Guest author Jason Acar is a keen traveler and photographer has been traveling through Africa many times over the last decade and offers the following tips to survive your visit to the continent:
You’ve probably seen hundreds of articles that claim they have the foolproof survival guide for the African bush. Unfortunately, there is no way for you to have a perfect way to survive in the event of an emergency. What your experience will be like depends on a number of factors, including what you have with you, which area you are stranded in and even what time of the year it is.
You cannot predict when you may need to survive in the wilderness, but it is true that you can be prepared. I am not going to tell you what you need to pack in case of an emergency, instead I’m going to pound you with some true, random survival tips, and you can come to your own conclusion:
- Never run from a lion. They are chase animals and it is their instinct to bring you down if you run. Make yourself as big as possible, grab a stick and make as much noise as you can.
- Tampons are made of fine cotton which can be one of the best tinders for making a fire. They are also compact, which means you are not taking up vital space.
- A dried ball of elephant dung can be thrown onto your fire as it burns well and the smoke is a natural mosquito repellent.
- Water is vital in survival but it can also be your worst enemy. Boil your water before drinking it, as getting diarrhoea from poor water can see you dehydrate and significantly reduce your chances of surviving.
- Become a scavenger. Make use of helpful items that you come across while you hike looking for help. Be sure not to get carried away though, only take items that may be helpful.
- Before going on any hiking trip, it is essential that you map out where you will be heading, take a compass, and mark off any towns that are within close proximity to the hiking trail.
- Never cut or suck on a snake bite. The best thing you can do is remove any tight clothing or jewellery from the area, wash it with warm water and soap, keep the bite mark lower than your heart and seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
- The soft leaves of a Weeping Wattle tree can be used as toilet paper so that you are at least clean when you finally find some help.
- Buffalo Thorn leaves can assist in alleviating swelling and will also help with an upset stomach.
The moral of this story – don’t be stupid, don’t get lost, you are not Bear Grylls, pay for the services of a ranger.
Jason Acar, a keen traveler and photographer has been traveling through Africa many times over the last decade. He recently visited various holiday accommodations in Cape Town and also some boutique Pretoria accommodation.