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Car choice/best vehicle/Insurance for Kruger

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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:44 pm
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Location: Iowa - USA
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Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:35 pm Unread post
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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Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:40 pm Unread post
No problem with the double-cab. People are not allowed on the back though, only your baggage. Viewing will be fine!

I drive one! (Not a Nissan)

Go for it! :wink:



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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:22 am
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Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:59 pm Unread post
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.


what car would you recommend ?

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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:38 am
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Location: wexford, Ireland
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:56 am Unread post
Many thanks for all the great advice so far, this website is so helpful and I'm addicted to it.
I cant wait to get to Kruger.
As its my first time I don't know which car to hire,
I'm reading lots of different opinions, some say it doesn't matter as most of the roads are great, some people prefer the height of a 4 x 4.
Is a small car sufficient on the dirt roads or will I find myself stuck in the mud?
Do I need the expensive extra coverage for window damage etc,
Am I likely to encounter tyre & rim damage more than usual circumstances?
any opinions? :?



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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
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Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:17 am Unread post
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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Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:01 am Unread post
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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Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:17 am Unread post
Hi sallyanna,
Small cars like the Micra may not have height but I think having a bus is overrated. (I drive a truck myself) but you might have problems in certain area with grass.
I found that smaller cars sometimes gives you an advantage in bushy areas.
If you have a family, try a small SUV.
The space is good for packing.



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Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:08 pm Unread post
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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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:06 pm
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Location: Swaziland. The smallest country of the S. Hemisphere
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:57 pm Unread post
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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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:13 am
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Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:25 pm Unread post
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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Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:01 pm Unread post
I disagree with Scorpion on the matter of A/C in the car.
I don't think a high(er) vehicle is essential at all, but I do think that A/C in the car is — even in late winter. Days can get quite hot and it helps to be able to cool down a car that has been sitting in hot sun.
I almost never run the A/C at other times, it makes too much noise and I prefer to have my windows open to hear and smell the bush, but for cooling down a hot, stuffy car, A/C is great! 8)



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Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:29 pm Unread post
Yes Arks, I do agree with you, we never use aircon but, as somebody that comes from a country where 30degrees celcius is a heatwave aircon would be important. :wink:

Most cars for hire does have aircon so I don't think you have to worry Sallyanna.



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Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:27 pm Unread post
I still think your Budget is the most important thing.
If you have A/C you can choose to use it or not.
I agree with Arks that its jolly nice to turn your aircon on full blast after your car has been sitting in the sun for a while, cool it down, then you can turn it off, but you need it.



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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:59 am
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Location: worcester england
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Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:04 am Unread post
Coming from the UK you will notice the heat so we always have aircon and to be honest I don't think there are many hire cars now that don't have it as they tend to be newer models.
As for the 4x4 saloon debate not getting into that what as there are many more experienced peeps her than us, what i have found though whilst driving outside parks and if you are moving around the country at least with a saloon you can hide stuff in the boot but with a 4x4 its all on show.
You wouldn't leave a laptop on view in the back of your car in Belfast would you?



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Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:11 am Unread post
It is only the very basic level of hire car that won't have aircon - it is definitely worth paying the little bit extra, even if you only use it a few times.
When I was visiting from the UK we usually went for a Corolla and were really happy with that.
When I came out to live we hired a Tazz for economy as we did not know how long we would need it - big mistake!
And that was in June/July when it is winter.
Temperatures in the day in Kruger were equivalent to hot summer days in the UK......
You really only need a 4x4 if you live here, or want extra space/height.
Many have load area covers now so goods are not necessarily on display.
But the advice to be careful and not leave anything visible is good (as it would be in any country, really).
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