We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
1,477 posts
145 reviews
Save Topic
Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

As this coming safari in May is a budget special, I am not really sure what to hire. Last time in the KTP we had a Hilux which I loved but it was pricey. Two week rental with no excess seems to start at about £200 for a Corsa type, the tiny cars are a bit too tiny. Then you get to about £240 for a compact then around £350 for an Avanza, bigger and higher. Is it worth the extra outlay?

South Africa
Level Contributor
1,423 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

Just hire a normal car, but a higher one, so you can the see the animals better.

Cape Town
Level Contributor
10,088 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

John

I too always look at budget when we travel in South Africa and nearby countries. After all I'd rather have two weeks than one or two months instead of two weeks!

When flying up and renting a car for Kruger or the KZN parks I have never rented anything other than a level 1 "economy" car. I don't rent level 1 "mini" vehicles (currently Fiat 500, Ford Ka level), as there isn't really enough room for two of us plus our luggage for a couple of weeks plus coolbags and a couple of carboard boxes for provisions and the windows are often very small. Level 1 cars once upon a time also didn't used to have aircon - although most do nowadays. I have rented Toyota Yaris, VW Polo, Fiat Punto, Astra Corsa and even Kia Picanto. Whatever comes up cheapest through the brokers. All of these were fine for driving anywhere on Kruger roads - never had an issue (but we don't go in the middle of the wet season!). The only South African park with a challenge that I found was Ithala in KZN, which has some pretty rough, rocky roads but we managed in the Picanto with just a few groundings but nothing serious and no claim against the excess from Hertz. BTW I have consciously decided, over the past 30 years, never to take anything but the standard insurance anywhere in the world on rentals and have saved thoousands of pounds total by doing this. I have always been willing to take the excess hit and, in now probably over 100 rentals, I have been hit once - for 50 Euros!

When we go to parks such as Addo, KTP, Karoo or Mountain Zebra we drive from home and then I use my own vehicle which has always been a high clearance 4x4. We have also been up to Kruger once in my old Pajero. I drive in lots of other areas which do need a 4x4 - KTP in SA and Bots is the only one of those with serious game viewing. However specifically for animal viewing I have never found the extra 30cm or so that my head is higher to be of any real benefit in viewing animals. maybe in a few cases I might have got a better picture - but then I can also remember a couple of good sightings that we have been able to make, including Lion sleeping under bushes, where being lower was of real benefit. I have never felt paying more for a bigger car was worth the money.

Edited: 16 March 2014, 22:35
Cumbria, United...
Level Contributor
847 posts
265 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

We have always just hired an ordinary car although have gone for one a little larger, I think group C it was only slightly more but you have more room inside as you spend so much time in the car. It also means plenty of room for camera equipment etc. It copes fine on the gravel roads in Kruger just ends up very dusty! If you are booking from the UK you can get an extra 10% off with Hertz if with the AA and go through their web site and I think other organisations have similar deals. I got 10% off Avis by registering with Hilton Honours, no need to book a hotel but that extra 10% helps fund a slightly more comfortable car.

We just used standard insurance but we did pay extra for tyre and windscreen cover. We were glad as had 2 punctures one in Kruger easily fixed for £6 in Shingwedzi but the other was a side wall blow out on the N2 and required a new tyre, in fact they gave us a new car,with no extra cost.

Naracoorte
Level Contributor
2,861 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

I agree with a basic smallish sedan from a broker. You need sufficient space for luggage and lots of 'stuff' as mentioned above. I must have coffee cup holders lol - a coffee made before dawn in a travel mug to take on the road as soon as gates open is a Kruger tradition for me! I think we usually go for the second or third Group level.

We have once had a smaller 4x4 suv type vehicle as we were going on to Mozambique and I honestly can say I didn't notice any advantage of the extra height for game viewing. There may be the very odd occasion when you come across some patchy pot holey, very uneven turn off viewing loops which have been damaged during the wet season but they are few and far between and one can usually easily avoid the very bad bits in a little vehicle by reversing back out if they look too bad. So stick with your budget friendly option it will be fine.

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
1,477 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

Thanks for all the thoughtful advice. We travel on hand luggage so space is not a problem. We will stick to the compact size of vehicle.

Pickering, United...
Level Contributor
3,298 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

IMO, correct choice. I am sure you can find something better to spend the money on, john! VW polo for me.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
8,535 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

VW Polo is a good one, though there are different versions of it. The smaller one is still big enough. The larger Polo 4-door is quite a nice and spacious little car, if someone needs more room.

Edited: 17 March 2014, 21:39
8. Re: Any thoughts on a vehicle for Kruger?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 19 March 2015, 05:18