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Car choice/best vehicle/Insurance for Kruger

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arks
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Re: Car hire in KNP

Unread postby arks » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:07 pm

Hi Federal and Welcome!
I notice that you say that you are traveling alone and I'd just like to mention that the cost of a 4x4 for a single person is IMO not worth the expense — a 4x4 rental is 3 or 4 times as costly as renting a sedan.
A 4x4, altho many prefer it, is also NOT necessary for KTP, (Kgaligadi.)
I have always visited in a sedan — Toyota Corolla in 1992, VW Polo in 2007, Ford Fiesta in 2010.
I highly recommend Avis at the Upington airport (the manager there is Elmarie).
Another option that I've used often is the consolidator AutoEurope, which might be a good choice for you.
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
* * *
16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

littlejohn
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Advice as to size of vehicle

Unread postby littlejohn » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:27 am

Can someone advise me on the following: Our Game Park and Camping car is a Merc Unimog which we would use to access places like Selous, Ngorogoro etc. Although it is considered a truck, it is hardly larger in size than your average Bakkie, although it is higher. It is as quiet as your diesel cars are. It weighs in at 3900kg. There is a rule regarding vehicles that can carry over 4000kg not being able to travel on gravel roads. Does this rule apply to our Unimog? (bearing in mind landcruisers, F250 and some of the vans eg nissan interstar, some sprinters etc do have the same weight carrying capacities) I understand why 50 plus seating busses and big trucks may hassle other visitors but we, in our Unimog wouldnt/dont.

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David Maritz
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Re: Advice as to size of vehicle

Unread postby David Maritz » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:27 am

Definately!

With my visit to the park in 2009 there was two unimogs that camped in the same camp and that was really nice to see. These guys were rigged and I felt very out as to what my vehicle compared (mine is well kitted) against theirs.
21 - 28 April 2011 KNP Visit

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FlorisCathy
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Re: Car choice/best vehicle for Kruger

Unread postby FlorisCathy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:14 am

In April 2010 we hired a Renault Koleos (SUV). We were with 2 adults and 2 big suitcases. That fit's, but a third suitcase would had to find place on the backseat next to the third person. This isn't very handy with gamedriving to an other camp when bringing all you stuff. In oktober 2010 my parents joined us, so we hired a Toyota Hilux. All four suitcases easily fit's in the canopy and even my 2 meter long dad fits on the backseat.
In juli 2011 we go with 2 of us, so we hired a Hyundai Tucson or similar.

As you can read, we always take a nice comfortable car, a bit higher for the beter game spotting.
In the period we went, a 4x4 isn't needed. But I don't know how it is in the summer. I think that if roads are a bit uncomfortable, they close it...
I am a heartless person,
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SusieB
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Re: Car choice/best vehicle for Kruger

Unread postby SusieB » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:13 pm

I'm sure the Honda Accord will do just fine. However I will just add as a fellow auto only driver I always go for the Kia Sportage auto 2x4 - probably a bit more expensive but to me worth it's a bit higher and like the extra clearance.
Whatever you go for have a great trip! I just love Biyamiti...it's a great camp! :D

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Guzz
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Re: Car choice/best vehicle for Kruger

Unread postby Guzz » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:31 am

I agree with you SusieB. The Kia Sportage or Hyundai ix35 will be my 1st choice. I know that the Land Rovers and Hilux's are great, but for value for money, I would suggest the Hyundai or Kia.

Plenty of legroom, good AC, electric windows all round, cruise control, fair ride height.

For those 1st timers in the Kruger, almost every road in the park is good enough for any car. To be honest, you'll probably be able to drive the entire park with anything from a Picanto to a Gti. Tarred roads or dirt roads, rain or sunshine.....

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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card cove

Unread postby Stark » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:02 pm

I just learned some information that I wanted to add to this discussion for US travellers. (maybe it should be in General Advice?? There might be a topic hidden away over there that is more appropriate, but I couldn't find it. :))

I recently applied for a VentureOne Rewards Visa from Capital One, as there is no transaction fee for international purchases. While reading the fine print I also noticed I receive the Visa Signature Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver insurance.

This insurance is secondary in the USA, but is primary for international rentals. :dance: I called to verify whether this applied to SA, and it does! :dance: It also covers theft. :dance:

Visa suggests contacting them prior to renting to make sure all terms & conditions are met, but it just might save travelers to SA some money if they can decline the car rental CDW and theft insurance.
"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." West African Proverb

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arks
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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card cove

Unread postby arks » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:10 am

iLoveMeerkats! wrote:Also, if I go to the South Africa AVIS website, the quote automatically includes insurance. If I go to the US website for AVIS, it allows me to make a booking without checking the insurance boxes but in big red letters it says, "Additional surcharges (some of which are mandatory) may apply to this booking." I am wondering if that could mean the agent at KMIA might say that I MUST take the insurance. ???

