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Frequently Asked Questions

The best advise I have ever received: “AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE – AS FAST AS NECESSARY”

  • Always wear your seat belt, the exception being when crossing a river.
  • When driving in bush or thorn trees keep your window closed to above eye level to prevent thorn branches whipping through the window and damaging the eyes.
  • It is advisable to move your seat a “click” forward and to raise your backrest slightly when encountering off road conditions…..this gives you better visual access to obstacles.
  • Adjust tyre pressure to suite the terrain.
  • Inspect suspect obstacles prior to attempting them.
  • Keep both hands on the wheel at all times.
  • Remember to keep your thumbs on the outside of the wheel.
  • Choose your driving line and gear before attempting an obstacle and remain committed to your choice.
  • A piece of tape placed at top center of your steering wheel will assist in keeping your wheels straight when driving in sand.
  • While driving difficult terrain it is advisable to allow the vehicle in front of you to clear the obstacle before you make an attempt.
  • Avoid aggressive jerking of the steering wheel, rather use gentle coaxing maneuvers.
  • Select four-wheel drive prior to encountering any difficulties.
  • When driving in grassy areas check the underneath of your car regularly for grass build-ups that can easily lead to fires.
  • When driving on rocky terrain tilt your mirrors down – this allows you to see what your back wheels have to deal with.
  • Remember that when stuck in a seemingly impossible situation it often helps to sit down, relax, have a refreshment and consider your predicament.
Tyre Pressure Correct tyre pressure can help to extend the life of your tyre, improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency. Pressure is measured by calculating the amount of air that has been pumped into the inner lining of your tyre in pounds force(PSI) or BAR pressure. The manufacturer of your vehicle specifies the suitable pressure, and it is your responsibility to make sure that the pressure is checked and corrected on a regular basis, at least every couple of weeks.

Maintaining correct Tyre Pressures There are three main reasons why maintaining the right tyre pressure is important. The first is safety. Tyres that are under inflated can overheat; and over inflated tyres can lead to poor vehicle handling on the road.

The second reason is economy. Over or under inflated tyres suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure and need to be replaced more regularly. Vehicles with under-inflated tyres have increased rolling resistance that requires more fuel to maintain the same speed.

The third reason for maintaining the correct tyre pressure is the environment. Correct tyre pressures help to maintain optimum fuel efficiency. This can equate to lower Co2 emissions coming from your vehicle than those with incorrect tyre pressures and that has to be good for the environment.

Before crossing any river there are a few important things to consider :

