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Getting around South Africa by car

YYes, flying is quick and easy but most of the magic of exploration lies on the ground. When you couple breathtaking scenery with a well maintained road network South Africa is an ideal road trip destination. While some distances between major centres can seem slightly daunting, with a little planning you can easily break the drives up by experiencing the warm, welcoming people in our smaller towns as well as our gorgeous landscapes. 

Overnight accommodation is available everywhere, ranging from B&Bs to farm stays, guesthouses and hotels. The trick is to book accommodation in advance as you map out your route. 

The rules of the road

South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road. Seatbelts are compulsory and you may not talk on your mobile phone while driving. All speed limits in South Africa are in kilometres per hour. Generally, the speed limit for urban areas is 60km/h, on secondary roads, its 100km/h and on national highways its 120km/h. Always keep an eye out for the designated speed limit as these may vary depending on road conditions, and law enforcement does take place next to the road.

Driver’s licence

You may use a valid driver’s licence issued in your own country as long as it has a photograph, the signature of the holder and is in English. Otherwise, it’s best to obtain an international driving licence before you leave home. You should always have your driver’s licence with you when you are driving as you will be asked to produce it if you are pulled over for any reason.

Finding your way

It’s wise to travel with a current road map or GPS system to help you find your way around. You can hire a GPS with your car or pick up a road atlas at most bookshops and convenience stores located at fuel stations. Our mobile networks offer exceptional coverage even in most out of the way places so you will have signal for your smartphone so you can also utilise your favourite map app.

Fuelling your journey

When you refuel, be sure to establish what kind of fuel your vehicle uses (diesel or petrol) before filling up, as a mistake could be disastrous. Most fuel stations accept major credit cards. At the fuel station, a petrol attendant will fill your car, check tyres, oil and water, and clean your windows if you ask. It’s customary to give a small tip of around R5 to the petrol attendant.

Cash

Many of the national roads are tolled however these toll gates accept credit cards and cash. Similarly, when you park in cities or towns, a parking attendant in a luminous bib might approach you in exchange for keeping an eye on your car. Once again, a tip is customary.

TRAVEL TIP: It’s best to keep your fuel tank topped up and to carry extra water in the event of a breakdown as distances between towns can be quite long, especially along major roads crossing the interior of the country.

Car hire

Many major international car-hire companies operate in South Africa, offering anything from small, budget-friendly cars to luxurious sedans.

It’s best to hire vehicles in advance, especially if you are coming to South Africa at a high traffic season (during summer, which is from December to February).

Some companies also offer 4x4 vehicles if you are planning to visit places out of the city with gravel roads. In that case, you can get a quote from a specialised off-road rental provider.  They may also assist with the caravan and trailer hire.

Who to contact

Avis Rent a Car
Tel: +27 11 923 3660 or +27 861 021 111
Email: reservations@avis.co.za 
http://www.avis.co.za/

Tempest Car Hire
Tel: +27 11 552 3900
Email: transfers@tempestcarhire.co.za 
http://www.tempestcarhire.co.za/

Europcar
Tel: +27 11 479 4430 
Email: ecs@europcar.co.za 
http://europcar.co.za/

Hertz
Tel: +27 861 600 136
Email: res@hertz.co.za 
https://hertz.co.za/

Budget Car Rental
Tel: +27 11 398 0123
Email: chauffeur@budget.co.za 
http://www.budget.co.za/

Britz 4x4 Rentals
Tel: +27 11 396 1860
Email: info@britz.co.za 
http://britz.co.za

South Africa on social media

With a clear 15km stretch of beach, natural forest, exciting outdoor adventures, cultural encounters on tap and a range of accommodations and restaurants, Chintsa in the Eastern Cape is recognised as 1 of South Africa’s prime coastal destinations. It’s the perfect chill-out hideaway for travellers of all ages. The region covered by the Wild Coast Jikeleza Route is among the most carefree areas on the planet, ideal for taking time off from the hustle and bustle of modern-day life. LENGTH OF STAY You can do the entire route in a day but you will miss plenty. Rather spend at least a week relaxing and exploring the area. Incredible snap by @gavmam18. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Wonderlustsouthafrica #EasternCape #Chintsa

Explore South Africa’s rich cultural & natural heritage when you visit the Point of Human Origin in Mossel Bay. Begin your journey by going on the Human Origins Experience tour which focuses on the beginnings of modern human behaviour followed by a guided cave tour by professionals. This is a one of a kind experience waiting for you. Amazing image from @zanemeadon. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #adventure

Mossel Bay is a coastal town, tourist haven or another stop along South Africas beautiful 3 200-km-long coastline. This must-visit town is nestled in the Western Cape approximately 400 kilometers from Cape Town with an incredible range of the things to do. Picture yourself walking amongst its friendly community members as you pop in some of the local stores, restaurants & historic sites. Come #MeetSouthAfrica for an authentic coast living experience like no other. Thank you to @diaryofjustin for the stunning image. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #MosselBay #WesternCape #beachvibes

With warm weather all year round, Durban welcomes visitors to a relaxed, outdoor lifestyle where beaches, braais (barbecues ) seafood and curry restaurants, clubs and upmarket accommodation establishments provide everything an out-of-towner could wish for while on holiday. Durban is South Africa’s self-styled 'playground', where year-round warm weather encourages visitors to make the most of the province’s outdoor lifestyle. The beautiful city has so much to offer, why not visit a cultural village and learn about the ways of the Zulu people or explore its oceans and meet some new friends. Amazing image from @southafricaanz. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #Durban #KZN #adventure

If you’re looking for the complete coastal forest experience, Tsitsikamma, in the Eastern Cape has to be on the top of your list. Walk through the ancient forest, chill on the beaches, kayak up rivers and hike some of the most famous trails South Africa has to offer. The Tsitsikamma National Park forms part of the greater Garden Route National Park. The area is covered by large areas of forest as well as many rivers that have carved deep gorges into the mountains as they wind their way from the plateau to the sea. Accommodation in the area is not a problem at all, the fernery lodge and chalets is the perfect place to relax after an exciting day of adventuring. Beautiful image @tsitsikammalangkloof. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #Tsitsikamma #Adventure #EasternCape

There are many things that make Cape Town so special. Unparalleled beauty can be combined with adventure. Here you can take part in outdoor activities without having to stray far from the city centre. Whether you want to lose yourself in sea, sky or somewhere in-between, adventure is just a step away. You needn’t go far to find adventures in Cape Town. Diving, paragliding, abseiling and hiking are just some of the outdoor activities that you can enjoy within 5km of the city centre. From the sea to the sky, head to Lion’s Head for a bit of paragliding; awesome views of Cape Town. Thank you to @nicolaslarsen for the gorgeous image. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #mothercity #capetown #Adventure #exploresouthafrica #WesternCape

Giant’s Castle, part of the Drakensberg Experience route is a haven for adventurous travellers, who enjoy the simple pleasure of walking its many trails. The base area of the Drakensberg Experience Route is the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, from where you're always aware of the rugged mountain peaks the Zulus call Ukhahlamba – ‘the barrier of spears'. There is so much to the Drakensberg tour, so many villages in its valleys to explore, trails to hike, people to encounter and sites to visit, that one needs to set aside a good few days for this experience. Amazing image from @ramonmellet. #MeetSouthAfrica #TravelSouthAfrica #TravelTuesday #Travelgram #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #Drakensberg #adventure

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