camps. As an overseas visitor, I generally buy a small and larger syrofoam coolerbox at Pick n Pay, use it throughout my travels and then leave it behind at my last camp and hope the camp staff can use it. I don't usually bother with those freezer blocks, as ice and frozen juice boxes work just as well (even if they do melt a bit)

I also always travel with a big travel coffee mug (like those sold in KNP shop) and a Melitta cone. I brew my coffee right into the mug and take that with me on my chilly early morning drive, then switch to cooler drinks later on.

And from what I remember of the pervasiveness of Kalahari dust I think I would plan to store lots of things in ziplock bags. They're also useful for damp face cloths and swimsuits when traveling between camps
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Unread post by Zypresse » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:19 am

... as many overseas visitors on their first tour to SAN PARKS don't realise that they are not allowed to leave the car - unless at designated areas - my tip is:

take drinks, fruits, biscuits with you in the passenger compartment and not in the trunk. So you can enjoy a snack and drink while sitting in the car and watching the animals.

(same tip goes also for camera and stuff... just imagine the batteries are empty!! )
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Unread post by restio » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:32 am

Good tips here!

Zypresse's tip is especially important for KTP where the picnic/get-out points are few and far. And Dreamer's tips are really cool.
A tip if you're feeling dehydrated is to buy some Energade/Powerade or some Game powder - these sports drinks will help restore the mineral/salt balance in your body.

As we travel with a little one, we also make sure that we always have tissues and wet-wipes in the car. A wet face-cloth in a ziplock bag is also a good idea, as arks said.

Ziplock bags have a multitude of uses, beyond the excellent ideas arks suggested. For keeping snacks in once you've opened a packet of biscuits or raisins and they are now prone to fall out. You can put shampoo bottles etc inside them so they don't leak all over your suitcase. If you have a leftover food, you can take it with you to the next camp in a ziplock back. Very useful, and they don't take up much space.
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Unread post by DuQues » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:51 pm

Most cars now have backseats that can be let down individually. We position the coolerbox (on it's side) just behind one, and the food and such above it. That way you can reach it easily, but does not cramp the space you have inside the car itself.
Having little bags or nets hanging from the frontseats neckrest is something I also find handy for your small lenses, brushes, filters and the likes, and you can place your drink in it while taking photo's if you make a pocket in it that will keep it from falling over.
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Unread post by bert » Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:07 pm

We always start the day with zip-off pants and i always take along my slippers.
When the morning is warm enough i leave the first getout point with shorts and slippers

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Unread post by Dreamer » Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:42 pm

Talking about front seat neck rests has just reminded me of something we do when arriving at the park. We remove the neckrests for the duration of our stay. Our childen happened to
mention that the rests obstructed their view while sitting at waterholes. They were quite right, as when I swopped seats to the back one day I experienced the same problem. Likewise, when you need to turn around and look out the back , it also is a lot easier to see. So, for us, no head rests while game viweing works really well!

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Unread post by Bush Baptist » Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:50 pm

In midsummer, wet a towel and wrap it around your neck. You will be cold initially, but thankful later on.
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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:05 pm

This is a tip that most of you who already use GPSs know, but Max (GVI Volunteer at Agulhas) and I learned the hard way during our trip to Namibia: after plugging in the waypoint for your next day's adventure (as you probably already put in each major destination at home before leaving on your trip), check the route the GPS outlines for you against your map to make sure it leads you along the actual route you want to take.

While in a rush to head out of camp from the area near Sesriem (our last visit was Sossusvlei before I had to drop Max off at Twee Rivieren), I plugged in Twee Rivieren on the GPS and we hit the road. I didn't bother to check the route (though my boyfriend had warned me in advance to do this each morning) because I knew we had to cross the Namibian border near Rietfontein to get to Twee Rivieren...Even when I saw that the GPS was directing us away from Keetmanshoop though I thought that was actually the direction we should have been heading...Even when we saw a sign just after Twee Rivier, a small town in Namibia not far from Kgalagadi, which said "Mata Mata Border Crossing Closed January 1990"...(We even backed up to read that one a second time, but I just thought it was for the other road heading to Mata Mata.)...Until we reached the Mata Mata Border Crossing, which is still closed! I was SO mad, mainly at myself for not checking the route as instructed. Quite a lesson which was painfully learned, but luckily the Namibians are very nice and were quite helpful while we drove back the way we had come for the last 50km or so and then headed down to Aroab to cross the border. BTW, the border near Aroab closes at 16h30 - another painful lesson for another day!
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Unread post by luisbyter » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:25 pm

we live in the western cape. camping in the winter can be quite a wet affair. we always put our toilet paper in a "ziplock" bag to avoid having soggy toilet paper. however, we've also realised that when camping in the kalahari a "ziplock" keep the sand out of your toilet paper and your bum soft.

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Unread post by anne-marie » Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:48 pm

I'm smoker , so I take a "bushastray"... a little bottle who suffocate (like leopard) the cigarette end when I shut the hood
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Unread post by Foxy » Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:57 pm

We put our toilet rolls into a medium size frisco coffee tins, no squashing of roll (as in a ziplock) and doesn't get wet. Take a tin opener and cut out the lip on the inside of the tin then the roll will fit in perfectly.
For alcoholic drinks in glass bottles, we decant them into plastic bottles with 2 openings - can be found at most 4 x 4 shops.

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Unread post by bert » Fri Dec 01, 2006 3:45 pm

As a smoker i always fill a cut off coke/fanta etc plastic bottle with sand. A bit heavy and therefore easy to keep in the bottle holder of the car. And when i am at a picnic site i dispose of the contents in a trash can and fill the bottle with sand again.

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Unread post by Bentony » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:25 pm

A tip we picked up on this trip was to sit seperately. One driving and the other in the back seat. It makes game spotting much easier and I can indulge my hobby of filling as many memory cards as possible with pictures without getting my husband's nose in them.
We also pack everything in plastic crates with lables on the lids. This means that the bakkie stays tidy, we know what is in what, it facilitates packing and unpacking, and keeps the dust out of stuff. Another good tip we got from someone in the park is to keep the inside foil bags of wine boxes, fill them with water and freeze them for your coolbos. The foil insulates and the ice then lasts longer which keeps you stuff cooler for longer - we ate fresh salmon trout in KTC 5 days after buying it in Cape Town, and it had only just started defrosting.

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Ice in KTP

Unread post by droopy » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:14 pm

Hi there,

Is ice freely available at the shops in KTP, and is it expensive? :
Ice in the KNP is like "daylight robbery"


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