Tips for Driving andGetting Around in South Africa
Fly into – Drive around – travel the rail or Take a Bus Tour to Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth.It is compulsory to carry your driving license with you at all times in South Africa
Driving in South Africa
■ South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road.
■ Seatbelts are compulsory and you may not talk on your mobile phone while driving.
■ All speed limits in South Africa are in kilometres per hour.
■ Generally, the speed limit for urban areas is 60km/h, on secondary roads it’s 100km/h and on national highways its 120km/h. Always keep an eye out for the designated speed limit as these may vary depending on road conditions and law enforcement does take place next to the road.
■ You may use a valid driver’s licence issued in your own country as long as it has a photograph, the signature of the holder and is in English. Otherwise, it’s best to obtain an international driving licence before you leave home. You should always have your driver’s licence with you when you are driving as you will be asked to produce it if you are pulled over for any reason.
■ keep your fuel tank topped up and to carry extra water in the event of a breakdown as distances between towns can be quite long, especially along major roads crossing the interior of the country.
■At all times, make sure your doors are locked when driving. If driving in remote areas, or driving through lower-income areas, or driving after dusk, it is advisable to have your windows rolled up (if you need air, roll them down a fraction, but not enough to get a hand through).
■ At intersections and traffic lights it’s advisable to keep an eye on your mirrors for opportunists creeping up on you to pinch bags (or cars!). If someone does try to take possessions or cars, the guidance is to give it to them without a struggle … remember that most crime in S.A. is violent and most criminals will have a weapon of some shape
■ It’s best not to tempt fate (ie don’t have bags visible on the passenger seat or the rear seat, or even on the floors. It’s too easy to break a window, grab a bag and run. Bags should be stowed under the seats or in the boot).
By far the most relaxing way to Travel by car in South Africa is
Minimum of 2 people with air conditioned vehicle to suit the group size, driver / guide and accommodation booked
In instances where a rented vehicle is taken across SA’s borders, a letter of authorisation is needed from the rental company. Most Rental services supply their renters with a letter of authority when they are to cross the border. It contains the vehicle details such as engine and vin numbers as well as the rental details and which country they are entering.
South Africa has three international airports: Johannesburg International Airport, Durban International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.
Of these three, Johannesburg is the largest and most popular. All three have duty-free facilities and bus links with the city centre and the major hotels. Their facilities also include taxi ranks, restaurants, car rental offices, tourist information desks and hotel booking desks.
Apart from these, there are several national and smaller airports and airfields.
The national airline (SAA) and the other smaller airlines combine to create an excellent air network. Charter companies operate widely. Visitors will be able to rent and pilot light aircraft’s if they can produce a valid pilot’s licence
there are a number of national car rental companies who have outlets that are very conveniently placed, e.g. at airports. A car can be collected from one outlet and dropped at another, for a premium. Local firms offer a cheaper but more limited service. A large variety of vehicles are available for rent but vehicle rental in South Africa is relatively expensive.
By Far the Best way for Tourists to get around South Africa and it is ‘Fuss Free’ – take a guidedHoliday Package Toursaround South Africa as well as Day Trips from cities Accommodation, mini or micro bus travel with driver guide all arranged on the most popular routes
South Africa has a well-developed rail infrastructure. However travel by train is mostly not recommended for tourists because the system is not geared for it and safety is a concern.
Cape Town is the only city with a suburban network but it is not considered safe to use it after dark. There are, however, luxury rail companies that offer the tourist high levels of comfort and safety, such as Rovos Rail and the Blue Train.
An aspect of rail travel that is very popular with visitors is the luxury passenger trips and shorter trips on scenic routes.
Bus and Coach Services
There are a few long-distance coach companies that provide transport between cities but visitors need to book well in advance. Intercape, | Greyhound, | SA Roadlink | Translux. You can book most bus tickets at Computicket.
There are mainly two types of taxis in South Africa. Metered taxis are more expensive and to be found mainly in the cities although some small towns may have a limited number. They cannot be hailed from the street and must either be ordered by phone or at the taxi ranks, which are scarce.
Minibus taxisare the cheapest but also the most uncomfortable. Violence connected with minibus taxis and a relatively high accident rate make this the least preferable mode of transport