Situated on the lush inclines of Table Mountain, and between the Indian and Atlantic oceans, the bustling city of Cape Town offers vast panoramic views and exciting activities for any type of visitor. With so much to see and do in this beautiful city, car hire has become the most viable option.
Drive Africa, a popular Cape Town car rental company, offers fantastic rates and quality vehicles to travellers visiting the city.
Heading out to the region of Swaziland, Southern Africa can be fun and enjoyable, especially so if you remember all that you need to bring along to make the trip memorable. If you are planning a trip, you should remember to get a good car rental Swaziland company service. To get the most out of traveling Swaziland, you are going to definitely need a rented car to travel the country and enjoy your time.
Cape Town and Johannesburg are beautiful areas in Swaziland, and to see all the sights you need a car. To save money, you should find a service that will provide the best car rental deals in the region where you are traveling. Hiring a company to send a car out to Swaziland will end up costing you a lot. Look for a car rental Swaziland area company.
Another way you can save a lot of hassle and get the most out of your traveling trip is to utilize the services of a company that negotiates directly with the local dealers. This will avoid getting you, as an individual buyer, being forced to pay rates far above average. A company that you book a cheap car with for car rental Swaziland will deal one-on-one with the major car rental companies in Southern Africa and you’ll be aware of the price every step of the way.
You can enjoy a ride with no cash down and not even a credit card required. Save yourself from having to worry about negotiating deals while you’re on your traveling journey through Swaziland.
One of the best ways to experience the beauty and magic of Lesotho is by car. When you travel by car in this exotic and exciting land, your experience becomes more personal. You will come in close contact with natives, the culture, and countryside. You also have the convenience of coming and going as you wish. Of course, for this to happen, you have to first locate a cheap car rental Lesotho service.
The good news is that finding a cheap car rental in Lesotho is easier than you may expect. Of course, this does not always mean that you will get quality. When you book your car rental in Lesotho, you want to make sure that company you book with offers cars that are suitable for your experience. This means that they are dependable, reliable, and comfortable, coming with all the necessary bells and whistles necessary for navigating that exotic Lesotho terrain.
If you are vacationing, visiting, or traveling to Mozambique, the quality, reliability, and dependability of your car rental can make or break your experience. Since so much of your travel in Mozambique will be dependent on your car, Mozambique car rental is of course the key to your trip. If you book the wrong car or with the wrong car hire company, you could be left wanting.
This is why it is so important to ensure that your Mozambique car rental will suit your needs. You want to take things like size, comfort and air conditioning into consideration. Also, because your travel within the area may consist of traveling off road or on unpaved paths, you should consider booking with a car rental company that offers 4 x4 vehicles that are equipped with off road capabilities. By doing a little research beforehand, you will greatly increase the quality of your trip.
Of course, if you are looking for more information on some of the best and cheapest Mozambique car rental and car hire rates, you may want to ask the pros at Drive Southern Africa. Visit them at http://www.drivesouthernafrica.com/.
The Eastern Cape’s Addo Elephant National Park was established in 193I to prevent the last of the region’s once mighty elephant herds from being blasted into oblivion. The locals had become fed up with the bolshie pachyderms damaging their properties and threatening their lives so the government had sent down one Major Pretorius to sort them out. And sort them out he did.
Bang, bang, bang went his rifle and within no time the elephant problem ended. Thankfully though, there were a few people who thought it would be a shame if the Eastern Cape lost the mighty beasts altogether, and so the Addo Elephant Park was born – a tiny place where the last 11 jumbos in the Sunday’s River Valley lived in relative peace – and were fed with daily deliveries of oranges.
It was pretty much just a zoo back then, a sort of circus attraction that brought in tourists but had little conservation value. Now, however, things are very different. From a humble 2 000 hectares, the park has expanded into a megapark of some 168 000 hectares covering six different habitats: Nama Karoo; fynbos; forest; subtropical thicket; coastal belt and marine. Impressive indeed. In fact because the ‘new and improved’, Addo Elephant National Park focuses on marine as well as terrestrial conservation, its slogan is ‘The only protected place in the world where you can see the Big Seven’, by which it means elephant buffalo, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, Southern Right Whale and the scary great white shark.
The Alexandria dunefield (the largest dunefield in the Southern Hemisphere) is now part of Addo, as are the seven Algoa Bay islands, which together harbour the world’s largest Cape Gannet breeding colony and more than 4096 of South Africa’s penguins. There are seal colonies and Roseate Tern nesting sites, as well as numerous important fish and perlemoen breeding areas deep beneath the surface. So perhaps Addo should find a new name for itself. But of course elephants are a big part of its history and are still the number one drawcard – so ‘Elephant Park’ it’s likely to stay.
