I thought I would just post a small update as I am now getting ready for my trip. As with any journey such as this safety must be the primary concern. You have to balance the need for safety and the equipment you can carry (and afford) with what is practical and makes sense. It is not good having so much safety equipment that you end up hating your trip due to exhaustion trying to carry it all. South Africa is also a very humid country which means you have to be careful about dehydration – this could just end up being the biggest problem as finding water is not always easy – and of course it may be polluted and could end up causing severe sickness.
There are some items that you just have to take with you. The most important, in my mind, is a decent first aid kit with everything you need to cater for cuts, bruises, fractures or even a broken bone. This also includes some meds such as pain killers and antibiotics. Secondly, it is important to have a decent phone. Normally, a cell phone would do this trick but because of my remote location travel I am going for a satellite phone. These are really expensive but in an emergency situation they will most likely save your life. The rest is normal stuff which ranges from proper sleeping bags and equipment (need to keep safe from the elements over night) through to food and water cleansing pills. The list is fairly extensive and probably one of the most important parts of your trip if you plan on going off the main track. Clothing is also important and getting proper survival clothes will end up costing a bit but it can become cold overnight (or if it rains for a prolonged period) and you need to know you can keep dry and warm.
Some electronics are also essential these days as I always carry a decent GPS system. These are not the same as the usual car GPS as they need to have a much longer battery life and also cater for someone on foot as opposed to driving a car. If you plan on buying one of these then make sure you go for a decent model – there are lots of Chinese imitations around and they can give you incorrect information as well as malfunction.
Finally, I am spending time on route planning. This involves checking areas out and researching recent news events to make sure that they are most likely to be a safe place to visit. Planning everything down to the tee has kept me alive and helped to ensure I have the best experience possible when out on my adventures.