Camping these days is a far cry from what it was 30 years ago. Back then, basic necessities were packed. Today, it seems as if every luxury your home can offer has to be carted along. Roll the clock back another 20 years and the absence of even caravans become apparent. Still camping was an enjoyable experience. I dare say it resulted in even more memorable experiences than generated by the gadget freaked society of today.
My first memories of a holiday was in a Chalet, but that was short lived.
One day my dad came home with a brand new caravan – a Jurgens Champion A. I was six years old. For the next 13 years we had great holidays and I can still remember the smell of the tidal pool at The Willows near port Elizabeth, or the Yellow Billed Hornbill that ate out of my hand in the Kruger National Park.
The Champion A was later exchanged for an Avion L which was in essence exactly the same thing, just an upgraded design but with the same layout.
In those days, Dad drove big S-class Mercedes Benz cars and while the Caravan holidays was great, the big low Benz did not allow prime viewing of game and was limited to fairly advanced roads. Therefore, the Benz was swopped for second-hand Land Rover Defender. Most people found this change rather puzzling, to put it mildly.
The Defender took us to Botswana a few times and for the first trips, Dad simply modified our 6 feet Venter luggage trailer with larger wheels and a raised axle. Eventually the caravan was sold to make space for an off road trailer with Roof Top Tents, which in turn has since made place for a 3x3m canvas dome tent.
My own family's adventurous holidays started with the procurement of a 1984 Nissan Safari. A simple, very capable 4x4.
Adventurous, affordable family holidays are possible and I will share my experience of how we did it.