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 Post subject: Re: Will I be able to rent an automatic 4x4 at Skukuza?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Germiston, Gauteng
Travelstory wrote:
The last trip .....we were abut jarred silly on the dirt roads


You can minimize this in any vehicle by deflating your tires a bit. We do this even in KNP with the mixture of tar and gravel roads as we are driving slowly (Toyota Fortuner 4x4). Just remember to pump up to normal pressure when leaving the park


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 Post subject: Re: Will I be able to rent an automatic 4x4 at Skukuza?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:52 am
Posts: 67
Location: USA
But, it would be great if they offered more choices for automatic vehicles @ Skukuza & Nelspruit. The only automatic vehicles available are a sedan & a 4x4. Adding an automatic SUV would be nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Will I be able to rent an automatic 4x4 at Skukuza?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 3:37 am
Posts: 59
Location: Sarasota, Florida USA
Stark wrote:
4) For insurance we used our Visa Signature card, which provides primary insurance when you're driving in SA. :dance: It's a great money saver and I highly recommend this route to any travelers from the States.


Apology for hijacking this thread, but it may also help Travelstory.

I have Chase Sapphire Preferred and British Airways, both Visa Signature cards. Called Chase benefits yesterday for clarification on the insurance thing, as I know when renting a car in SA the insurance is mandatory and must be purchased along with the rental, the vehicle will not be released without it ("it" being the mandatory insurance coverage sold by the rental car agency).

I was told by the Chase rep that Visa Signature insurance benefits did not cover South Africa. I argued with her, as it is not listed as an exclusion, but she told me that since it was not listed it is not covered. ????? So I am wondering, what insurance did you have, Stark? Was it additional coverage?

The last time I was in Africa I purchased the plan from American Express, a flat $25 fee, covered everything, even windscreen and tires. of course part of it duplicated the mandatory SA insurance, but the Amex picked up the huge deductible ("excess").

Is there something to the Visa Signature I don't know? I have a PDF of all benefits right here but need to look at it more closely. Maybe my brain isn't working well right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Will I be able to rent an automatic 4x4 at Skukuza?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:30 am
Posts: 164
Location: Beautiful northern California
kimanjome wrote:
If you are flying in to Skukuza then you will have plenty of time and opportunity on those slow roads to reacquaint yourself with the stick shift. Seriously, it's very easy. And unless you are going off-roading (like the Kgalagadi) you won't have any need for a 4x4. Just rent a good SUV.


I must respectfully disagree. If you are not used to driving a stick, and you are also not used to driving on "the other" side of the street, a manual transmission is, to me, a giant pain. We have been going to Kruger every other year for a decade, and spend almost all of our time on dust roads, and I HATE having to manually shift. Slamming that thing into reverse when an angry elephant wants you going the other direction is a nightmare...to me. Yes, we have done it, but it is not ideal. I agree that you should contact the Skukuza Avis folks directly and try to get an automatic if you can. You will survive a manual, but for these trips of a lifetime, go for what will be the most comfortable. We have booked an automatic Foretuner (2x4) for November/December (Avis/Skukuza) and I could not be more thrilled. I am praying that we actually get what has been promised.

I booked ours through the AARP site. At the time, they listed Foretuners in both the 2x4 and 4x4 models. The 4x4 was VERY pricey and I also don't think it is necessary. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to do one of the Adventure Trails, but the difference in cost just doesn't work out for us. We are in Kruger for 39 days, so the car cost is worse than the plane fare!

You might also check to see if they have automatics at the Mpumalanga Airport. If they do, perhaps they can move one to Skukuza. Worth asking.

Good luck and have a grand trip.

_________________
2014
Nov 5,6,7 Skukuza
Nov 8, 9 P'Kop
Nov 10 - 14 Satara
Nov 15 - 19 Letaba
Nov 20 - 24 Shingwedzi
Nov 25, 26 Mopani
Nov 27 - 30 Olifants
Dec 1 - 5 Lower Sabie
Dec 6 - 9 Biyamiti
Dec 10, 11 Crocodile Bridge
Dec 12, 13 Skukuza


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 Post subject: Re: Will I be able to rent an automatic 4x4 at Skukuza?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:52 am
Posts: 67
Location: USA
ilove Meerkats,
I hope you are fortunate enough to get a 4x2 @ Skukuza. I checked MQP airport, Skukuza camp & Skukuza airport. The AVIS SA website only lists a sedan & a 4x4 for automatics. I also phoned the Skukuza camp location and was informed that they only had 4x4, no 4x2 at their location & at the airport.
However, it seems automatic 4x2 is available at JNB airport.
Yes, the 4x4 is unnecesary and very pricey, almost double the cost of the sedan :big_eyes: .
If a 4x2 is available at Skukuza airport when I arrive, I will upgrade, but not depending on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Will I be able to rent an automatic 4x4 at Skukuza?
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:30 am
Posts: 164
Location: Beautiful northern California
ctm7943, Yes, I am crossing fingers (touching thumbs). It is weird, I have returned to the Avis.com site several times and sometimes they list the Foretuners (both 2x4 and 4x4) and sometimes they don't. Sometimes you can put in "Skukuza" and other times, nothing comes up...oh well. They have confirmed that I get an AUTOMATIC Foretuner so if they want to give me the 4x4 instead, all the better.
Keep hoping.