  • Take sufficient time to ensure that there are no dangerous wild animals or crocs in the vicinity before you get out of the vehicle to do your recce.
  • Before crossing always ensure that you walk the route you are going to take so that you know what is hidden below the water.
  • Ensure that there is plenty of space downstream on the opposite bank to drive your vehicle out. You WILL GET PUSHED A BIT DOWNSTREAM if the water has any kind of power whatsoever.
Ask yourself the following questions before crossing:
  • Are you pushed downstream when you walk in the water?
  • Is the water level higher than you knees?
  • Are you unable to walk all the way across and back again to assess bottom conditions?
If the answer to all or any of these is NO ……. THEN DON’T GO – find another way around. If you are going to cross a river or body of water of any description make sure that:
  • Your windows are open (They won’t wind down when the electrics short out!)
  • Your seat belt is undone (Its impossible to swim with a car strapped to your back)
  • That the water is definitely not higher than your air filter
  • That you are in 4×4 Low (2nd)and that you maintain a steady speed to create a bow wave in front of the vehicle.
  • DO NOT STOP for any reason whatsoever – keep going…
Be sure not to get into the same predicament as the vehicle in the picture below:
When driving on boulder strewn river beds or up and down steep rocky slopes or roads always adjust your rear-view mirrors downwards so that you can get a first-hand view of what your rear tyres have to cope with. Also – KNOW WHERE YOUR DIFF IS – rather take a wheel over a large rock than have it damage your diff by trying to keep it between the wheels. MAKE SURE YOUR TYRE PRESSURES ARE CORRECT – Soft enough to help the tyre over the rocks and prevent cutting by jagged edged rocks – and hard enough to prevent the rocks crunching the tyres against the wheel rims. SNATCH STRAP SAFETY One of the most important elements of this training is vehicle recovery, and the proper use of snatch straps. Snatch Straps are extremely dangerous pieces of equipment if not used properly. Irrespective of how experienced a driver you are, if you become complacent, accidents will happen. A number of recent accidents (some even resulting in death), should cause all of us to be aware of the importance of proper off-road driver and recovery training which makes us both confident and fully aware of how we handle our recovery equipment. When hooking the strap to a vehicle, only ever connect to a rated recovery point and use only rated bow shackles or hooks. NEVER, EVER, SNATCH OFF A TOW BALL. Tow balls are tested to withstand a load of approx. 3.5 tonnes. When using a snatch strap, due to the elasticity of the strap, the load can be magnified to in excess of 8 to 10 tonnes. This is well in excess of the capability of the tow ball and will cause breakage. The tow ball then becomes a deadly projectile as it is slung by the retracting snatch strap. When hooking a strap to the rear of the vehicle, the best option is to remove the tow ball tongue from its housing and secure the strap by placing the strap eye inside the housing and securing it with the pin that holds the tongue in place. Prior to heading out on a trip, unless towing a trailer, always remove the tongue from your vehicle and leave it at home. Ensure that all twists are removed from the strap to allow it to work as it was designed to do. Any twists will reduce the elasticity of the strap and cause the strap to fail much earlier. Always place a damper over the strap, to direct the energy downwards should a failure occur. The same principal applies when winching. This damper can be an old coat, blanket, spud bag or rubber mat out of the car. Alternatively you can head into your 4WD shop and grab a purpose made one, doesn’t matter what you use as long as you use something. Ensure that any bystanders not directly involved in the recovery move to a safe place well clear of the actual recovery. To the side of area is the safest as the most dangerous areas are going to be fore and aft of the direction of the recovery. Ensure you have radio contact or have pre-determined signals to communicate when each driver is ready to start the recovery exercise and when to stop. This applies equally to when the attempt is successful or not. The sole aim of a snatch recovery is to provide the bogged vehicle with just enough assisting momentum to drive out under its own steam. It is not desirable to totally drag the vehicle out as this has the potential to cause damage to both vehicles, the recovery equipment and to bystanders so should be avoided. Snatch straps work through energy stored within the elasticity of the strap. IE if you stretch the strap, the elasticity will spring it back to its normal length, therefore multiplying the pulling force of the towing vehicle, allowing for a smoother recovery with minimal effort. Accordingly, to determine how much pulling force is required to move the bogged vehicle, becomes a matter of trial and error. With the initial attempt, the towing vehicle only needs to pull away slowly in low gear with the bogged driver also attempting to drive out at the same time. If this fails to provide enough momentum, repeat the process with a little more slack in the strap. From there on, you can slowly increase the speed of the towing vehicle until the desired result is achieved. To make the snatch as safe as possible always ensure that the vehicle being ‘snatched’ has its bonnet open to act as a shield for the driver should anything snap and whip back at the vehicle. To maximise the life of your snatch strap, make sure it is washed and dried when you get home, before packing it away ready for the next trip.

Insurance, Support & Security

Insurance is a minefield of legal terms and exclusions. In line with 4×4 South Africa’s policies we are determined to simplify insurance for our clients. With insurance you must always remember the big print give and the small print takes away. You never get a true 100% insurance. 100% insurance in my experience promotes the idea with clients that they can do and drive as they wish as they are covered regardless of what they do and happens. This is not always the case.

What we tried to stay away from is when the vehicle has been in an accident or is stolen that you as a client, besides a traumatic experience, also have to pay the excess on the insurance of anything in the region of R 15 000 to R 45 000 depending on the value of the vehicle. This is the hold most 4×4 rental companies will place on your credit card or ask you to pay in cash as a deposit when concluding a 4×4 rental with them. With South Africa 4×4 there is no excess due by the client.

Apply the rule that you do not drive if you had any alcohol to drink. Get to camp and enjoy your glass of wine or a few cold beers! Traffic Police across southern Africa have very strict policies regarding this and you will be taken for a breathalyzer if you are involved in an accident.

We have a no extra fees for extra drivers policy as I want to make it as easy for you as possible to ensure all drivers are declared. What we do behind the scene is we forward your passport details and driver’s license to your embassy in South Africa to verify that you are who you state you are and that you have a clean drivers license back in your home country. If we find anything that was not declared at the time of negotiating the rental we withdraw from the rental agreement.

