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Kgalagadi: Info 4x4/Sedans and Car rentals

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld

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sukeir
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means of transport

Unread postby sukeir » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:37 am

Can I please have clarification about the necessity of using 4x4 vehicles in the Kgalhadi? I have checked the information available, and being a first time visitor, am a bit clueless about what is needed, but now also confused about what is required.
Some of the information seems to say that one can use normal sedans for most of the roads, other than the one between Nossob and Bitterpan, but there does not seem to be consensus about the rest of the park. Can I please have people's opinions. I am planning a trip next April 2007.
Thanks.

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:31 am

Hi sukeir and welcome!

You can most definitely use a ordinary car for almost all the roads in KTP. However, many recommend a 4x4 or SUV for the higher clearance and just that being higher can make for better viewing as some of the roads have somewhat high verges that build up when the roads are graded. So while not a necessity, something to consider if you can afford the extra expense.
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heatherb
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Car Hire

Unread postby heatherb » Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:13 am

Hi all (and especially boetie!),

I'm planning a six week holiday in SA in Dec 2006/Jan 2007, and while researching car hire for this I came across the website. It seems to be run by a Swiss guy now living in SA, and it offers cars from all the major car hire firms, but at lower prices. The VW Sharan that I have hired is much cheaper here than on other websites, and car hire is available to SA residents as well as overseas visitors. I noticed that he also has 4wd's and double cabs available for hire with pick-up in Upington, so thought you guys might be interested.
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ASHTON
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FIRST VISIT

Unread postby ASHTON » Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:04 pm

Hi everyone, I am trying my first visit to the Kgalagadi park and I will base myself at Twee Rivieren. I am having lots of trouble trying to hire a 4x4 from Upington, which is where I will be flying into from the UK. Can anyone suggest anywhere else I can hire from and a telephone number would be helpful. Any other useful tips on the trip in general would be very helpful also.
Thanks, Mike

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:36 pm

Hi Mike and welcome!

You might try (edit), which is a consolidator. I have used them twice (total four rentals, two trips) in RSA and have been very happy with them. I know that they offer cars from Upington, and their rates are usually lower than anyone else. Good luck and enjoy your trip! I am very envious
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Unread postby Elsa » Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:41 pm

Hi Mike,
We have just returned from Kgaligadi and we hired a Nissan X Trail 4x4 from (edit) which is one of the companies based at Upington Airport.
We found their rates and package to be the cheapest at the time we booked.
The Nissan itself was ideal, and perfect for the road conditions in the park and especially the road leading to TR.
One question, how many days do you plan on staying in the park as I see you say you plan on basing yourself at TR?
The distance between camps are generally quite a distance and therefore you will not be able to see too much of the park if staying in one camp only.
I am currently busy with my trip report in Trip reports From All Sanparks and there are several other excellent reports there as well that should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Hope this helps.
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Daj
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4x4 with rooftent

Unread postby Daj » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:02 pm

Hi
Does anyone have any experience of renting a 4x4 with a rooftent? They seem to be either Nissan or Toyota single or double cab vehicles equipped with all the camping gear you need. We have never done this before or seen one 'in action' so does anyone have any tips? Or answers to these questions:
- is the canopy on the vehicle locked into place, we were wondering how secure our belongings would be if we had to leave it in a public place.
- is the vehicle going to be so crammed full of equipment and be a bother to get everything out then packed up again?
- there are 2 of us but would the double-cab give us more space to put things on the back seat without having to get into the back?
- are these vehicles generally good for going off-road?
- we have hired a Nissan Xtrail before - would it be about the same height for good game-viewing?
- Any views on getting the single-cab with the option to sleep in the rear of the vehicle itself? (ie is it long enough for a 6-footer??)
- any partic rental company recommended? Britz seem to offer a complete service.
Your views welcome!
Thanks
Daj

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Unread postby Daj » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:23 pm

Thanks Gwendolen,
Had a look, lots of useful advice on what to take, but perhaps I should say we are flying in so can't bring a lot of our own stuff. Hoping the rental will provide everything - among other things that's what I wanted to check - is everything provided that you will need?
Thanks in advance for any help
Daj

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Unread postby gwendolen » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:34 pm

It depends on the rental company, but you should be able to rent everything from chairs to teaspoons.

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madach
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Re: 4x4 with rooftent

Unread postby madach » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:49 pm

Hi Daj!

I rented a fully equiped Nissan 4x4 3.3l V6 double-cab last November for a 4 week trip to Botswana. I'll address your questions in the order in which you asked them.

