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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    With a RTT you cannot drive to the ablutions after dark and that to me remain the biggest risk, when you leave the safety of your camp or any sort of tent.
    True. But at the risk of turning this into yet another plug for my new rooftent........when a tent takes only 15 seconds to erect or pack away, it will remove even this reason for not having one.

    Mike
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by touchthewild View Post
    That's quite an attitude you got there James but I suppose if you live in Gaborne you must be more knowledgeable than the rest of us. Unlike lions, hyena behaviour can be eratic but here is a quote: a young boy was dragged out of his tent by a hyena in the same campsite. (Moremi, Third Bridge) He had put meat outside his tent and left the flap open, hoping to get a picture of the hyena when it came to eat the meat. The boy fell asleep and an opportunistic hyena killed him, yanking him from the tent.
    Yes, the boy was very foolish, but the question was about the safty of kids, I think. I have camped in Moremi many times and have experienced the way they can behave.....didn't imagine it..........no
    Apologies for the tone , let me just say I have been camping for 40 years , that in know way say's I know it all , but in 40 years I learned how not to get yourself and those with you in trouble , that's what its all about , thinking about what you do , read and educate yourself about the environment you are going too .

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    True. But at the risk of turning this into yet another plug for my new rooftent........
    Mike
    No! Surely it cannot be about your new rooftent

    Problem is that most rooftents we get here in the backwaters takes longer than that to fold, and with a family of four like the original poster has, two rooftents will probably be needed. And then we get into whole other debate of weight on the roof, of which I believe you are not a great advocate of8)
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  4. #24
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    I think Mike has summed up the advantages of a RTT quite nicely.
    Just a few more thought to this:
    Your bedding is always stored away when traveling and ready to use when opening the tent, saves some space in the vehicle.
    Lions around a camp when in a RTT are definitely better to observe than from the ground tent, that's what we are going for in the bush anyway.
    If they prolong their visit, I have the option to climb out through the side window onto the roof rack and make it down into the vehicle through the window (say on the opposite side of where the lions are) if need occurs.

    Then, family of four can live in a RTT of 1.60m width, I've done the Sahara crossing like that back in 1988 for 9 weeks. Alternatively there are family tent versions for the roof which are 1.80m (just seen it with friends) from Eezi Awn.
    And the trip to the ablution at night, well the good old bottle (? maybe..?) or just skip the last beer and hold on till daylight.

    To put a RTT up still takes much less time, by the time you have laid out the ground tent and cleared the stones and obstacles away my guests have put their RTT up and enjoy their first drink, even when they have only done it once before.
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  5. #25
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    Walter and others, I don't argue against the advantages of a rooftent, we had one. And frankly when my son leaves home and it is just me and hubby we will probably go back to the rooftent option. But 3 people in a 1.6 m rooftent, wow. The family versions weighs very close to 90-100kg, they are 1,8m and we had a look at the Tentco version just about a month ago. That is just too much weight on a roof to my liking.

    But I guess the point is about general safety. I will give the same advice to people with kids whether they choose ground of rooftent. Be sensible and alert, minimize movements after dark, keep your vehicle close and unlocked until you go to bed, keep your kids with their backs to something, don't feed animals or try to entice them into your camp, don't leave dirty dishes around, etc.
    Christa
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    No! Surely it cannot be about your new rooftent
    Problem is that most rooftents we get here in the backwaters takes longer than that to fold, and with a family of four like the original poster has, two rooftents will probably be needed. And then we get into whole other debate of weight on the roof, of which I believe you are not a great advocate of8)
    I'm definitely a big fan of RTT's, for the reasons well stated on this thread. We have two very tall hooligan sons and therefore invested in a huge family RTT, which we all love and feel safe in when in Moremi. In fact, we used to lie low in safety in the RTT and peek at the hyenas, lions and other creatures sniffing away directly below us. The rest of the time the boys take the ground tents and make camp wherever they choose, whilst my wife and I have the comfort and space of the massive RTT.
    We've never closed it up in 15 seconds, but then Mike is prone to exaggerate I reckon . We usually have it up in under 2 minutes.
    Don't drink excessively before bedtime, have a pee before dusk and you'll be fine through the night. Keep a plastic container with secure lid handy for the kids I guess if needs be...
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    "a soutie who has miraculously survived the pist 'n broke years..... "

