South African car hire is a perfect way of seeing the country we have the best road network in Africa covering the entire country. Well maintained highways link every major city and small town and offer access to some the greatest tourist attractions in the world.
South Africa is beautiful county with much to offer overseas visitors, from cosmopolitan cities with a vibrant night life to beautiful stretches of deserted coastline to animal safari parks. Unfortunately like many third world countries, especially ones with a history as chequered as South Africa’s, safety is an issue that needs to be considered when planning a trip. Most cities, tourist centres and major hotels are extremely safe and despite what the foreign media would have you believe the incident s of serious crimes against tourists are relatively low when compared with other third world destinations. There are however some basic tips, many of which are common sense, that if adhered to can make your trip more enjoyable and relaxed and will leave you with pleasant memories of this beautiful country.
If you have booked your trip and decided to use one of the many South African car hire agencies then you are obviously planning on doing a fair amount of driving and want to be independent, which is great. The first issue is driving at night, always be vigilant, this is common sense, drive with your windows closed and doors locked. For this reason you may wish to hire a car with air conditioning. Check with your hotel or guest houses which areas you should avoid at night, there are areas especially in Johannesburg where hijackings are increasingly common and should not be visited at night. All South African car hire agencies will offer insurance but hijacking is a traumatic experience and unfortunately can end in violence.
When stopped at traffic lights even during the day keep valuable hidden as there have been several reported incidents of smash and grab, where thieves will walk up to a car passenger window smash it and grab articles left on the passenger seat and flee on foot. These incidents are never violent but can cause a terrible inconvenience. South African car hire agencies are unlikely to offer personal item insurance so you would have to claim form your travel insurance. Leave wallets and other smaller valuable either in your pockets or in the glove compartment. Laptops and cameras can be left under the seat or the boot. If you have bags that you feel are necessary to have close at hand wrap the handle around the gear stick or hand brake.
Never leave valuables in an unattended car, break-ins are common and can happen quickly. Take cameras, wallets and passports with you. It is best when walking in the street to avoid ostentatious displays of wealth, so if you have valuables that are not essential to your day out leave themin the hotel safety deposit box or room safe.
South Africa is a must visit country for any overseas tourist and they should not be put off by reports in the popular media. By following basic safety tips that any reputable South African car hire agency will provide and using common sense you can have an enjoyable holiday.