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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:21 pm 
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Hi aidan and welcome to the forum. :D

There are quite a few threads dealing with car rentals.
I am sure if you have a read through them you will be able to get a pretty good idea of all you need to know.

Here
Here
And Here

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Last edited by Elsa on Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 2:07 pm 
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Hi One thing to look at is the glass cover I travel a lot in the Mpumalanga Limpopo area and have to replace my windscreen about every 2 to 3 years due to chipping this damage is caused mainly by stones thrown up by oncoming cars on the tar roads.


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Unread postPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 7:14 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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One thing to always consider when renting a car is that the company you opt to use has offices close to or near the area you will be using it in, if something goes wrong you want to be able to recieve a replacement and not spend holiday time fixing a cheap but limited companies car.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:14 am 
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I use the Avis on a weekly basis and have had only exceptional service from them. About half the time I go they don't have the vehicle in the smaller class available so I get upgraded.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:29 am 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
I had a problem last month and needed an urgent rental. I went to all the companies at KMIA - and Tempest SixT came up trumps - better rates, better customer service, etc than any of the others. They gave me internet rates (with unlimited mileage) when the others would only offer 200km/day, and upgraded me too. Sarah is the lady to talk to.

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 Post subject: Re: A word of caution concerning car rental
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:51 am 
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We rented a Nissen X trail 4x4 on our last trip to KTP and even tho it had a proper spare they gave us another spare for "just in case" when told we going to KTP.
It did take up a fair bit of valuable packing space but with only 2 of us, not that much of a problem and a nice peace of mind.
Murphy dictated that we didn't even need the first spare tho. :roll: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: A word of caution concerning car rental
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:56 am 
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And before this thread descends into another car-bashing session.

Other things to consider with car hire:

1. When booking through an agent or consolidator, always check the voucher they send you. Look carefully that the cost is the same as the quote. Last 2 times I've asked for Standard Cover and the Voucher has Super cover at a higher cost.

2. Again check the voucher for dates and times. On one trip I was made to wait for a couple of hours because the car wasn't ready as they were expecting me later than I arrived. Very annoying and if you need to be in a Park at a certain time a delay could be disastrous.

3. When picking up the car and paying for it make sure they don't charge you Super cover if you've asked for standard cover.

4. Always check that you can open all the doors, including the petrol cap, with the keys provided. We were stranded in Mossel Bay once when we couldn't open the petrol cap.

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 Post subject: Re: A word of caution concerning car rental
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:01 am 
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No car bashing Saraf :D
Rented a Mazda 5 this year for KTP.
No spare tyre
Answer was that the new kind of tyres dont deflate immediately and you should have 50 km to reach the nearest repair.
We had a puncture and indeed, we did have time to reach TR :twisted:

Found a few websites where you can order a spare (or extra spare).
So believe that some rental companies came to their senses and
they supply a spare, even when its not a standard option for the type of car 8)

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 Post subject: Re: A word of caution concerning car rental
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:18 am 
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We had the same as Madach, no spare in the Touran. Had a punture in one front tyre and a bulge in the other at the same time. Luckily for us Michael at the Olifants petrol station spotted this on his walk through the camp on his way to work (we were on a morning drive) and managed to flag us down as we were leaving camp later that day.
Puncture fixed but nothing they could do about the bulge and the hire car people couldn't get a spare to us that day. We were advised to travel at no more that 50km/h and not to go on gravel roads. 50 is OK in the park, no gravel roads isn't :evil: so we sent our last day in the camp. Next day we had to go back to Jo'burg so called in to get the tyre changed at KMIA.

Next trip was 3 weeks around Namibia. Car came with spare and I ordered a second. Not one sign of a puncture the whole time. Sod's law.

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 Post subject: 4x4 versus saloon
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:41 pm 
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I have noticed a lot of posts where overseas forumites are unsure of what car to rent. Many people are coming, thinking that the only way to enjoy the bush, or get the best sighting, is to double their expenses for a slight midgen of height.

I want to dispel this myth.

It does not matter what you drive, it does not increase animal sightings..

If I had to choose between a bush walk and a normal sedan, or a 4x4 and the extra clearance.. where animals may or may not appear, the normal sedan wins hands down.

