My partner and I want to go to South Africa next year, probably in February. We are looking to go from J'burg International airport to Kruger and then up to Cape Town. Can anyone advise the best route to take and places to stop over night? We are looking to do about a 15 - 20 day tour.
Is anyone able to advise cheap, clean accommodation along the way?
And lastly...does anyone have tips for driving around South Africa. I have heard there are carjackers, but have also read that they aren't common?
I have just returned from South Africa, having driven around the country for six weeks. Depending on what time your flight arrives at Jo'burg you can drive to Kruger within 5hrs. I headed upto Pretoria and then onto the N4 heading to Nelspruit which is about 70km from Malalane gate ( there are 3-4 tolls along this route)
As for driving in SA, it's just common sense, don't stop in certain areas, don't have anything on show in the car. I drove at night and didn't encounter any problems. Do be wary of your speed as there are plenty of road traffic police who are more than happy to relieve you of a few Rand.
The distance in SA are huge (I drove 10000km in six weeks) so the petrol costs and the toll costs do mount up.
As for accomodation I would play it by ear, there are plenty of hotels, hostels and B&Bs which will cater for you and I would book these no more than a few days ahead of arrival as this will give you alot more flexibility on your trip.
Have a great time and if you have any questions just ask.
does anyone have tips for driving around South Africa. I have heard there are carjackers, but have also read that they aren't common?
There are...it's no joke, but then again, there's no need to be overly paranoid. Especially around Jo'burg/Pretoria, if you stop at a traffic light or in a queue, keep an eye out for anyone that might be approaching your car for no reason. If you see someone coming up towards you, run the red light and drive off. It does happen. There've also been cases where drivers see a vunerable person hitchhiking (such as a woman with a baby or an elderly person) and when they stop to give them a lift, a bunch of people jump out of the bush and take off with your car- or worse. I'm not saying this to scare you- I've spent 2 months in South Africa, much of it in a car, and nothing ever happened. But just keep your wits about, and leave nothing (I mean, nothing) in the car that might suggest there's stuff inside.
Keep extra water in the car. Like the last writer mentioned, it's a vast country with long streches of nothingness.