Cross Border Rentals – Lesotho

Lesotho

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.

Katse Dam

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).

Maluti Mountains

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.

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.

Ketane Falls

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.

Maletsunyane Falls

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.

Car Hire South Africa

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Cheap Car Rental South Africa

The modern traveler of today is experienced in doing internet searches with regard to their holiday car rental needs and knows how to search for affordable car hire in South Africa and other countries they wish to visit. Since there are so many car rental companies in South Africa, you will find the first few pages of Google covered by hundreds of car rental companies in South Africa, all vying for first place on the initial Search Engine Results Page in Google. The international traveler has not only become wise in his or her internet searches for car rental South Africa, but has also become price conscious due to the tough economic times that we are all experiencing. So it’s no wonder that the term ‘cheap car hire in South Africa’ is being used in different forms as the main keyword or key phrase in finding affordable car hire in South Africa.

The danger when looking for cheap car hire in South Africa is that potential clients will not know if the company they have found is reputable, real or merely a virtual company on the internet. Another concern is what the cars look like and what condition they are in. There are many questions that go through the heads of the potential client: Is the car properly insured and will I be covered with this cheap rental company in the same way as with larger, better branded companies? Will the excess be sky-high or will it come at an affordable price?

Yet another question: How will the renter be able to pay, as the norm is when renting a car in South Africa, using a valid driver’s license, passport or identity document and a valid credit card? These are normally the only ways of securing a car. In our research throughout the South African car rental industry the main obstacle we came across is that potential clients need to be in possession of a credit card when they hire a car.

Coupled with the worldwide credit crunch and the economic downturn, there is a tendency in Europe to phase out credit cards in major retail stores throughout Europe, with the result that many who are travelling to South Africa are arriving on our shores without a credit card yet still need to hire transport to get around. After all, self drive car hire is still the best way to see South Africa. Drive Africa did its own searches to find car rental companies that offered cheap car rental without credit cards and car hire companies that offered cheap car rental using debit cards. We only came up with small, dubious companies in the major towns in South Africa such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. Interestingly enough, these businesses were not found on the internet.

Cheap Car Rental South Africa

About Cape Town

Cape Town, the beautiful Mother City of South Africa, is one of those places which feature prominently on ‘Dream Destinations’ lists of travel-lovers the world over. Since the dawning of democracy in 1994, Cape Town’s popularity as a prime tourism destination has grown extensively. Cape Town holds something for everyone – families, gay tourists, adventure-seekers, students – from gap-year backpackers to 5 star conference delegates, the city welcomes visitors from every walk of life, and ever nationality, each year. Even in the winter months, called the “Green Season”, the City is pretty busy. Let Drive Africa get you around with their great car hire cape town rates.

Cape Town is situated in the extreme south of South Africa between the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Indian Ocean in the east. This vibrant and exciting city spreads out on the lower slopes and in the valleys at the foot of the famous landmark, Table Mountain. The mountain, which has a height of 1086 meters is a national monument and boasts a larger variety of plants than the whole of Great Britain! The mountain overlooks the CBD and some of the older suburbs, and is visible from almost every place in Cape Town. This makes it suitable for orientation, and it is also used by locals to predict the weather.
A trip to the top in the rotating cable way offers some of the best views in the country. Incredible panoramic views are also accessible when you take a drive along Signal Hill.

Cape Town is in every way an exotic and exciting destination, with its eclectic mixture of African, European, Caribbean and Californian influences creating a dynamic atmosphere.

While touring the Peninsular with your rental car Cape Town there are countless ways to experience this melting pot of cultures and influences.

Sample wines sourced from grapes grown on the lush slopes of rural Constantia.
Visit the ‘Cape of Good Hope’, stopping off along the way to enjoy long stretches of isolated sandy beaches.
Prefer to be surrounded by ‘hip and happening’ people? Visit Camps Bay or Clifton along the Atlantic Seaboard – busy beaches full of beautiful bronze bodies meet buzzing seafront cafes and cocktail bars.
Visit the Bo-Kaap with its colourful homes of the Cape Malay community, and then take a township tour to experience one aspect of modern Xhosa culture by meeting the locals in the Shebeens (township bars).Cape Town is renowned for the relaxed atmosphere of its people. But don’t be fooled – the locals know how to work and play hard despite the ‘laid back’ attitude they exude!

In downtown Cape Town, you will find Green Market Square. This picturesque area, bordered by trees and trendy cafes and restaurants alongside an old stone cathedral, is the site of the well-known craft market from Monday until Saturday. The old City Hall, built in the 18th century is situated opposite the station.

The Victoria and Albert Waterfront has established itself into a 24 hours entertainment area, with restaurants, pubs, shops and entertainment for the whole family.
You can participate in sightseeing tours around the port or to the former prison island ‘Robben Island’. A visit the incredible Two Oceans Aquarium is also well-worth doing.

Make every moment of your Cape Town holiday count. Use Drive Africa for your car rental in Cape Town.

Cape Town will capture your heart and your imagination – and you will return again and again – no doubt about it!

Car Rental South Africa – Drive Africa