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Kgalagadi: Info 4x4/Sedans and Car rentals

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

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simonb6
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Kgalagadi: Info 4x4/Sedans and Car rentals

Unread postby simonb6 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:29 pm

As mentioned elsewhere, I'm giving serious thought to my first visit to Kgalagadi in September 2006. As I would like to get the most out of the trip, I'd like to rent a 4x4 but I have no experience of driving 4x4s (where I live, people generally have 4x4s for the pose factor, not for any practical purpose). I'm aware that a lot of "urban" 4x4s are not really suitable for serious off-road driving.

Looking at the vehicles available for rent in Upington, it appears that the choice is basically between the..

Nissan X-Trail (although at least one renter claims that these are 2wd!)
Toyota Condor
Toyota HiLux Double Cab 4x4

Are these vehicles all suitable for the 4x4 trails in the Kgalagadi?

Having never driven a 4x4 off-road, I'm also considering doing a one-day basic off-road course before the trip - I realise that nothing counts like experience but at least this would be give me a basic idea of what to do and what not to do
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Unread postby saraf » Sat Nov 26, 2005 4:43 pm

Simonb,

As we found out to our cost not all Toyota Condor's are 4x4. We were given a 2x4 but like you not knowing what a 4x4 should have we didn't question it when we picked it up.

Apart from that I haven't got a clue, although we loved the room we got with the Condor, but not the fuel comsumption!

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Unread postby Stoffel » Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:27 pm

Simonb6

Go for the Toyota Double Cab. In my opinion the other two is not really meant for real 4 x 4 adventures like the Kalahari. Four people can easily fit into the Double Cab, although the back seats are not the most comfortable for adults. I do believe that the rented vehicles will be fitted with a canopy. This gives you lots of packing space. And last but not least, The Toyota Double Cab is one of the best proven 4 x 4's. (Honestly, I don't owe one).
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Unread postby Loams » Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:27 pm

Out of the three vehicles you listed, the Toyota Double cab is the best suited. Things you consider when selecting your 4x4 are ground clearance, power, torque, lack of electronic gadgets that go boom in the bush etc.

I'm not a 4x4 expert, but I know there are several companies out there that specialise in renting out 4x4's.


I honestly think there are guys are better qualified than the average blonde to give you advice on what kit you need, and perhaps they do some training as well.

Have a blast!
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Unread postby Jumbo » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:16 am

Hi simonb6

It all depends on where you are planning to go inside Kgalagadi. If you are visiting camps like Grootkolk, Kalahari tented camp etc. you do not need a 4x4. The 2x4 Condor will be a good option, because as Saraf mentioned, it has a lot of space.

If you planning to go to camps like Bitterpan and Gharagab, and maybe even on the 4x4 trails, the 4x4 Hilux is 100%. We used our Hilux for our trip and it had no problems. If you look at other 4x4s, make sure that they have good ground clearance and “low range"

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Unread postby Jay » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:10 pm

I also vote for the 4x4 Toyota Hilux, ours has never gotten stuck! My sister and family take 3 holidays a year into the Kgalagadi with their Toyota, they swear it's the only vehicle to go with ....without wanting to belittle any other makes, could start a war, the newer, fancy makes can give hassles with too much dust and all that electronics etc.

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Unread postby simonb6 » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:46 pm

Thanks folks - that's just what I wanted to know. Looks like it will be a HiLux then (which suits me as it's the cheapest option)
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Unread postby bucky » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:13 pm

Hopping onto the bandwagon a bit late here , but yes
the hilux is the only real 4x4 out of those 3 .

Check out the 4xforum for tips , very good forum that ,
for advice on what you need , the bare mimimum is a hi lift jack and a long pull strap of sorts .

try team up with another vehicle if you are going to do the serious 4x4 routes (Isnt this a rule) .

If you do a off road course , make sure its in a vehicle with
manual transmission(stick shift) and manual locking hubs .
Have seen far to many tourists getting stuck in 4x4's
when they thought they where in 4x4 by selecting it in the vehicle , but had not locked up the wheel hubs manually .
If its a newer hilux , i think they also come in automatic .

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Unread postby Jay » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:15 pm

Loams wrote:
lam wrote:If you can't get a Landrover Defender / TD5, then the Toyota Hilux is the next best option.


It's a Land Rover thing.... Would they understand???

Must say, I drove a Cruizer pick up the other day in the bush.... Equally capable, but deep down inside, I will always be a Landy fan


A Hilux is a Landrover recovery vehicle, surely you know that

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:33 pm

We have a hilux double cab and the preceding comments apply.

You need experience in sand driving. The Hilux is can do anything KTP will present you with.

The height is also great.
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:16 pm

On my recent trip to Kgalagadi I noted that 95% of the vehicles driven by visitors to the Park were 4x4's. You do not need them to drive the 'normal' roads in the Park - however I do advise that a 'high' vehicle is a huge advantage for game viewing.

We did the Leeuwdrill 4x4 loop in a Defender and our friends in a new Freelander - both vehicles coped fine.

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Car Rentals

Unread postby gwendolen » Mon May 08, 2006 3:31 pm

I'm in the pre-planning stage of booking a holiday to KTP. (and perhaps Namibia). I'm planning to go in July/August 2007.

I would like to know what type of car forumites rent to go to Kgalagadi. What are you experiences with the rental company? Would you recommend the same car for a short trip (2 weeks) or a different type for longer trips, say 5 or 6 weeks.

I'm also considering a car with a tentroof.

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Unread postby reinette » Mon May 08, 2006 3:49 pm

For a rooftop tent you will most probaly look at a bakkie (pick up van, or what ever you call it)
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Unread postby Salva » Tue May 09, 2006 9:28 am

This is probably the only park in SA where I would recommend a vehicle with high vantage point, hence with high clearance, in any season. Especially around Nossob the sides of the road are so high you can sometimes see nothing for kilometers when driving a normal sedan.

If you go in july - august 4x4 is not really necessary except when you are planning to visit camps like Gharaghab or Bitterpan.

In 2000 I visited Namibia and could not resist to slip in KTP for a couple of days - was an excellent decision.
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Unread postby wipi » Tue May 09, 2006 3:32 pm

Hello,

We have bin in KTP in 2000 in a normal car, but the sides of the roads are then very high so we almost see nothing, only when we hang out of the car We have rented for Namibia and Botswana a 4x4 with rooftop tent. In Botswana you need one,in Namibia not, but you sit higher in the car so you can see much better the scenery and the animals also you have lovely 4x4 tracks in Namibia. You sleep well in the rooftop tent. In the morning you look out of the window to see the earth awaking and that is every morning fantastic. To get in and out of the tent you need some practise but in a few days it goes smoothly. We have no bad experience with the car rental company both in Namibia and South Africa. This year we rent again a 4x4. For us no holiday in Africa without a 4x4. We love the outdoor living.

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