1. The canopy is locked in place. On our car the canopy was reasonably safe because it didn't have any windows so nobody could see inside. The locks on the backdoor were pretty pathetic so breaking in would not have been difficult. We tried to keep an eye on the vehicle at all times in Botswana (and Zimbabwe) because a fully equiped 4x4 just screams 'expensive stuff in here!'. We saw a lot of 2.4l Nissan models which had windows in the canopy, I guess they are more prone to car burglary.

2. There will be plenty room in the back of the car. You will have to take stuff out and put it back in every day, but if you pack your car in a sensible manner it shouldn't be a bother.

3. If there's only two of you then you'll have plenty of space in a double-cab.

4. These vehicles are made for going off-road so they do very well there. The 2.4l Nissan is maybe a little short on power in deep sand. I expected a lot of deep sand and mud in Botswana (and I got exactly that) and that's why I rented the 3.3l V6.

5. I don't know the Nissan Xtrail but the Nissan was perfect for game-viewing

6. I wouldn't get a single cab as you then have no place to put your camera, cooler bag or anything for that matter. Go for the double-cab!

7. I rented in Windhoek, but that'll probably not be an option for you. I can't comment on any of the S.A. rental companies as I've never rented a 4x4 from them. Generally speaking renting a fully equiped 4x4 is more expensive in S.A. than in Namibia (that's why I rented in Windhoek).

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Unread postby madach » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:56 pm

The answer to the question is not straightforward, it depends on the rental company. Our 4x4 was fully equiped and had everything I needed. Here's a list of stuff which was included for my car:

Tools
A spade, a jack, 3 spare belts, a cross wheel spanner, a complete toolbox, an air pump, a danger triangle, a tow rope, a wooden support block for the jack, a first aid kit, a tyre pressure-gauge, spare fuses, 2 spare wheels, a 60 liter extra fuel tank or a jerry can, (a 220V extension cable for the fridge / freezer), (a hand brush set).

Camping equipment
1 roof tent(s), 2 sleeping bags with pillows, 12V/220V fridge/freezer, 1 table, 2 chairs, 2 gas bottles, 1 gas cooker, 1 gas lantern, BBQ grill, complete kitchen set, a dust-free storage box, towels.

Kitchen box
1 Cutlery bag, 1 Bottle opener, 4 Cups, 1 Peeler, 4 Steel mugs, 1 Tin opener, 4 Small plates, BBQ set: fork/ladle/lifter, 4 Large plates, 1 Kettle, 4 Soup bowls, 1 Large pot, 4 Steak knifes, 1 Medium-size pot, 4 Forks, 2 Small pots, 4 Table spoons, Frying pan, 4 Tea spoons, 1 Gas cooker, 1 Bread knife, Carving knife

This was all standard ewquipment, but as Gwen already mentioned you can rent any extra items from the rental company. I for example rented four extra petrol jerrycans for our Botswana trip.

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OBSERVER
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Info 4x4 and Sedans

Unread postby OBSERVER » Tue May 15, 2007 2:48 pm

anyone know about the prado landcruiser that caught fire in KTP recently. have just seen photos on landcruiser website. apparently the fire was started by grass scraping under the exhaust system. not to sure if they were on an eco trail or heading into botswana. any comments on how this could be prevented as we have booked to stay at rooiputs in july07.

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Unread postby BushCall » Tue May 15, 2007 3:02 pm

Hi Observer

Apparently it is on the Polentswa Trail in Bots near the first nights stop according to friends who did this trail not so long ago. We always had a seed net over the radiator and my dad would stop every 10 Kms and send my brother and I under the Landy to get the dry grass out. You would be surprised how hot the exhaust gets so we always used winch gloves. This was probably not done in this case through inexperience as on that side there is no guide to stop and tell you what to do, so one Sandton 4x4 up in flames to join the other 2 that I know about on that trail.....be careful out there. By the way Rooiputs is a dodle and it wont happen to you there as it is not far from the main Nossob Road and is on Sandy Tracks as opposed to grassy tracks...enjoy there are nice Lions around Rooiputs...nice going to sleep with them roaring nearby with just a nylon tent wall between you and them

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general 4X4

Unread postby OBSERVER » Tue May 15, 2007 3:09 pm

thanks very much. will certainly buy those gloves and keep the fire extinguisher very close to hand. all the advice helps as one doesn't want to learn by trial and error (as they certainly did). do you perhaps know what time of the year it was?

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Jose
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Re: general 4X4

Unread postby Jose » Tue May 15, 2007 7:34 pm

On top of that make sure to check and clear the radiator and underneath of your vehicle regularly, but at least once every hour, of grass. As BB said, similar to what any KTP field guide/ranger/whatever would advise you, btw. Friends of mine found the earthly remains of a Landy gone up in flames in March '06 in KTP (SA side).
Happy trails!


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