Car rental in South Africa
Rent a car in South Africa

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South Africa's culturally vibrant cities give way to rolling landscapes, long white beaches, and wilderness where the king of the jungle rules. The best way to see this vast and exciting diversity is to rent a car in South Africa and map out a plan to visit some of its innumerable appealing destinations. From the semi-tropics in Kwa-Zulu Natal in the east to the semi-desert of the Western Cape, you won't want to miss a minute of it. Plan your own itinerary, get ready, and explore.

It's your choice: Where to go in South Africa

When you rent a car in South Africa and arrive at any of the country's five major international airports, you can easily pick up your rental right at the airport. Durban's King Shaka Airport serves Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Wild Coast. Lanseria Airport in Tswane is your gateway to Johannesburg, as is Oliver Tambo Airport, which is a main hub to many destinations, including Pretoria. When you pick up your rental car from Cape Town's airport you can also easily discover South Africa's wine region. Fly into Nelspruit Airport for your safari vacation; this airport sits at the edge of the vast Kruger National Park. Once you collect your rental, within hours you can be in the heart of lion country, camping in your 4x4, or enjoying a meal at one of the lodges overlooking the elephants at an African watering hole.

Things to do in South Africa

When you rent a car in South Africa, you'll be spoilt for choice in terms of destinations. One can't-miss outing is an exploration of the Cape of Good Hope. The area, close to Cape Town, encompasses Table Mountain, where a ride up in the gondola offers incredible views of the city and ocean below. While you're in the area, Robben Island is a short hop by boat. You'll see where Nelson Mandela spent many years of his life in prison. Further north in the Durban area, the uShaka Sea World offers an amazing experience. There, you can walk in a special dive suit across the bottom of the Open Ocean Exhibit among tuna and rays, or drop into the shark tank if you're feeling brave. From there, Kruger National Park is an obvious must-do safari when you rent a car in South Africa.

Important info about South Africa

South Africa's wet summer season generally runs from November through March. The exception is the Cape Province in the south, where their rains fall in winter. If you plan a safari in the country, the best time to see the wildlife is in the dry season, from April to October, as the animals congregate near watering holes. However, South Africa presents beautiful green scenery during the wet season. Of course, if you're in the city, the weather makes little difference to your dining, dancing, and museum tours. You might want to try some local cuisine, like Cape Malaya fish dishes in the Cape, spicy Afrikaner Boer sausage country-wide, or the iconic potjiekos stew cooked in a three-legged pot. If you're booking from Europe, many hotels offer a continental breakfast option. Remember to tip your restaurant servers 10% of the bill.

Weather in Capetown
Country Republic of South Africa
Language English, Afrikaans
Currency Rand
Time-Zones GMT+2
• Area Code: +27

Good to know

Driving around South Africa along the main routes and through the cities generally presents few problems. Multi-lane freeways with good signage and directions help, as does a mobile or car GPS. It's important to note that all national road regulations apply inside National Parks. Drive on the left-hand side of the road and stick to the speed limit. Avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol, and arrange for a sober driver if you do indulge. Most speed limits in towns range between 60 to 80km/h and national roads vary between 100 and 120km/h. Ensure your driver's license is close to hand, as you will encounter police checkpoints. You only need an International Driving License if your home license is not printed in English. However, if you use your rental car to cross the borders with other countries like Namibia, keep in mind that foreign drivers need an International License.

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Our tour suggestion for South Africa

Route 62 from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth on the east coast takes you through the Karoo semi-desert. The 850km trip passes through ostrich farms, wineries, and quaint little towns with charming pubs and restaurants. Routes are clearly marked when you by a South Africa map book. Panorama Route takes you through mountains and past waterfalls. Along the way, you'll want your camera close at hand, especially at places like God's Window above the dramatic Blyde River Canyon. Wend your way to the lowlands you viewed from above, to Hoedspruit, a town 31km from the Orpen Gate at Kruger National Park, along the R40. Alternatively, the Garden Route, 300km long, offers adventure activities like hiking, zip-lining, surfing, and extreme bungee jumping. Magnificent views between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay on the southeastern coastline are considered the most scenic in the country.