:hmz:

Don't worry, ILM, I've been renting with AVIS (using the US website) for some years and there will be no additional insurance charges. You should have no problems. Enjoy your trip!
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
* * *
16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

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Toddy
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Re: Car rental thoughts

Unread postby Toddy » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:43 pm

I normally hire an X-Trail or CRV (you can never choose the exact make).
Last time I was in SA I was given a brand spanking new Fortuner instead as they didn't have the class I had ordered. Talk about luxury, was much bigger and far more comfortable than either the X-Trail or CRV.

This time I have hired through Hertz and the vehicle looks like it could be a Kia Sportage, but once again have to wait until I get there to see what I actually get.

13-16 April - Satara
16-19 April - Biyamiti
19-22 April - Lower Sabie



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John Burton
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Re: Car rental thoughts

Unread postby John Burton » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:10 am

It also depends on your budget, how high the vegetation is when you are visiting and how long you are going to be in the park. I really value space to move around inside the vehicle so people can access both sides. We visit most years for about nine or ten nights at a time. I go with a Caravelle size vehicle even though there are only three of us. The interior space is a huge benefit when you are in the car for hours on end - camera and cooler bags and the like can go on the rearmost seats and the middle row has those sliding windows. These windows are not ideal but work well enough. If you get a choice the Mercedes equivalent is better than the VW, although this year I saw a few very comfortable looking big Hyundais as well, might try that next time. But best of all with these vehicles is the height, good bit taller than an X-Trail and the seats have a very high setting as well, but be careful not to block the view of those in small cars at sightings. The only downside is that some of the tight gravel loops along river edges aren't negotiable in such a big car, oh and the cost!

But whichever you go with, I'm sure you will have a great trip.

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Fankie
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Re: Car rental thoughts

Unread postby Fankie » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:21 pm

Hi John

You can't go wrong with a Renault Koleos.

Great ride height ; plenty of space for 4 with "normal" luggage and a cooler box ; the back windows also go right down.

The best feature is that the ride over corrugated roads (even the S36) is also much more comfortable than with other similar vehicles (French style seats and a slightly softer suspension) Had one the last 2 times in the park and have booked one for next November again.

When I make the booking (Class S - which includes Nissan X-Trail and the Hyundai) I just stipulate that I want a Koleos. At the airport they once tried to fob off the Hyundai on me - trick is to remain friendly but firm and they then give you the car ordered.

Give me a PM and I can let you have the agent's details

Cheers
fanki

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Stark
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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card cove

Unread postby Stark » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:22 am

I wanted to update this thread with my experience...which was fantastic. :)

If you have access to get one, I suggest getting a Visa Signature card. I rented a car from Hertz at MQP for 19 days, and I had no problem declining the rental insurance (ALL rental insurance) and saving myself nearly R6k in the process.

My suggestion is that you print out the Visa Signature benefits document (pdf is online) and bring it along. I simply had Hertz reverse the insurance charge they attempted to add, make a copy of the benefits document, and keep it in my file. It's a money saver.

On a related note, I was happy renting with Hertz. A full spare tire was included, and the Kia Sportage was a comfortable vehicle. It sits a bit higher, the windows in the back roll down all the way, and we (3 of us) were more than comfortable riding around. :thumbs_up: It wasn't a 4x4, but thats okay. I'll do the 4x4 trails some other trip.
"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." West African Proverb

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Re: Type of vehicle for 4 fatties!

Unread postby gerharddb » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:08 am

:yaya: Topgunhorse and welcome!

If you are looking at something like a bus, I would go for the VW kombi or the Hyundai H1 bus.
Both are equally nice and spacious. The one isnt better than the other. The H1 may and surely will be a bit cheaper than the VW but then again the VW is a bit more considerate with feul consumption. So its 6 of the one and half a dozzen of the other...it cuts no ice.

If looking at something like a SUV, a X-trail will work well, as well as the Tucson. But if I were to choose it would be the Hyundai IX35. It drives like a dream, very low fuel consumption( lower than the x-trail and the tucson) and have enough space for all the bags.

Decisions :wall: :wall:
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Re: Type of vehicle for 4 fatties!

Unread postby Crested Val » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:50 pm

We have hired an X-Trail and a Tucson in the past for 4 people, and we found them not very good, with all our luggage and then if you want to buy food and booze before you enter the park.

The Tucson had a very odd shaped boot, and I had to sit all the way from OR Tambo to Kruger with one of our cases in the front seat with me!!

I would definitely recommend a bigger vehicle than those if your budget stretches to it!! :thumbs_up:

Whatever you hire, I wish you a very happy holiday. :thumbs_up:
In my beloved South Africa!!!!.

Addo Feb 2-5 2016
Storms River Feb 5-8 2016
Kruger Feb 21-Mar 10th 2016

billh
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Re: Car choice/best vehicle for Kruger

Unread postby billh » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:32 pm

IMHO it would be hard to beat a Toyota Fortuner. Front seat passengers have eye level views at about 1m65 and rear seat passengers 1m85.
There's plenty of legroom and a good size storage area.

Most of the other vehicles I have used - like the X Trail and the Tucson have seats which are actually lower inside than one imagines ( I guess 1m45) and barely higher than a normal car. And even with only two of us carrying luggage, cameras and provisions tested the limits of their "boots".
I'm afraid I can't give any insight into rental availability and comparison prices.


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