Taking the Long Drive

Taking the Long Drive

Holidaying during the off-peak seasons might be an option, but there’s another way of getting away from it all – quite literally. More and more South Africans are taking a little extra time off and getting stuck in to a long drive across borders. The country’s beautiful landscape extends to its neighbours’ as well, and a trip up north might just do the trick.

Let’s face it. Driving during the holiday season isn’t easy. If it’s not the incessant nagging by the kids from the backseat and the congested national roads, it’s the exorbitant peak-time accommodation and hospitality charges.

 

Holidaying during the off-peak seasons might be an option,  but there’s another way of getting away from it all – quite literally. More and more South Africans are taking a little extra time off and getting stuck in to a long drive across borders. The country’s beautiful landscape extends to its neighbours’ as well, and a trip up north might just do the trick.

 

Woodford Car Hire has put together a few tips for travelling to neighbouring Southern African countries:

 

Namibia

 

Folks in Cape Town will find that the Mother City is relatively (we are talking cross-borders here) close to Namibia. Before getting to the border, there’s plenty of the Northern Cape to enjoy, but once you’re across, the country offers a number of locations and cities to visit, including Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and, of course, the capital of Windhoek.

 

Rent a Kia Sportage from Woodford Car Hire on a long drive from Cape Town International Airport and enjoy reduced rates and extra kilometres.

 

Mozambique

 

From Durban, the drive to Mozambique takes roughly six hours (the duration of a drive to Johannesburg). During that time, the family can enjoy the coast of Kosi Bay, though the car chosen to travel is vital to this trip. Once at the border, Maputo is not far away and there is plenty to choose from by way of sun-kissed beaches and turquoise oceans.

 

A 4X4 will be your best bet going into Mozambique. Rent a Toyota Hilux Double Cab from Woodford Car Hire at either the King Shaka International Airport branch or the Beach branch in the Durban CBD.

 

Botswana

 

The right vehicle makes the self-drive to Botswana extremely rewarding. The distance from Johannesburg to Gaborane is roughly 350 kilometres, but venturing further out to attractions such as the Okovango Delta and Game Parks means taking a slightly extended holiday. The best time is during the winter months (including August) with milder weather, but also with animals easier to spot congregated around watering holes during the dry season.

 

Exploring Botswana might present you with treacherous roads at times. Get the best of both worlds in driving capabilities by renting a Mercedes Benz ML or BMW X3 from Woodford, located at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

 

Some general tips:

  • All of the above countries drive on the left-hand side of the road 
  • As a member of SADC, South African licenses are acceptable in the above countries
  • Be mindful of speed limits along the way. They may vary between 60km/h and 120km/h, depending on surface and proximity to populated areas
  • Woodford has you covered when it comes to checking that the vehicle is in perfect working order and that the spare tyre is ready to go if necessary
  • Be sure to regularly check the oil and water during the trip, and take notice if anything sounds wrong or the car drives badly due to the conditions