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noordhoeknic View Post
    I'm definitely a big fan of RTT's...
    The never-ending debate... We are a family of 4, I'm 100k and 6foot five, my son (16) is 6foot three, my daughter of 12 is almost as tall as my wife, and we all fit very happily in our Echo four sleeper RTT. Snug, but fine. BUT, we also always carry a ground tent. Nothing fancy, just an Outdoor Warehouse six sleeper nylon tent (I forget the make, one of those generic made in China tents) for longer stays. An RTT has huge advantages over a ground tent if there are predators around, if there are security problems, if it is raining, and if the ground is uneven (and if you are doing a quick overnight stop). Our routine when packing up is that the two kids make the bed and pack away the RTT while my wife and I pack the car. Seldom takes us longer than about 20 minutes. But if we have to pack away the ground tent, we are lucky to get away with under half an hour for setting up and for packing up.

    Golden rule if there are elephants or primates around is absolutely no food or smelly cosmetics, perfumes etc inside the tents.

    And BTW, James McKay is quite correct about hyenas - they are only a problem if you have very small children toddling around, or if you sleep in the open or with a tent flap open. They will back off immediately and retreat to a distance if confronted by an adult or reasonable sized child. But next time you go to a "tame" environment (ie fenced off) with lions on the other side of the fence, watch how they sit up and take notice immediately there is a small child toddling around. They will follow every movement the child makes.

    As Mike and others have said, hippos are the beasties I am most scared of. I was present in the Kenyan Camp (Fisherman's Camp at Lake Naivasha) when the hippo got amorous with the German couple's dome tent and when the dad slapped the tent, the hippo attacked, savaging the dad and their toddler. An overland truck fired up its engine and lights and managed to chase the hippo off, and luckily the camp owner was able to radio the flying doctor and casevac them out to Nairobi.

  8. #28
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    Hi, I went to Botswana last year (Moremi, Kubu, Nxai pan etc) with my brother, father and son (then 5 years old) We enjoyed every bit of it, but I would have gotten a lot more sleep if we had a RTT.
    In Moremi the Hyena's made sure (all the camps, night time and early morning) that I could not let him out of my sight for a moment.
    Packing in the morning, I had to put him in the vehicle while I was packing, as they would sneak up from behind to see if there was anything to eat.
    Needless to say I was awake for any sound during the night and we slept all in one tent (had two)
    His sister is two now and I will make sure we go RTT this time.
    I do enjoy the ground tent a lot more, but will just feel a lot more at ease in this case.
    I Hope this is of value to you.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    I'm 100k and 6foot five,
    That isn't how I pictured you! Pity someone didn't put a cricket ball in your hand as a youth, and urge you to hurl it as fast as you could at a batsman and some stumps!

    Mike
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  10. #30
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    RTT the best. Some photo's last year in CKGR and Kutse and this year again in CKGR and Moremi.





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  11. #31
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    Smile Botswanna Camping

    There are pro's and cons with each type. We did exactly the same route two years ago, and camped with ground tents, at that stage our two sons were almost the same ages. There are really no problem with camping with ground tents. remember though, do not through any bbq outside, and make sure the tree that you choose to camp under is not the same one that the baboons sleep in, 3rd brigde camp site. there are a lot of stories, not all true

    d

  12. #32
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    Default Predators and children in Kgalagadi

    Maybe not on the correct thread but simply trying to emphasize the vulnaribility of kids when predators are around - When we were in Nossob in July I heard a story from fellow campers and wonder/ed if anyone know if this is a "true" story:

    With the world Cup last year some children who was in the Nossob campsite was playing with a soccer ball close to the fence and apparantly a lioness who was in the vacinity suddendly stormed the children - she was apparantly so focussed on them that se stormed right into the fence.

    I use the word apparantly because I don't know if a predator would do that - but the story was told for the truth ?

    And for my 1c worth - when camping unfenced I definately also prefer a RTT as I slept in both but needles to say I am more awake than at sleep in the ground tent when the predators scavange around and it catches up with you after a couple of days with all the sleep depravation - Only negative with the RTT is the hanging on with the needs of nature till daylight
    Last edited by jan.dup; 2011/07/27 at 10:52 AM.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan.dup View Post
    - Only negative with the RTT is the hanging on with the needs of nature till daylight
    Don't want to lower the tone but we did have an interesting chat with a couple in Polentswa about this (after a night of lions round camp) ... they favoured a home-made contraption involving a long tube fed out of the tent into a bottle on the ground! Not sure if we could explain that going through customs though ...

