Self drive is a great way to explore new territory and South Africa has the infrastructure to back it up. Sleek, tarred highways that circumvent the bustling big cities and congested urban areas deftly criss-cross the country, while well maintained, though lonely country roads take one ever deeper inland.
Notwithstanding an efficient road network, there are the usual rules of the road and drive time anomalies specific to the region. Consumers of car hire are consequently well advised to adhere to the South African system; and driving locally will be a cinch.
Free roaming livestock and, in the case of the northern provinces, wildlife often have first dibs on the lush, green embankments that line the highways and byways of the rural areas. Goats, donkeys and cows, the currency of Africa, have right of passage, so slow down as soon as you spot an offending party.
Be extra vigilant when driving close to national parks and other game viewing areas. Its not unusual to have to dodge fleet footed warthog, kudu, springbok or wily baboons on a quest for greener pastures.
Minibus taxis are one of the biggest road users in the country and a law unto themselves. Expect the unexpected, drive defensively at all times and never, ever engage with the drivers, regardless of the situation, and youre likely to survive with a smile!
Grinding poverty and unemployment have upped the incidence of crime. Smash and grabs and car-jackings can be avoided by driving with all the windows and doors firmly locked at all times and, for heavens sake, do not pick up hitchhikers no matter how friendly and effusive they may seem. Park the vehicle in a well-lit area overnight, do not leave any valuables visible inside and make sure the immobiliser or alarm is in working order.
Road Rules Rundown
Once youve collected your conveniently located airport car hire, simply follow the basic rules of the road and youll have the self drive adventure of a lifetime:
Driving is on the left hand side of the road
The wearing of front seat belts is compulsory
Cell phone use while driving is strictly forbidden
Stick to the speed limit and take heed of the universally accepted road signs
Finding Car Rental in South Africa
Amongst others Reeds Car & Bakkie Rental provides car hire in Cape Town at competitive prices and from a convenient airport location. Their comprehensive car rental fleet comprises luxury vehicles, hardworking Isuzu bakkies and a range of Chevrolet models that span from the cost effective Spark to the 7 seat Captiva. You can check out their current discount car hire rates and make enquiries on their website.