4x4 tips for first time SA visitor requested





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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Germany
    Age
    52
    Posts
    7

    Default 4x4 tips for first time SA visitor requested

    Hello from Hamburg/Germany,

    we (my wife and myself) are planning on a South Africa Trip for September / October. We are planning to rent a 4x4 pickup-truck (should be something like a Toyota Hilux)and do some easy to moderate 4x4 driving on our tour. I would consider myself to be a moderately experienced 4x4 driver. I passed several of our last holidays renting Jeeps in the US and driving through remote areas in Utah and Nevada (which is something any dirt road enthuiast should do at least once in his life by the way).

    I would like to introduce you very shortly to our itinerary and ask you if you have any suggestions about nice dirt road tracks on the way, which should be doable in not more than a short day (or less). I am especially looking for some trails in the Drakensberg area (Sani Pass is already on the list) and wherever else our tour will take us to.

    So here is the trip: Joburg-Pilanesberg NP-Marakele NP-Mapungubwe NP-to Kruger along Limpopo River (what are roads like there?) - Kruger NP (the whole thing from North to South) – Panorama Route – all the way to Hluluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and Isimangaliso Wetlands – Drakensberge /Giants Castle/Golden Gate Highlands NP area – Joburg

    I would like to thank you in advance for tips and your patience with a South Africa novice!

    Cheers

    Erik

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    40
    Posts
    785

    Default

    Some Tips:

    - Always have water
    - Always have cash (not every place in S.A accepts cards)
    - Know how to change a tyre
    - When in Game Parks, please respect the Big Five. There are plenty of videos of people underestimating these animals (especially elephants), and these people come up short.
    - Only camp / overnight in designated areas with some security (not alongside the road)
    - Find out if the areas you intend on visiting are malaria areas. Mosquito nets and malaria medication in these areas are an absolute must
    - Familiarise yourself with S.A poisonous / venomous snakes, spiders and scorpions, and watch out for ticks (tick fever).
    - We braai, no matter where in S.A you find yourself, you will be able to braai. If you don't know what that is, find out.
    - If you get pulled over by traffic police, talk German and pretend not to understand. Chances are good they will let you go...(Ich will nicht zu bezahlen Sie Bestechungsgeld , fahren Sie mit dem nächsten idiotisch Opfer gefallen)
    - Most S.A'ans can be bribed with beer or cash. Do not be over generous by providing both , German beer is always welcome, but if you don'n have, Castle or Black Label will do.
    - Always have adequate sun protection at hand (and some after burn lotion)
    - Enjoy yourself! Ours is truly a beautiful country

    If you find yourself in Pretoria, come over and have a beer
    Last edited by JvZweel; 2015/02/18 at 02:14 PM.
    Jaco
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Melkbosstrand
    Age
    47
    Posts
    2,395

    Default

    Drive on the left-hand side of the road....
    Fortuner 2.8 GD6
    LC 76 SW (Sold )
    Everybody needs to believe in something.... I believe I will have another Beer!

    Travel Blog: https://since1652.wordpress.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Germany
    Age
    52
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thanks for the tips so far!

    Quote Originally Posted by Papsak View Post
    Drive on the left-hand side of the road....
    You mean you guys drive on the wrong side of the road? Why the hell should you do that?

    Folks I need some touring tips please!

    I know I have to carry water and I am capable of changing tyres... I even have exercised to pretend not to be able to talk english with some police officers in different countries. It has always worked!

    I am not sure though if I should try to bribe police with german beer?
    Last edited by erikh; 2015/02/19 at 03:38 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    52
    Posts
    1,042

    Default

    Hi Erik,

    You don't mention the duration of your trip. Your planned itinerary could keep you busy for some time. Need not fret too much about the police unless you planning to drive 150km/hr on the right side of the road, or in our case the wrong side ;-)

    Best advice is not to travel to isolated. Being part of this forum is a great start. If you need rapid feedback, consider placing in the Pub section. Moderators will move if this is not the appropriate placing.

    Stick to your plan, you will have a trip of a lifetime. Have done many trips in all of the areas you mentioned. PM me should you need detail.

    Kruger Park: Book early, watch this on You Tube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SbNdOz2p0j4

    Drakensburg: We have camped at Hlalanati in the North. LOVED it. People are friendly and there were security throughout the night.

    Zapiture,
    Discovery 4 Facelift 2015
    Defender D90 2.8 2003
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Germany
    Age
    52
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Trip is gonne be a little longer than 3 weeks. Might seem a little tight for 22 days, but I like action when I am on vacation. I have an office job I can relax from my vacation when I am back to work.

    Kruger is aleady booked for a total of 6 nights, from north to south. I want to try to get a permit for Mananga and Madlabantu drives when I am there but they do only allow 6 vehicles per day. Unfortunately we are gonna be in Kruger during SA holidays. Anybody knows how chances are to get those permits?

    For Drakensberg I stumbled over Ingwe Cabin in this board (thanks for that). I am probably gonna send a booking request within the next days.

    What I am still looking for is just some nice drives I can take my rented 4x4 to. Found Bezuidenhouts pass on this board meanwhile but am not sure if it fits in my search profile "easy to moderate" as it looks a little tough...?
    Last edited by erikh; 2015/02/20 at 02:31 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Montagu
    Age
    67
    Posts
    316

    Default SA Trip

    HI

    Welcome to South Africa -- a great country! Where are you staying in the Kruger? I can perhaps give you some info as we usually spend a month there each year, part of the time in accommodation adn part bush camping.

    You can PM if you like.
    Owen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    52
    Posts
    1,042

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by erikh View Post
    Trip is gonne be a little longer than 3 weeks. Might seem a little tight for 22 days, but I like action when I am on vacation. I have an office job I can relax ........

    What I am still looking for is just some nice drives I can take my rented 4x4 to. Found Bezuidenhouts pass on this board meanwhile but am not sure if it fits in my search profile "easy to moderate" as it looks a little tough...?

    Hi Erik,
    22 days, wow you're going to be busy!
    Kruger trip: try your luck, but don't get your hopes up. The park is VERY busy during school holidays. The further north the less busy it is.

    Bezuidenhouts: follow this link http://www.mountainpassessouthafrica...pass,-kzn.html
    Have done most of the passes in that region, with your experience, it will be a breeze.

    Always good practice to let someone know when they should expect you at your next destination. Make sure you get a local sim for your mobile. You will get signal in 90% of the area.

    One word of caution: you will encounter locals selling handcrafted figurines at most viewpoints and bridges. Don't take your wallet out. Always have a few small notes separate. Don't leave valuables open. This is tempting.

    If you're into photography, just use common sense. Ask before taking pictures of locals. They value that. Just be careful of youngsters, I have found them to be a nuisance.

    Zapiture,
    Discovery 4 Facelift 2015
    Defender D90 2.8 2003
    Conqueror Commander 2014

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