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 Post subject: Car choice/best vehicle/Insurance for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:35 pm 
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Location: Iowa - USA
We are planning a trip to Kruger in June '08.
Last time we rented a compact car but want to go higher profile this time.
Anyone know which sits higher - a Nissan X-trail or a Nissan double-cab pickup truck?
Are pickup's allowed in the Park?
Any drawbacks that I'm not thinking about?
I know we'd be sacrificing room but the rental cost is much cheaper than the X-trail and if they both sit up as high, why not?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:59 pm 
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Hi A'bound.

Double cabs are good if you lug a lot of stuff around.
The Station Wagon(X-trail) is better if you have small children as they can sleep in the back with seats folded down.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:17 am 
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Sallyanna, as you've noted, the choice of car is personal.
Some prefer the higher profile vehicle, I actually prefer a normal sedan as it puts you at eye level with most animals rather than looking down on them from on high :wink:
My last two KNP trips I've had a Nissan Micra and liked it very much.

I can't advise too much on insurance cover, as I am covered by both my Diners Club card and my personal car insurance, but while this is OK for American travelers, I don't know how cover works for Ireland.
I have once had a flat in KNP and paid Avis for the tyre that was totally destroyed, don't know that insurance would cover that.
And while it is possible to have a stone on a gravel road damage a windscreen, it's unlikely.

Like your choice of car, how much extra insurance cover you choose is also personal, and depends on what other coverages may apply for hired cars.
However, all the KNP roads are fine for any sort of car you might hire, from the smallest economy compact to the full Landy
Whatever you choose, I'm sure you'll have a great trip!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:01 am 
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I agree - I have been in Kruger in small and large cars - now drive a SUV which is great for height (and space) especially at this time of year. The tall grass still defeats me sometimes though - and only a bus or high safari vehicle will overcome that!

One other word of advice though, especially for folk from overseas unused to our heat - make sure you have aircon!!!! Even if you drive with windows open and do not use it most of the time, you will appreciate being able to wind up windows and cool down at times when it gets too much.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Hi Sallyanna
Done it with a micra, other sedans and a Volkswagen Touran.
Great thing about the touran is space. The high advantage does give you better sightings. But comes at a extra price.
This year i went in a Chev Aveo and it suited me fine.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:57 pm 
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Sallyanna, I think it very much depends upon your budget really.

I have visited in all sorts of vehicles, and must say I prefer a double cab of sorts..... its higher and can see over any long grass, and there is more space in the back for things you want to get at quickly.

But then arks has a very good point of being on eye level with the game in a normal sedan.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:25 pm 
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Hi Sallyanna,
You've been given great advice!
You are not coming to KNP in the rainy season so you shouldn't worry about mud and as it is just before our Spring the weather should be cool to fine,
I think you should be able to do without an aircon.
I wouldn't advice to come without a cooler box though.
The dirt roads are in a good condition overall and shouldn't cause more tyre and rim damage than usual.

We have used all different kinds of transport to visit at KNP and I do prefer the Landie we are using currently. If the rental is a bit high you could always book a drive at the camp and have both a 'low' and 'high' transport experience. :P

Whatever you choose to do this will be a trip to remember and the best advice any one can give is..."Have FUN!" :thumbs_up:

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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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 Post subject:
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: 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:
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: Re: 4x4 or regular car?
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:50 pm 
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melkin wrote:
I'm going to Kruger park on the first time and I'm going to rent a car.
1. Is there any advantage of 4x4 car? Can I get off roads or on roads that are not accessible for regular cars?!
It is quite accessible by sedan. There are tar roads and gravel roads. The main advantage of a 4x4 type of vehicle, is height off the ground for visibility. There are 4x4 trails from some camps, but I would not do them until I had a few trips under my belt.
melkin wrote:
2. Night drives, sunrise drives, morning walks - should I book them in advance, or I can wake up in the morning and join?!
This depends if you are going in a busy time or not. Minimum I would do would be to book as soon as you get to the park.

melkin wrote:
I'm gonna stay in Olifants and Lower Sabie camps.
Lucky you!

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