4x4 Vehicle Driving
Photo: Nissan Double Cab with 2 Rooftents. The extra load on the roof requires cautious driving, especially on gravel roads.
Do You Need a Rooftent?
All 4x4 rental companies in southern Africa offer rooftents. The demand for them is the reason behind it. People fear to be visited at night by snakes, spiders and other creepers. So one prefers to sleep on top of the car rather than in a ground tent. However, rooftents are potentially dangerous as they shift the centre of gravity upwards. Especially with two tents on the roof the maximum roof top load is more than reached. With a high gravity centre, one easily looses control over the car on the vaulted dirt roads, especially when taking the bends with too high speed. The many rolled cars in Namibia prove the point. Rooftents are definitely a hundred times more dangerous than snakes and insects.
The Standard 4x4 Vehicles in South Africa
The ubiquitous bakkie, double cabin with five seats or as a single cab, is the main offer of South African car rental companies. If they are properly equipped, one can explore all areas of southern Africa in them. The passengers on the back seats of a bakkie don't have much leg space, though.
Toyota Hilux 4x4 Double Cab
This 4x4 is a fovourite with the rental companies. It usually comes with a 3.0 litre Diesel engine. The Hilux is robust and affordable. It has enough space for 4 or 5 passengers and for any amount of luggage and equipment. One can get it with or without camping equipment.
Toyota Hilux 4x4 Single Cab
It has a smaller cabin and is only suitable for 2 persons. It is as sturdy as the Hilux Double Cab. Single Cabs are available with and without camping equipment.
Nissan Navara 4x4 Double Cab
The Nissan is very similar to the Toyota Hilux. It offers enough space for up to 5 persons and their luggage. It is available with and without camping equipment.
Nissan Navara 4x4 Single Cab
This type has a smaller cabin and space for 2 persons. It is as robust as the Nissan Double Cab. Available with and without camping equipment.
The Defender is in regard to its off-road capabilities unequalled, in particular if one has to drive through soft sand and on mud. It is less comfortable than its competitors. One feels like driving an old truck. It is noisy, slow, not dust-prove. The worst about it is its proneness to breakdowns, even if it is new. On the other hand the Defender is technically quite plain and any bush mechanic can fix it. Only few companies offer Defenders for rent nowadays.
Nissan Xtrail 4x4
The Nissan Xtrail is an ideal vehicle for South Africa. The SUV allround 4x4 offers space to up to 5 persons and has comfortable finishes. The passengers in the back seats also have enough space. Some reantals offer the Xtrail as an automatic. If you don't want to travel through too inviable terrain, this is your best choice. It is not equipped for camping.
We cooperate with many 4x4 rental companies in southern Africa and will gladly give you advice which type of vehicle to get for your particular tour. Our offers are usually cheaper than a direct booking with the car rental would be. Send us an email with your dates of travelling (dates and place of delivery and return, intended travel areas): firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: We only act as agents of car rental companies. The rental contract is entered into by the client and the car hire company in South Africa or Namibia. We cannot be hold liable for any damages.