Our Current and Previous Camping Setups in South Africa.

 The type of setup you need depends on a variety of things, such as the number of people, how long you like to stay in one pace and, of course, how much you can afford.  We'd always used ground tents in the UK so started with one of those but changed to a roof-top tent after a year. We then decided that for the length of some of our trips that a trailer and, later, an offroad caravan would suit us better as we often stay 3 to 5 nights at sites.  Below are the different setups that we've had and our thoughts on them.  

1.  Oz Tent 

Oz tent set up.



  • We could leave the tent in place while going for a drive. The Oz tent was easy to set up as it had integral poles.


  • Had to go on the roof rack as it was too large to fit inside the vehicle.
  • We sometimes found scorpions under the tent when we were packing it away.
  • We felt uneasy at night hearing lions roaring close by!

2. Howling Moon Stargazer Roof-Top Tent 

Roof-top tent on our Hilux.



  • Easy to erect.
  •  Excellent for travelling when you only stay a day or two at a site.


  • Had to pack the tent away if you wanted to drive out. Even though this only took 10-15 minutes it still was a bit of a pain!
  •  No shelter if it was cold or wet

These are the most common tents used by hire companies in Southern Africa and usually have 2 roof-top tents to accomodae 4 people.      

3. Jurgens 140 Trailer with the Roof-Top Tent 

Jurgens 140 trailer with roof-top tent.



  • We could leave the trailer parked up while we went out for a drive.
  •  Plenty of room for packing things.
  •  The side awning (which also had 3 side panels) was just big enough for us to sit. We had it made by Gan's Tents.


  • Longer to set up and pack away.
  •  The side awning wasn't effective in very windy conditions or if it rained for several days.
  • You had to drive a bit more carefully on poor roads. 


4.Jurgens Xcape Caravan  

  In October 2012 we exchanged our trailer for a caravan as we wanted to be more comfortable when it's cold or raining.

Jurgens Xcape caravan



  • We could sit inside if it was cold or wet. With the side panels and skirt we could sit outside even in the windy conditions on the West Coast.
  • Outside kitchen area on the caravan.
  •  Didn't have to pack away anything if we want to drive out.


  • Longer to set and and pack away.
  • The fridge is inside the 'van so I was constantly going in and out. 
  • We were disappointed with the road holding compared to the Jurgens trailer.
  • Heavier fuel consumption. 

5. Bush Lapa Vlooi Caravan 

 We saw one of these at at campsite in the Western Cape and went to their factory which was then in Worcester. We ordered one, sold the Jurgens after only 4 months and have had the Bush Lapa since 2013 - we love it! It's one of their smallest vans but suits us. Ours is number 114. Since then the company has grown and been very sucessful.

Bush Lapa Vlooi van



  • Very quick and easy to set up and pack away
  • The awning is one of the best we've seen and covers the side and back of the 'van. 20 minutes max from unhitching to everything ready.
  • The kitchen area and sliding drawer with a fridge make preparing and cooking a joy.
  • Excellent suspension on gravel roads
  • Excellent service from Bush Lapa.  


  • Slightly heavier fuel consumption


 A few more images of our Bush Lapa below:

Bush Lapa ready for the road.

We hardly notice that we're towing it.

Bush Lapa set up without the awning

 For a one night stop we often don't use the awing which means we're set up within 10 minutes.

Bush Lapa setup with the awing and sides

 We can get 4 people inside the awning when it's cold or wet.

Last updated: November 2020