By Vanessa and Marley

You know, besides like the obvious – passport, ticket, tent etc. You get different campers. The ones who just show up put up a tent and never sleeps in it. Others that sets up a proper tent and sleep semi comfy. Or those with the 4 x4 trailers that make you semi envy them at night when it’s cold. But also grateful that you don’t have to get stuck in the sand with them.

Between Vanessa who is going for a second STRAB and Marley who is going for her 5th STRAB, they compiled the ULTIMATE list of what STRAB is about and what you need to survive for it.

MONEY – Someone once said, “Money makes the world go round”. It will help you buy the drinks at the bars. In the new age of card machines, we’ve gotten so used to NOT carrying money around. But you are in the South of beautiful Mozambique. Time to get the cash, honey. Also, a big help if you are eating at restaurants in the area. Remember not to carry R200 notes, just trust us. You will receive change in Mets which you will have to spend before you leave for home. Closest ATM is in Ponta do Oro.

SMOKES – Take plenty of your own brand as they sell Pall Mall mostly and they seem to be the illegal type of smokes. They burn faster than a Mustang’s engine and they will make you cough like a cannon.

ANTI MOZZIE STUFF – In the Lowveld it has rained, a lot. All kinds of things that will bite have popped up. It’s up to you personally to use Malaria prevention medication (only via your GP). But if you are like Marley who gets bitten pretty much by anything (with 6 legs or more) then good old Tabard or Peaceful Sleep will do. Washing with anti-Mozzie soap also works wonders. You can also check out your local camping supplies store for their recommendations.

BORDER TRANSFERS – Marley has used them. The locals who charge the normal fees as the truck because you can’t predict what happens on the road. If you didn’t book the truck then don’t sweat it. Speak to the local bakkies at the border. The border police can also show you if you don’t know. They drive those cars like skis on water through the sand. You can park your car safely on South Africa’s side for a small daily fee (again cash is maKhozi).

STRAB 2018 lineup
STRAB 2018 lineup

SELF DRIVE – For those driving all the way from the border to the lushes of STRAB remember your documentation. Remember your 3rd party insurance that can be bought beforehand. The Engen garage in Malelane sells 3rd party insurance if you forgot. Otherwise, make sure to get it BEFORE entering the border. And remember where you placed it for coming out again.

BORDER SKOLLIES – We don’t want to piss in the drinking water here BUT when you do wait for your passport to get stamped or waiting for the border transfer or whatever at the border. Be vigilant of random guys who try their luck with the newbies. They’ll spin any story for you to be distracted. If you have any problems just scream like a girl, and the border police will assist.

BASIC MEDI KIT – Again up to your personal preferences. It does help to have some headache tablets, plasters, basic flu meds etc. Your local pharmacy might help you. Medics are located at camping site 40A at STRAB.

SNACKS – Take plenty of biscuits and fruit for the late-night munchies when all the stalls are closed.

SWIMMING GEAR – Last year’s STRAB delivered great weather, so remember to pack those mankinis and beach towels, and of course sunblock. The famous Bikini Bottom Beach run is also not to be missed.

Bikini Bottom STRAB 2018
Bikini Bottom STRAB 2018

If you are joining the Wednesday Beach Party remember this is year’s theme is “Dirty Disney“. So whatever you interpret for the theme fits the bill. We can’t wait to see what everyone is wearing!

If you need more information then please visit the STRAB website or even better follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

See you at the beach!

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.