We offer unlimited kilometers / mileage and we offer this to our clients as we know that to get to the main tourist sights in southern Africa you will be required to drive long distances from time to time. I do not want to burden my clients with having to sit and calculate distances covered in order to avoid paying for excess kilometers. On the other hand to drive 22 hours in a 24 hour period without stopping is risky as this leads to driver fatigue and increases the risk of accidents. Ensure you stop for 10 minutes after every two hours of driving and try not exceeding 450km average per day.

If you are in an accident and the unauthorized passenger is hurt you could be held personally accountable for this incident. It is advisable to NEVER pick up hitchhikers.

We can assist but need to know in advance in order to clear arrangements with our insurance company.

If you are in an accident and the unauthorized passenger is hurt you could be held personally accountable for this incident. It is advisable to NEVER pick up hitchhikers.

Do not drive through the Okavango swamps and get stuck. Recovery will take a week and costs will be for your own pocket. I had clients that thought they will try the 4×4 capabilities by doing a river crossing at night after having too many beers at the campsite. The vehicle got washed away and they had to pay for the replacement. Our vehicles are permitted to go off road with our consent. It is important that we are aware of it and give permission upfront.

4×4 rental is an expensive operation from a company point of view. The equipment supplied is an additional 120k per vehicle. Most of the time it is the equipment that disappears. I expect my clients to look after the vehicle and the equipment as if it is their own. I am aware that a cup and blanket will disappear from time to time. I know how it goes while you are out on your adventure. There is a sighting of lions just outside your camp while you are having breakfast. You pack up in a hurry and forget the pot that you left in the kitchen last night. It happens ! These small items we replace at our own cost. If the vehicle is returned and we notice at the hand back inspection that there is a substantial amount of items missing ( more than R 1500 worth of items ) we will keep you liable for replacement. The larger items such as the roof top tents are covered by insurance if they were not abused ( see operating manual of equipment for correct use).

You will be driving on gravel roads and there is a good chance that a rock will take out or crack your windscreen. If it is small chip you leave as it is. If there is a crack that hampers you from driving the vehicle safely then you take it at the first large town to a repairer ( PG Auto Glass or similar ) and the insurance will pay. I pay the excess.

Tyres are not covered by insurance. I ensure that you have 40% thread left on your tyres when you pick up the vehicle. Normal puncture repair you do on the road ( yourself or at a service station such as Speedy, Tiger Wheel and Tyre, Kwik Fit, Super Quick ). For burst or torn tyres you are responsible for replacement costs.

The country you are traveling in provides 3rd party insurance ( see border crossing info sheet ). This insurance covers these type of incidents. Also take note that I am also held liable as the rental company on your behalf. So drive safely and take note that people and animals move at the last minute.

South Africa 4×4 Rentals provide a 24 hour back up support. You have to realise that there are constraints with this service. On your pick up of the 4×4 rental you will be given a folder with all your documents. In this folder will be a 24 hour number you can call in emergencies. Some emergencies will only require a call from me to direct you to a place to repair your tyre or to call a company to come and tow you in ( trust we will not need this option ). If the vehicle requires repairs that will take less than 24 hours it will be done without replacing your 4×4. This will delay your travel plans. Should the vehicle take longer than 24 hours to repair we will replace your 4×4 with a similar vehicle. Be realistic in that it can take up to two days for my crew to drive out and meet you ( especially if you are out in Botswana or Zambia ), the more remote the longer it will take. Always leave some space in your tour program for delays. The vehicles are kitted to overcome most of the basic breakdowns ( flat tyres, run down battery ect ). If you get stuck in a remote place rely on the fellowship of other 4×4 adventurers. They will be more than willing to assist with towing you out of the mud or to the nearest town. Do not feel afraid to ask.

With a fully equipped 4×4 you will attract attention. From admirers who would love to join you in your adventures to traffic officers who are curios to thieves who relish the fact that you have a jackpot of items they can acquire. The 4x4s are packed in such a way that all loose items are inside the vehicle. Only your two tents on the roof will be on the outside. Please keep the order of how your vehicle was packed.

