Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Tips for camping with a dog in South Africa

If you haven't met Bob yet he's a rescue dog from the SPCA that has been in our family for almost a year.


Since we've had him, we've been on holiday twice, the first time on a farewell trip around SA with the 19yo before he returned to the UK to Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and back to Pretoria and we employed a house sitter for the 3 week duration and then a week to Dubai when a friend and neighbour fed the dog and cat.

We've 'done' the tourist stuff here, the safari's, the markets etc and we've been looking for a different type of holiday now it's just hubby and I since the kids left home.

We've been camping many times with the kids, most of the UK over the years and 10 days in Oregon a few years ago and we've taken the kids camping here at water parks and a week in Kruger.


We really struggled to find a 'dog friendly' camp site in South Africa, when you google 'dog or pet friendly' don't get too excited and please phone them before you make a booking. What most campsite owners mean by 'dog or pet friendly' in reality is small sized dogs that I refer to as handbag sized and usually of the yappy variety. 'dog or pet friendly' does not refer to dogs like Bob, medium sized.

Bob is very well behaved, but he does have a tendency to get excited and not exactly run off, but more of 'I will return when I'm ready' which usually isn't too much of a problem because we're not rushing home to kids to feed them and we're happy just to be outside, enjoying the view and the walk.

We booked 2 nights at Dragon Peaks in Drakensberg. It was a 5 hour drive and we needed plenty of stops for stretching legs and drinks, but again without kids, the journey was rather pleasant, apart from the dog farting nearly all the way. It was also very noisy in the car as we had the windows open for Bob, as even with the air con on full, he was panting heavily. I will be buying a sun shade like the one you use for children, for the next trip.



The dog didn't settle too well in the tent, we took his bed from home, but with all the rain, it got damp and a little smelly, so we left it behind rather than stink the car out. There is an old air strip which he loved bombing up and down off lead and swimming in the river after the canoeists and tubers had passed by. The furthest he's travelled in a car prior to this trip was from the SPCA about 30 minutes.







We're off again on Thursday till Monday to Magalies Sleepy River Caravan Park with friends and if that's a success we'll go further afield to the coast when the youngest visits in August.

The facilities at Dragons Peak were fantastic, charging points available, even though all pitches had electrical hook ups. The restaurant was dog friendly and the food was amazing and very well priced.




The scenery was beautiful and so remote, seeing people going about their daily business outside of the townships was good to see.





The only downside was all the rain and although the tent stayed dry inside, the seal on the sunroof failed so we drove home in a soggy car and it took 3 days to dry the tent back home.



Top 6 tips


  • Pack water bowl and bottle IN the car with the dog, not in the boot. 
  • I don't chain my dog, but a long piece of rope came in very handy to stop him wandering off and annoying other campers.
  • Take a couple of old towels for drying the dog with that you don't mind throwing away.
  • Take a blanket or the dogs bed for them to sleep on, the ground can get very cold at night, especially when it's been raining.
  • Pack a brush and tick powder.
  • Sunshade



12 comments:

  1. We stick to day trips mostly but water in the car is a must! There was that one time Freki was car sick and we were still 2 hours from home, so I'd add a car sickness clean up kit to your brilliant list unless you know for sure there won't be any accidents. It looked like Bob had a great time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. didn't think about Bob being car sick, the longest journey he did was an 8 hour one to Durban for a week in a guest house and on the beach

      Delete
  2. A true family pet, I hope he gets to enjoy camping #AnimalsTales

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob just seems to enjoy being anywhere with us

      Delete
  3. We did once take our dog camping - never again! I am NOT sleeping that close to a dog that can fart all night without even batting an eyelid!! Oh and on the camp-site the dog camping pitches were all in one place (sensible) but you had to cross the non dog camping area to get the woods for your dog to have it's morning constitutional (not sensible) - it meant we got good at the 200m dash whilst trying to stop a poor desperate dog going her business right outside another (dog free) tent! Oh and they got all the shady trees and we didn't ... and it was hot. Nope - not camping with a dog again!

    Many thanks for linking up with #AnimalTales - our first comping story I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. after 5 kids, a dogs fart really doesn't bother me lol

      Delete
  4. Some great tips! I have been camping with my humans and love it! I often go camping with my HuDad in the Summer and up some mountains we ponder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. going to be exploring what the desert has to offer us in regards to camp sites this year

      Delete
  5. Lucas says - We LOVE Bob - he rocks!!
    The Mother says - Glad you had such a lovely time. When me and my brothers were younger, our family holidays were always camping in the UK with our old boy Dusty. They were amazing holidays and it wouldn't have been the same without him x #animaltales

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not sure if we'll be able to manage any camping trips in the UAE as they're not very dog friendly here and there are few places we can take him

      Delete
  6. There is a special bond that forms once the pet parent decides to bring his fur baby out camping. This requires careful planning, but it will cement the relationship deeper, just like very close best friends. It is going to be a lot of work, but it is one of the most memorable experiences you’ll ever have as a dog owner believe me. If you’re having doubts if you can bring your puppy out camping, then you have to read this: http://dogsaholic.com/lifestyle/camping-with-dogs.html

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis