South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is a country located in Southern Africa. It has 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline that stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. To the north lie the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; and within it lies Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South African territory. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the world’s 25th-most populous nation.
South Africa is one of the highly developed countries in Africa. This is due to the fact that a lot of foreigners overstayed in this country up to 1990 when it gained its independence. So these foreigners developed this country to the fullest especially in constructing up to date infrastructures especially the road network. Their roads are well tarmacked and neatly maintained a reason why it’s one of the world’s great self driving destinations.
Everything in South Africa is amazing from the scenery through the roads being in great conditions to the hospitality of the people. To make matters worse, in South Africa, the driving style is more of European than African. Drivers are well trained, they value human life when behind the steering wheel and above all they are cautious. Just like the adage goes that everything has a merit and a demerit, South Africa is no exception. The crime rate in this country is so alarming. Crime has unfortunately become synonymous with South Africa, though things have improved considerably in many areas since the 2010 World Cup.
So just like any sensible driver,[because we expect you to be exactly that when on self drive in a foreign country especially in Africa] never have anything of value on show especially displaying them on the dashboard in your car. Never leave a bag unattended to on a back seat when driving, never have a mobile phone visible.
Just like other African cities, in South Africa hawkers patrol the lines of cars at junctions and traffic signals selling newspapers, drinks and other petty items. So they normally use this chance to smash your windows and they grab whatever has enticed them. These people are also very tricky and innovative, at times they will stop you in a disguise that there is something wrong with your car or sometimes they scatter sharp objects on the road to burst your tyre and the moment you get out of the car, they will intimidate you with any weapon and they take off with your car. So never stop when in such a situation especially at suspicious or quiet places. Just keep on driving until you get to a place where you feel it’s safe to stop and do so.
All South African cities are well developed and really a spot on to go around them touring some of the places that matter in those cities.However, never make a mistake of moving around these cities unaccompanied. Always have a local guide to take you around these cities. Always avoid driving at night in South African cities since it will be very risky and giving lumpens and criminals a go ahead on your life.
Also important to know when self driving in South Africa, don’t make unnecessary turns since a single wrong turn ends up somewhere very far thus incurring a lot of fuel to come back to where you were supposed to go.Importantly,South Africa drives on the left therefore you have to keep right.
However, In South Africa you can drive using your valid driving license from your home country. When driving in South Africa, always carry some cash on you as most of the roads are toll roads so you will need to pay in order to use them.
Given South Africa’s size, it makes sense to plan your route before departing to ensure you’ll have enough time to cover the distance you want at a leisurely pace. If going on Safari check with the rental company what sort of vehicle you’ll need. It may go against the grain for travelers who want to self drive but you should consider taking a guide for at least one day you’re on safari as they’ll spot much more wildlife than you ever will and it’s worth the investment even if you only take a guide once. You can arrange a guide at most National Parks.
South Africa has a number of car hiring companies that operate in this country though most of them are international companies that have branches in this country like Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National, Avis, Budget, Dollar and Thrifty.
South Africa also usually features on Car rental broker sites such as Argus Car Hire and Web discount sites such as ebookers.com or Expedia.
Most of South African car hiring companies specialize in campers and vehicles with roof tents, so you can enjoy the wildlife without it enjoying you.
Various car hiring companies offer Self Drive in South Africa will allow their vehicles to be driven to other countries bordering it like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique and Swaziland though this is always done at an extra international and “in country”charge.However; very few if any company will allow its car to cross to Zimbabwe.
Many South African car hiring companies keep on changing their rules regularly so you must always read their rules whenever you feel like hiring a car from them and most especially at the time of booking. Camper hire will incur different rules and you should check out terms and conditions before making a reservation.