Be especially alert when driving through towns. Two of the most popular scams being run are that rocks are placed across the road to force you to stop. Do not. Drive slowly around and if you must over the rocks. You have good ground clearance that will allow you to do so. The second scam is prevalent in towns at traffic lights. A person will point out to you that you have a flat tyre or something is loose on your vehicle. You pull over to inspect and while you are on the one side of the vehicle they steal something on the other side. Do not stop. Drive to a garage / filling station or Police station and check there.

On a personal note. Two very simple rules. Do not leave items in the open in your vehicle (especially not cameras, binoculars, passports or any item of value). Place them under the seats and in the packing spaces provided. Keep your passport and travel documents on you in person in a pouch (plastic or canvas, around your neck and tucked inside your shirt). Do not use a moon bag ( around your waist with a clip ) as it is easy to remove when you walk down the street and then all your important documents are gone !

This section is not to scare you off your holiday but to make you aware of potential threats. Use any basic security actions as you would when traveling to any other part of the world ! Crime while on holiday does happen from time to time and the only precaution is to be aware and act in accordance.

 Two of the main risks associated with renting out of 4x4s is that the clients abuse the vehicle and that rental companies are targeted by criminals to “rent“ a vehicle and take it cross border to be never seen again.

In order to monitor these activities your vehicle is fitted with a satellite monitoring devise. Even when there is no cell phone signal I receive reports as the devise is not reliant on cell phone signal, but works directly through a satellite phone network. Each 4×4 has also been fitted with a tamper proof system. Should any person try to remove the unit, stop it from functioning or cut any wires on the vehicle the vehicle will shut down completely and can only be activate by me in person or remotely.

Vehicle use reports are sent to me on an hourly basis. Any speeding, harsh breaking or accelerating is reported. If any abusive driving is picked up I will make contact the client and discuss the matter. If the abuse of the 4×4 continues I remotely deactivate the vehicle and you will not be able to continue your journey. At this stage I collect my vehicle and you are on your own.

The system also allows me to program no go areas. All South African borders with neighboring countries have been locked on the tracking devise. When you make your booking you state which countries you will be taking the vehicle to. These borders are opened before you pick up the vehicle. I am realistic as to that a last minute change can occur in so far as which border you will use to cross. Thus if you are on your way to Botswana all borders will be opened. Should you approach a border that you are no authorized to cross I will be notified when you are within 50km of the border. At this stage I will attempt to make contact with you. If I fail to make contact, I see it is an attempt to take the vehicle illegally out of the country and I dispatch a helicopter to intercept the vehicle.

This is a drastic way of protecting our most valuable assets, our 4x4s. This way we have managed to reduce repair costs and theft of our vehicle dramatically and this saving is passed on to you in a good daily rate. Assist us to keep this win-win situation going!

BORDER INFO

he information for the border info pages is collected from a number of official government websites. We cannot guarantee the correctness although we update and check it regularly. Also visit the Automobile Association’s website for Cross Border Info : http://www.aa.co.za/travel/into-africa/cross-border-information.html

Port Control

Route

Hours

Phone

Bray 07:00 – 16:00053-937 0026
DerdepoortN4 Platinum Highway06:00 – 19:00014-778 0725
Giriyondo 08:00- 16:00 Oct-Mrc
08:00 – 15:00 Apr-Sept
Phone: 015-812 9400
Fax: 015 812 0338
Groblers BridgeFrom Potgietersrus towards N1108:00 – 18:00Phone: 014-767 1019
Fax: 014-767 1264
KopfonteinN4 Platinum Highway06:00 – 22:00Phone: 018-365 9055
Fax: 018-365 9026
Makopong 08:00 – 16:00053922 Ask Vorstershoop 2011
McCarthysrusR380 Between Kathu and Tshabon08:00 – 16:30Phone: 053-781 0285
Fax: 053-781 0293
MiddelputsBetween Van Zylsrus and Botswana07:30 – 16:30Phone: 053-781 0212
Fax: (053) 781 0380
Platjan 08:00 – 16:00Phone: 015-575 1040
Fax: 015-575 1032
Pontdrift 08:00 – 16:00Phone: 015-575 1056
Fax: 015-575 1047
RamatlabamaN4 Platinum Highway06:00 – 20:00Phone: (018) 390 2533
Fax: (018) 393 0334
Skilpadshek 06:00 – 22:00Phone: (018) 366 0011
Fax: (018) 366 0012
StockpoortFrom Ellisras to Route 51008:00 – 18:00Phone: (014) 763 4586
Fax: (014) 763 4586
Swartkopfontein 06:00 – 22:00Phone: 018 365 9010
Fax: 018 365 9114
Twee Rivieren 07:30 – 16:00Phone: (014) 763 4586
Fax: (014) 763 4586
Zanzibar 08:00 – 16:00Phone: (014) 767 1024
Fax: (014) 767 1085