The Colchester section in the south, which has been opened up partly to accommodate the growing herds of pachyderms, is just one of many new areas that have been incorporated into Addo. The reason for this expansion is because the focus of the park is no longer on saving individual species, but rather on saving entire habitats, some of which are exceedingly rare. One such habitat is the Alexandria dunefield, a magnificent rolling landscape of cream-coloured mountains covering 15 800 hectares and stretching some 50 kilometres along the coast. But it’s not only the rare animal and other species living among the dunes that gain from the park’s protection. Humans, or at least those living nearby, also benefit, as rainwater that’s filtered through the sand is siphoned off in a controlled manner to provide drinking water to nearby communities. At the same time, underground freshwater ‘rivers’ from the same source travel far out to sea and mix with the ocean, thereby creating unusual yet crucial conditions for the thousands of marine species that live and breed out there. Should these ancient flows be disrupted (by an increase in human use, for instance), the environmental and economic consequences for South Africa could be disastrous.
The dunefields are also important for cultural reasons, because scattered among them are numerous prehistoric shell middens left by people from a long gone race who gathered there and ate heartily from the available seafood. Thank heavens it’s all being protected, then. Another biome that’s being saved comprises the lovely fragments of forest which are all that remain of the unbroken canopy that once ran down the coast. Most of this was swept aside to make way for cattle pastures, but the bits that remain have been incorporated into the Woody Cape section of Addo. The dream, of course, would be to link up the remaining patches to regenerate a forest that partially resembled the original. But SANParks cannot pursue this because the land is too important for dairy farming.
As my passport is already stamped and the cross border car rental building is indeed closed, I cross over into Lesotho with my 4×4 rental with no problems. I am rewarded by the most spectacular views, looking across a magnificent, rugged alpine landscape, and the sight of a restaurant. I stop there for a quick meal and short rest before continuing my journey.
Lesotho is an odd country, despite being entirely surrounded by South Africa, it’s most definitely another country; in fact in many ways it seems to be another world. Today, there are very few vehicles at the summit, although I do pass some Basotho people on their donkeys wearing blankets and their conical hats.
Black Mountain Pass
From Sani Top, I continue along the road and reach the Black Mountain Pass, which is different from but as dramatic as the Sani Pass. Instead of spirally upwards over a short distance, the Black Mountain Pass climbs steeply and then drops sharply into deep valleys. Two hours and 52 kilometres later, I arrive in the town of Mokhotlong (which means the place of the bald-headed ibis) in a valley dominated by Thabana Ntlenyana, which at 3482 metres, is southern Africa’s highest ‘beautiful little mountain’. The guide book tells me that one district commissioner even had his wife’s piano transported from the Sani Pass – as I look back up at the route taken, I wonder at the skill of the donkey/pony handlers.
Mokhotlong to Thaba-Tseka
The next morning, after refuelling, I go back along the road for a few kilometres until I reach the St. James High School, where I turn right at the sign to Rafolatsane and Linakeng. I cross over a concrete bridge, then turn right at the T-junction. The road passes along the edge of a deep and narrow valley, winds up a steep hill to the village of Linakaneng, and then descends into the valley, towards Linakeng village. About 15 kilometres later I cross the Linakeng River. I nearly miss the junction to Taung about eight kilometres further on. Here I turn right towards Tsaha-Tsheka and soon reach the Koma-Koma causeway. Luckily the weather is good and so the causeway is passable – it is often impassable in heavy rain. About an hour later, after the village of Mohlanapeng, I reach Thaba-Tseka.
The road is Katse Dam is a good dirt one. The Katse Dam is part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, an blab la bla. At an elevation of almost 2000 metres, Katse must be the highest dam in the Africa (and also contains arguably the coldest water in Africa).
The next morning I start early to drive to Semonkong. Passing through Thaba-Tseka again, I continue towards Roma, past the Mohale Dam. The Maluti Mountains are truly one of the great scenic routes in Lesotho, from the stack and dramatic scenery of the Blue Mountain Pass to the willow-lined valley that then leads up to the Molimo Nthuse (‘God Help Me’) Pass. Over another pass and then I begin to descend into the valley and farmlands. I turn left to Roma from where it’s another 90 kilometres to Semonkong. The road is good, sealed for the first 30 kilometres and then a relatively good direct road. About four hours after leaving Roma, I arrive in Semonkong.
Lesotho is not just a beautiful scenic country. It is also an adventure sport destination for many South Africans. I am spending a couple of days in Semonkong to indulge in waterfall worship and experience some extreme adrenaline rushes. The following day I swop my 4×4 hire for a pony. Basotho ponies are descendants of the Indonesian horses that were imported to the Cape in the early nineteenth century. They were interbred with Arab stallions to produce strong, sure-footed ponies able to withstand the harsh climate. It sure makes a change from driving – on a pony you feel part of nature. My pony is incredibly sweet-tempered and copes admirably with the uneven terrain, where not even a 4×4 rental could pass.
