Hoarusib River Eco-Trail
Bush camping, or wild camping, as some people call it, is what you do when you camp in the wild at a spot that is not marked out as a specific place where one may camp. For a nature lover, this is the ultimate way of camping. Just you and nature.
Bush camping brings with it certain rules that one must observe. Most of those concern the preservation of the natural habitat, like not to break branches off trees, etc. The easiest way to decide what to do and not to do, is to analyse the situation on the ground and to decide if you can leave the place exactly as it was when you arrived there. Only if you can do that, can you camp wild in the bush.
Apart from nature, there are other considerations as well, like whether the land belongs to a specific person or groups? Will they allow you to camp there? What do they receive in return for your "free" camp?
In these areas in Kaokoland where we toured, the land belongs to the state with the locals being the beneficiaries of these lands. It is a good idea to find out beforehand what these people need in order to improve their existence.
In Africa, you cannot make a mistake with mealie meal. Every African eats it. Please refrain from giving them liquour or tobacco. Pens and books for the kids are also in high demand. Leave the "sweets" at home where there are enough dentists to look after the kids' teeth. Good, worn clothes will also be welcome. And then, cash. Spend about the equivalent of camping fees on the locals.
Should you bush camp in Namibia, you will find it very rewarding and the fact that it is still possible there should bring hordes of nature lovers there - if only they knew!