Port Control

Route

Hours

Phone

Bushmans NekD2 off P125 (KwaZulu-Natal)08:00 – 16:00Phone: 033-7011212
Fax: 033-7011219
CaledonspoortP92/1 (Free State)06:00 – 22:00Phone: 058-223 8400
Fax: 058- 223 1012
Ficksburg BridgeR26 (Free State)24 hoursPhone: 051- 933 2760
Fax: 051- 933 4540
Makhaleng BridgeS2 (Free State)08:00 – 16:00Phone: 051 673 1484
Fax: 051-673 1480
Maseru BridgeN8 (Free State)24 hoursPhone: 051- 924 4300
Fax: 051-924 4000
MonantsapasR57 (Free State)08:00 – 16:00Phone: 058-713 1600
Fax: 058-713 5843
Ongeluksnek(Eastern Cape)08:00 – 16:00Phone: 039-256 7001
Onverwacht 08:00 – 18:00Phone: 034-4131380
Fax: 034 4131173
Peka BridgeS388/S306 (Free State)08:00 – 16:00Phone: 051-933 3951
Fax: 051-933 5353
Quacha’s Nek(Eastern Cape)06:00 – 22:00Phone: 039-256 4391
Fax: 051-633 1099
Ramatsilitso Gate(Eastern Cape)08:00 – 16:00Phone: 039-256 4443
Fax: 051-633 1099
Sani PassP318 (KwaZulu-Natal)08:00 – 16:00Phone: 033-702 1169
Fax: 033-702 2233
Sepapu’s GateS4 (Free State)08:00 – 16:00Phone: 052332 ask 190
Tele BridgeR392 (Eastern Cape)06:00 – 22:00Phone: 051-611 1710
Fax: 051-633 1099
Van Rooyen’s GateP66/1 (Free State)06:00 – 22:00Phone: (051) 583 1525
Fax: (051) 583 1530

Port Control

Route

Hours

Phone

LebomboN4 Pafuri In the Kruger National Park06:00 – 22:00Phone: 013-793 7311
Fax: 013-793 7091
Manhoca/FarazelaR22 (aka Kosi Bay or Ponto Do Ouro)08:00 – 16:00035-593 9871
Pafuri 08:00 – 16:00013-735 6882
Ressano GarciaN4 Komatipoort  

Port Control

Route

Hours

Phone

Alexander BayBetween Alexander Bay and Oranjemund (Namibia)06:00 – 22:00Phone:
(027) 831 1662
Fax: (027) 831 1662
Gemsbok 08:00 – 16:30Phone: 054-511 0043/4
Fax: 054-511 0016
NakopN10/B3 Between Upington and Karasburg (Namibia)24 hoursPhone: 054-571 0008
Fax: 054-571 0009
NoenieputBetween Upington and Aroab (Namibia)08:00 – 16:30054902 Ask 910421
OnseepkansR358/C10 Between Pofadder and Karasburg (Namibia)08:00 – 16:30Phone: 054-951 0014
Fax: 054-951 0014
RietfonteinR31/C16 Between Askam and Aroab (Namibia)08:00 – 16:30054902 Ask 2921
Twee RivierenSituated in the Kgalagadi Cross border National Park07:30 – 16:00Phone: 054-561 0093
Fax: 054-561 0094
VioolsdriftN7/B1 Between Springbok and Keetmanshoop (Namibia)24 hoursPhone: 027-761 8760
Fax: 027-761 8931

Port Control

Route

Hours

Phone

BeitbridgeN124 hoursPhone: 015-530 0070
Fax: 015-530 0070
Pafuri  Phone: 015 5220
Fax: 015 5220

PAYMENT OPTIONS

  • Bank transfers
  • Cash
  • Credit card payments ( VISA & Master ). Sorry no AMEX or Diners !
  • Mobipaid secure online Card payment

The decision in which way the payment needs to be made is left entirely up to the client. Please note that payments can take anything from 2 to 10 working days to reflect on our bank statements. Once the payment is received I will send you a confirmation.