  14. #34
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    Thanks to all the members input, it is very much appreciated

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noordhoeknic View Post
    I'm definitely a big fan of RTT's, for the reasons well stated on this thread. We have two very tall hooligan sons and therefore invested in a huge family RTT, which we all love and feel safe in when in Moremi. In fact, we used to lie low in safety in the RTT and peek at the hyenas, lions and other creatures sniffing away directly below us. The rest of the time the boys take the ground tents and make camp wherever they choose, whilst my wife and I have the comfort and space of the massive RTT.
    We've never closed it up in 15 seconds, but then Mike is prone to exaggerate I reckon . We usually have it up in under 2 minutes.
    Don't drink excessively before bedtime, have a pee before dusk and you'll be fine through the night. Keep a plastic container with secure lid handy for the kids I guess if needs be...
    Noordhoeknic - Where do you get a big tent like that? What are the dimensions?

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by andreklopper View Post
    Noordhoeknic - Where do you get a big tent like that? What are the dimensions?
    Andre, it's a Cape Town made Hannibal family tent, 2.4x2.0m - superb craftsmanship and materials used - they have agents up north.

    http://www.hannibal.co.za/default.as...ction=showfull
    "a soutie who has miraculously survived the pist 'n broke years..... "

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    That isn't how I pictured you! Pity someone didn't put a cricket ball in your hand as a youth, and urge you to hurl it as fast as you could at a batsman and some stumps!
    Mike
    Actually, I did have a brief career at junior school provincial level as a fast bowler, but swimming and water polo (and surfing) were more my style, and I went on to play water polo at senior provincial (Currie Cup) level.

  18. #38
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    I've been going to Bots since I was 7 years old. We've always slept in tents on the ground. If you are in your tent and it is zipped closed then you are "safe". The safest is for your kids to sleep in the same tent as you or right next to your so that if they are scared in the night you are near by. RRT's are a pain if you want to drive to the toilet at night (rather use a potty then wake up the whole camp site!) or if you want to go on a drive in the morning and you have to pack the thing up. They are also heavy, so take up most of your roofrack space and weight limitation. Also trying to find a flat piece of ground for the veicle is harder than for a ground tent. Keep the kids in the circle at all times. Escort them to the toilet. Keep your wits about you and don't do stupid stuff - use common sense and you'll have a safe and fun holiday

  19. #39
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    Get a Oztent and pop it on the roofrack...problem solved, debate solved. Ground tent on the roof - So we shall call it a Grof Tent from now on.

    As Naas would say: At the end of the day Darren "A little common sense should prevail".

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  20. #40
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    All this debate bring me back to the nights I was camping in a ground tent in Sand River Gate, in the Masai Mara Game Reserve in october 1987. If exist a camp in Africa that is regularly visited by lions at night it is Sand River Gate campsite for sure. You need to spend a night there to know what Im talking about. The fact is that the lions (a pride) keep past trotting among the tents and I can clearly feel the ground shaking when they past nearby. The cook was in a tent close to mine and immediately when he went to sleep he start to snore soundly. I think this was attrackting the lions because in response they start to snore too just by the cooks tent. It is like they feel they are chalenged or they dont like the noise at all. When the cook just awake with the lions sound outside, the lion move on. As soon he sleep again and start to snore one more time, the lion was back again. The time was dragging frighteningly slowly, I look at the watch and was midnight, then after ages I look again and it was five past midnight. All the time I can hear people coughing and murmuring in other tents, they are awake too. The thing that scared me most is that the safari van was not around in case of a emergency. The driver went to sleep in the rangers house two hundred meters far away. After two hours of this game the lions finally left for good. The fact is that I didnt have any sleep that night and in the early morning game drive I was so tired I went to slep on the vans seat. The big footprints can be seen all over the camp next morning. The safari company was Best Camping Safaris and we are in ten people, maybe someone that was in this safari is reading this. I will never forget that night at Sand River Gate and I would love to be in a roof top tent in this occasion. I return to this campsite two more times and the lions are always around there. The rangers that live there are very scared of then. I have spend nights in many african campsites in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and never saw lions in camp like in sand river. Anybody had a similar experience in this particular campsite? Cheers and sorry for my bad english.

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