My first waterfall destination is Ketane Falls. I get off my horse and scramble over boulders, down an embankment and onto a rock slab overlooking the waterfalls. The Falls thunder over a huge rock outcrop dropping 120 metres to the pools and rocks at the base. I don’t go too near the edge and am relieved to get back on my pony and return to firmer ground! Later, I think about my reaction to the vertiginous drop at the waterfall. I have travelled through most of southern Africa, across borders and bush. I have happily driven up and down mountains in my 4×4 , and it is only now that I realise I suffer from a from of vertigo! It’s time to face my fears.
The next day, I go to the Maletsunyane Falls (meaning Place of Smoke) to grab myself some vertigo-beating, adrenalin-pumping action. I am going to abseil alongside the Maletsunyane Falls, which, at 200 metres, is the highest single drop in the whole of southern Africa. At the top I stand, strapped in, deafened by the unbelievable noise issuing from the waterfall, seriously doubting my sanity and contemplating throwing myself off the cliff! Instead, I take the plunge and experience the most memorable 30 minutes of my life. It is quite overwhelming to descend alongside a thundering waterfall, surrounded by spray.
The next day, I leave Semonkong to return to Maseru from where I will cross into South Africa at the Maseru Bridge border post and take the N8 to Bloemfontein. Thank goodness my 4×4 hire caters to the under 21 car hire crowd. Its good-looking and stable, getting me from A to B.
Just outside Golela, I turn my 4×4 rental left onto the N2 and head south for Durban. I could probably make Durban before nightfall, driving along the 500 km of good motorway, but I decide to stop en route. There’s a game reserve at Mkuze but I want to gain some time so choose to stop at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park. The other option is to go west to St Lucia Estuary, but I don’t want to go too far from the N2. After taking the Hluhluwe off-ramp, I turn right at the stop street and cross over the freeway. After about 14 km along a tar road, I arrive at the memorial gate and steer my 4×4 hire through the entrance to the reserve.
Established in 1895, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve is the oldest game reserve in Africa and covers about 96 000 hectares. It’s contains an amazing variety of fauna and flora and is famous for having rescued the black rhino from extinction. On the drive into the reserve I see giraffes, zebra and loads of buck. There are some rhino around but I keep my distance, as I have heard stories of rhinos charging cross border car rental vehicles. I don’t know whether it’s true or not but I am not going to risk it. I spot some vultures sitting on top of a tree, no doubt waiting for their supper. I am spending the night in a camp on top of a hill in the centre of the park. The views are to die for. That evening I go on a 2-hour night drive and am incredibly lucky to see a leopard with its kill (a warthog) up a tree.
The next day, I drive slowly for 17 kilometres until I reach the Nyalazi gate. There I turn my trusty 4×4 rental right onto the R618 towards Mtubatuba and get onto the N2 again, direction Durban, which is less than 300 kilometres away. The Valley of a Thousand Hills is formed around the Mnegni River and its tributaries and as I drive along the lush coast road, I begin to understand how this landscape so inspired Alan Paton. The magic of these hills is almost tangible and so I stop from time to time to appreciate the beauty and enjoy a coffee.
It’s almost nightfall when I pull my cross border car rental into Durban. The next morning I join the hordes of sun worshippers on Durban beachfront. I play in the water, pretend to get eaten by sharks, eat pineapple on a stick, and watch the dolphin show. I even take time to watch one of the beautiful sand sculptors at work. I can’t resist a little twirl in a rickshaw, and then round off my day with the dodgy pleasures of Durban’s Minitown.
But, after a good night’s sleep, I am pleased to be on my way – my 4×4 rental and I aren’t made for city life. I take the N3 past Pietermaritzburg and Hilton until I reach the R617 off ramp at Merrievale (Southern Drakensberg). I then turn left onto the R617 to Underberg where I turn right to Himeville. I fill up with fuel and restock my supplies in Himeville. About 9 kilometres out of the town, I reach a crossroads where I turn left onto a gravel road that leads to the Sani Pass.
The Sani Pass is the highest pass road in South Africa and was originally developed as a bridal path in 1913. The first vehicle negotiated the path in 1948 when it was no more than a donkey track. Although the road has been upgraded, I am still glad that I am driving a 4×4 hire vehicle as the pass snakes its way up the Drakensberg escarpment. The driving is quite tiring. I have to navigate around zigzag curves and hairpin turns. By the time I reach the South African border post I have climbed more than a kilometre! At the South African border I am astonished when the officials tell me that the Lesotho post is closed for the day, so they’ll just give me the stamp – but apparently this is fairly common. Under 21 car hire has made the continent of Africa accessible to youngsters from around the globe and they often stand amazed at our supposed lack of fanfare where official business is concerned.
The road behind the South African border post is extremely steep and rocky. Greatly relieved to have good traction and four wheel drive, I drive slowly and take care to brake and accelerate smoothly. I am not surprised at the names given to some of tight turns in the road – ‘Suicide Bend’, ‘Ice Corner’ and ‘Big Wind Corner’ to name but a few. About eight kilometres after leaving the South Africa, I reach the summit (at 2874 m) and direct my 4×4 rental in the direction of the Lesotho border crossing.