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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:43 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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I've been to Kruger with a wide variety of vehicles. From my experience nothing special is needed for Kruger, as long as you can fit everything you wanna tag along into the vehicle and as long as you feel comfortable in driving in it for the amount of time you plan to drive.

But.

Fuel economy and ground clearance makes a difference. And so does the visibility, the size and number of windows offer.

No gravel road is so bad that one requires a 4x4 in the Park. Unless you wanna do a 4x4 trail.

One needs to take economy into consideration of course when you hire a car. So I would say that the best car IMHO to take to Kruger would be a VW mini type bus. Especially the diesel. But nothing will hamper your Kruger experience if you took something as small as a smart car for that matter. People will however look at you in disbelieve. :lol:

Aircon is highly over-rated for Kruger IMO. If you drive around with your windows closed you miss more than half of the Kruger experience.

Oh, and your chance of getting windshield and wheel/rim damage is far greater outside the Park. :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:20 am 
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Hi all :D

Excellent comments on this one, really :clap: :clap:

Here is my summary:

I also have been to Kruger in a wide variety of vehicles...and the last post of WTM is a good summary.....altough I disagree with him on the aircon and diesel part. I would say, especially from countries where it tends to be less hot :wink: (sound like A government speech, doesn't it)...AIRCON is very use full, and to circumvent the problems of missing out on the bush sounds, I keep my windows open, but keep the aircon on (not on its hardest though!)

Secondly, I hate most diesels in Kruger!!! No really, (and no offence) I mean you come to Kruger for peace and all of that stuff, and want to come as close to nature / the animals as possible.....with this unmatched growling diesel monster..... :cry: I'm not here to generalise, but one day I went with a borrowed Isuzu bakkie, MAN WHAT A NOISE! All I could do to approach animals close was to switch of the engine, and hope the car would roll next to the eg. impalas....
It is true that some cars do make more noise than others...eg the new land rovers are quite silent, I just wanted to say my say about it...

Window sizes are important to....what is more use full and lekker (nice) than a huge window....
And personally I prefer high groundclearence..although I can't afford it, it not guaranteed better than lower sedans....(@ the right time @ the right place remember :roll:)....its maybe just the idea..and the view!

So, IMHO a 'smallish' petrol driven SUV ( not one of those 4 litres ) would be ideal.....but our Zafira (sounds like safari :P ) is doing his job real fine :wink:

Let know me if you guys disagree :thumbs_up:

Monné :whistle:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:48 am 
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My advice :
SUV type Nissan X trail / Toyota RAV , or MPV / minibus VW T5 Kombi for viewing height , extra ground clerance on tourist roads not a factor.
Diesel engines of newer design eg. VW (besides Isuzu LDV / pick up which are often old technology and very noisy) are hardly noisier than petrol engines .

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:59 am 
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One problem is that those are about double the rental price! So unless money is not really important or you really need the space, it is probably not worth it.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:33 am 
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So we can summarise it as follows.

If budget is not a problem, go for a spaceous SUV/MPV (aircon will be a given).

Otherwise if you're on a tight budget a Tazz/Citi Golf or anything else inbetween is perfect. The point is Kruger can be visited in any vehicle, depends what you can afford and what you like.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:57 pm 
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Everyone forgot the insurance bit of the question? :shock:
The FAQ wrote:
It's not possible to rent a car without some liability. Even with Europcar super cover the minimum liabilty is R4000. Also check your insurance to see if it covers damage caused by driving gravel roads! Some companies do not have that insurance, and that will likely cost you a lot in damages.

That's here.

Wildtuinman gave good advice, watch the monkeys and baboons, they are in your car in a flash, though that is usually at picknicspots. Remember to close your windows there! For the rest keep them open as much as you can. The smell and sounds will tell you long beforehand that for instance ellies are ahead, and often sounds will alert you to other animals like birds as well.

One thing about the choice of car: windows/doors and photography. Check if they open all the way, in front and in the back. A sliding door which has no window that can open is a nuisance, as you are not allowed to open it at a sighting.
Also check to see if you have enough headroom for photography, especially in the back, or you'll get a lumpy head, and miss the shots you wnated.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:46 pm 
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You are right re insurance being important too. I remember reading in the fine print on one occasion (probably bored??!!) that the car must not be driven on gravel roads. It would be a good idea to check that gravel roads in Kruger are OK - although all the companies hiring out in this area should cover that, they can also be very good at finding excuses for exclusions and surcharges!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:51 am 
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ecojunkie wrote:
You are right re insurance being important too. I remember reading in the fine print on one occasion (probably bored??!!) that the car must not be driven on gravel roads. It would be a good idea to check that gravel roads in Kruger are OK - although all the companies hiring out in this area should cover that, they can also be very good at finding excuses for exclusions and surcharges!


The company TG and I used when we hired a car for the 2007 Birding Weekend (and I think he might have used them again this time round) has the following option and it was the main reason we chose them as we knew we would be driving on gravel most of the time. The higher daily rates are about R60/day more than their super cover (normal cover) which has a R4000 excess and don't have the gravel or water cover.

And their price includes unlimited mileage, something few car companies seem to offer.

Quote:
Total Insurance Cover gives you higher daily rates but has no excess in the event of damage or theft. Damage caused by water and driving off tarred roads, as well as damage to windscreens, tyres and the under-carriage are also covered!

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 Post subject: Car hire
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:52 pm 
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Please advise on vehicle type for four (4) adults. We will be moving around, so will need luggage capacity.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:37 pm 
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Cars in Kruger
I have rented a Volkswagen Touran and it suited us fine

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:00 am 
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My 3 friends and I just made plans to rent a Nissan X-trail for a 2-week KNP tour. I'm a bit worried about space, though - is there enough space for 4 people, their personal belongings (hopefully not much - we'll be packing minimally), camping gear, food, and a cooler? Maybe we should upgrade to the double cab? My fear with that was cramped legroom for the 2 people in the back, plus it seems to be quite a bit more expensive!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:10 pm 
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You definitely don't need a 4WD vehicle in Kruger (unless you intend doing any of the (mild) 4WD trails.

I would recommend a high clearance vehicle however, to give you height, which is useful to see over objects from time to time.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Hi there again

4X4 is not necessary in Kruger,I have been going to Kruger all my life (and I'm not young) and the only time I needed a 4X4 vehicle was when we did the 5 day 4X4 trail. But as someone else has said a vehicle with high clearance gives better viewing, something like a VW microbus or the Mercedes Vito They give you height so you can see over the long grass and high bushes. They also allow you to see game over the top of the smaller sedans, which can be useful at a big 5 sighting. Most of the hire companies offer these vehicles

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:49 pm 
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Quote:
I didn't notice many dust clouds on the roads in Kruger, (maybe it rains often enough to keep the dust down, or maybe they water the roads occasionally)


Don't know what time of year you were in Kruger, but it certainly does get dusty ! Maybe the difference is the speed ? Although, even at 20 kph, with a lot of traffic, the dust can hang over the roads ! Closed windows usually prevent most of it from getting inside.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:32 pm 
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Hi kamajaka, welcome to the forum.

A normal 2-wheel drive saloon is fine for Kruger and can cope with most roads, especially as you are visiting in the dry season. Tar roads are excellent and most of the gravel roads are too (with a few exceptions).

If you hire a 2x4, like a Nissan X-Trail or Hyundai Tucson, you will be higher up with better visibility for game viewing, and there will be less risk of punctures, but obviously it costs more.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip.

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