_________________
2014
Nov 5,6,7 Skukuza
Nov 8, 9 P'Kop
Nov 10 - 14 Satara
Nov 15 - 19 Letaba
Nov 20 - 24 Shingwedzi
Nov 25, 26 Mopani
Nov 27 - 30 Olifants
Dec 1 - 5 Lower Sabie
Dec 6 - 9 Biyamiti
Dec 10, 11 Crocodile Bridge
Dec 12, 13 Skukuza


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 Post subject: Re: Will I be able to rent an automatic 4x4 at Skukuza?
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:39 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 3:37 am
Posts: 59
Location: Sarasota, Florida USA
iLoveMeerkats! wrote:
I must respectfully disagree. If you are not used to driving a stick, and you are also not used to driving on "the other" side of the street, a manual transmission is, to me, a giant pain. We have been going to Kruger every other year for a decade, and spend almost all of our time on dust roads, and I HATE having to manually shift. Slamming that thing into reverse when an angry elephant wants you going the other direction is a nightmare...to me. Yes, we have done it, but it is not ideal. I agree that you should contact the Skukuza Avis folks directly and try to get an automatic if you can. You will survive a manual, but for these trips of a lifetime, go for what will be the most comfortable.


You have made several good points, and I would agree that driving a manual can be a major hassle. However, I can't imagine anyone driving through Kruger is going to need to shift into more than 3rd gear, and there won't be a continual need to shift up and down and all around as we must in city/suburban traffic.

If the OP is driving only within Kruger then it truly won't be difficult to navigate on the left side of the road.

Granted, driving an automatic would certainly be easier, and more costly, and noisier when in park or neutral (fan going). There are pros and cons. I would never want my mother (75) driving a stick shift, but my husband (67) and I (53) are both fine with it.

Staying within Kruger an automatic is great, and I would definitely do it. Outside of Kruger, in any rural location or on iffy roads, I would think a stick shift would be much better. On my last trip it got me out of some really tight spaces.


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 Post subject: Re: Will I be able to rent an automatic 4x4 at Skukuza?
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:52 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:24 pm
Posts: 2188
Location: UK
I have just returned from 2 weeks in Spain, where they drive on the "other" side of the road. :)
When we go there, we usually rent a geared car, but this time I decided to pay the extra and go for auto (these are few and far between).
Must say, I was very pleased I had. It let me just drive and concentrate on driving on the "wrong" side of the road, and navigate to unfamiliar places without the added issue of gears (I can drive a geared car, but my car at home is auto, so I am more used to that).

Some Mites are ok with the switch over, and some not. I guess it is a personal thing. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Car Hire
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:12 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:24 pm
Posts: 2188
Location: UK
A SUV isn't a necessity.
You will have a fantastic trip in an ordinary sedan.
But if your budget allows, a SUV is higher up, and gives a good view.

In the past, I used Europcar which were very good.
But since my last trip I have now switched to Avis, for the only reason that Avis do an automatic SUV which Europcar didn't (at the time).
But I have found both to be good


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 Post subject: Re: Car Hire
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:01 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:24 pm
Posts: 2188
Location: UK
For Aeropcar, I booked through an agent.

Avis I book direct.


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 Post subject: Re: Car Hire
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:08 pm
Posts: 63
Location: London England
Hi Nick,
If you are a British Airways person you can buy a flight and car together at a marginally cheaper price as Avis is affiliated with BA. I have never worked out what's the price difference is buying directly from Avis. I bought mine when BA has their World Offers sales and it I think BA has sales on currently and ending in 23 September. Have a look on their site if the prices are to your liking. If you do go with them of course you get fly on their new A380 jumbo to JNB!


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 Post subject: Re: Car choice/best vehicle/Insurance for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:50 am
Posts: 10
We have booked a 4x4 automatic with unlimited mileage for Feb 2015 trip to KNP. We chose this car because it gives us more height for viewing and three people in the car are keen photographers. Our kids are also young adults, we do long road trips across Australia with our kids and the bigger car is something we enjoy. Also I wanted us to have the space. We are only in KNP for one week and I wanted to spoil us a little bit, as it is the first time for our kids.
My husband and I spent our honeymoon in the park 23 years ago and we had a VW Golf which we drove up from Durban in and that was equally adequate for the park and we saw plenty of animals.

We booked this through a website that is Australian based that has an affiliation with Avis. An Austalian insurance company also under writes the insurance which is the same company as our travel insurance so it made sense to go with them.
At the end of the day hire what you can afford, and enjoy the park.

I booked the car the same time as the camps in KNP, to make sure we got what we wanted. I will let you know how it all works out when we get back :D


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 Post subject: Re: Car Hire
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:40 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:03 am
Posts: 150
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida
My wife and I prefer the opposite of many people. Smaller is better.
We are photo enthusiasts and the lower we are the better.
We like to be eyeball to eyeball with the cats.
This doesn't work well in high grass of course, but high grass pics are usually not that good anyway.
We prefer a four door compact sedan with rear seat windows that roll down most of the way.
I drive, she gets the back seat and that way we both have clear viewing and we're not in each others way.

_________________

*****2014*****
Pretoriuskop 31 Oct-Nov2,
Skukuza Nov 03-06,
Orpen Nov 07-9,
Letaba Nov 10-13,
Oliphants Nov 14-17,
Satara Nov 18-25,
Lower Sabi Nov 26- 30,
Crocodile Bridge Dec 01-02


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 Post subject: Re: Car choice/best vehicle/Insurance for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:44 am
Posts: 49
Location: Oxford U.K
Thanks for the advice....sadly at 6ft 3 and 120kg smaller cars are often not suitable but definitely food for thought

_________________
Nick


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