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 Post subject: Re: 4x4 versus saloon
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:58 pm 
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MM.
Very good idea this thread, and anything that helps visiters from around the world to ease there travel plans..it is a very big undertaking to arange a trip to SA. there are numerous questions that want to be asked and i think a lot of questions that people feel embaressed to ask.

the car thing is a typical one as the assumtion is 4x4 and big is better and as far as that is concerned i leave to the experts in the park and game spotting.
reality is that if you are used to driving a normal family saloon and you are about to jump into a mega truck for your first drive in a new country then be prepaired to pay for new wing mirrors and rear light lens.

also the average driver thinks that a 4x4 will climb walls go down the side of a mountain and do all those clever things they show on the land rover TV adverts. they might be capable but only in the hands of an expert who has the backing of unlimited spare parts and a recovery team just out of shot.

i think the best advice is " stick to what your are used to" or you will spend so much time getting a feel for the vehilce.

my first trip was in a huge toyota, second was in a small nissan car to be honest only difference was it cost more for the toyota.

si
xxx

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 Post subject: Re: 4x4 versus saloon
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:07 pm 
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I agree that a 4x4 has certain advantages, in certain conditions.

However, I look at what people spend a day and I think that it is daylight robbery.

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 Post subject: Re: 4x4 versus saloon
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:05 pm 
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As someone who as made arrangements from far away, I can state it is confusing. I had never been to SA and had the usual ideas about how things would go (most of them incorrect). We were lucky, however, in that my daughter was finishing a KNP course with the Organization for Tropical Studies and could help. (The down side was that she had 4 months worth of luggage and we needed a vehicle for 3 people and all her stuff.) If you have a lot of luggage/supplies/food etc a sedan would have been too crowded. We ended up with a small SUV which still ended up with a very full luggage compartment.
Our secend trip this fall there were only 2 of us and we tried for what SouthAFricar calls a small SUV. We ended up with a Toyota Avenza. It had more than enough room for all our luggage and supplies, but in reality we could have probably gotten by with a smaller car.
I agree that it is better to drive a vehicle of a familiar size--I think anthing larger than a Toyota Rav 4 is a boat! Unfortunately, foreigners do not recognize the names of the different models of cars so it is more confusing. For instance, in the US a saloon is called a sedan. We did very well with the Avenza; they are just recently being marketed here, primarily as a cross-over SUV. It was very comfortable and got very good mileage.

PS--I should add that my daughter is now in graduate school at Wits. She has a rental Toyota Corolla but she is not allowed to take it to any of the national parks. I wonder of the company thought she would be taking it off roading?

Amy


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 Post subject: Re: 4x4 versus saloon
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:14 pm 
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I suppose it is what you plan to do.

If you want to do a 4x4 trail you obviously need one.

I can hardly imagine doing the Kgalagadi comfortably in a sedan.

Summer in Kruger the additional height does help.

BUT, I've gone for many years without one and still had a great time.

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 Post subject: Re: 4x4 versus saloon
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:56 pm 
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Oh, oh ... here come trouble! :doh:

@ MM: Great sightings! :clap: Now imagine what you would have seen in a 4x4! :big_eyes:

:twisted: :lol:

Now serious ... it is true, the best sightings and experiences are not caused by what you drive! You may have a wonderful experience in even the smallest of cars.

It is also true ... the vast majority of roads in parks such as KNP are readily accessible by ordinary sedan motors.

And yes, at times it might even be a bit better to be in a lower car, depending on the sighting.

But I will still take my SUV rather than my sedan when visiting any park.

And lets dispel a myth. Having a 4x4 (mine is a 4x2) in any SANPark is not going to give you access to climbing huge mountains, digging up mudpools or go chasing after animals. SANParks are nature reserves, not 4x4 playgrounds.

There are some routes in some of the parks that are only accessible by 4x4. These are special routes, and should you want to take them, then you must have a 4x4. There are some parks such as Richtersveld NP, and parts of Kgalagadi, where you absolutely need a SUV. But those are the exceptions, and it will be clearly stated.

The reasons why I prefer my SUV is clear.

On normal dirt roads a SUV has definite advantages. It is much better suited for those types of roads. Even more so after rains, and where the roads may not be in the best of condition. Your SUV also takes less hammering than your sedan on these roads.

More often than not the added height is an advantage, rather than a disadvantage, at sightings and general game viewing.

In my case at least, the SUV gives much more space than the sedan (ordinary size sedan). This starts to have major benefits when spending a lot of time driving in a park, taking photos, and even more so with kids around.

My advice in the end would be ... go with what your heart tells you. It is not the most important choice you need to make.

I would however just hasten to say that people should rather avoid the smallest sedans if possible. Especially those little city runabouts. They are genuinely not designed for game viewing. Size, ground clearance, space etc. is going to cramp your style in the end.

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