Rick_The_Builder, 26 September 2017
Great service – check the car carefully on pickup.
We have hired from Bushtrackers previously, without hesitation we hired from them a 2nd time. They have moved to a new location, which has the advantage that you can do a couple of loops of the quiet road on the industrial estate before hitting the highway and signalling with the windscreen wipers.
The service from Matt and Heather (the world’s nicest person) is great.
We had a couple of minor issues with the camping equipment, we detected very early on, and they were quickly rectified. A little disappointing that the customers have to find these things. We had a 2 tent model. All the equipment we needed for camping came with the car, it all worked very well, we slept comfortably every night, including the night we had Hyena within 10m of the car (with no fences). Put your shoes in the tents at night, my son found some frogs had decided his shoes look like a great place to hang out.
Since last time we hired, they have a new fleet of HiLux, I much preferred the older ones. The 2.8 Hilix we had drove fantastically well on the roads, and we very comfortably covered the longer days of road driving we had planned. Off road the car was very capable, however I found it difficult to see where I was going, as the bonnet is long and high. As most of the 4x4 hire shops use HiLux, this will become a common problem amongst them all. Maybe I am too used to driving the tractor at home.
The factory fit M&S tyres on the HiLux were not really up to the off roading we tried – The Lobombo Trail. The man in the Kurger Park garage was very animated about the tyres when we asked him to repair a puncture. In sand, we needed 4x4 much earlier than I expected.
Taking an almost brand new car off road was not something that filled me with joy – and not unexpectedly we ended up with some damage. The price that Bushtrackers charged for damage repair was extremely reasonable – much less than I would have expected in the UK. We drove well over 400km off road, including a long section in a dry river bed - almost impossible not to get at least one scrape. I'm not sure how this car would have coped with the disused railway we found on our last trip.
or a longer hire period (8 weeks plus), the prices will be such that buying a lesser vehicle is an option to consider. If I hire again, I'd ask for a older (battered) car, that blends in a little more in the rural areas.
For those considering a hire & drive in South Africa for the 1st time, some observations. The roads are generally good, and driving standards are generally good. Unsurfaced roads (which can almost always be avoided) are very variable, some being almost as good as tar, and others being so bad the Mrs got out the car and walked. Fuel is around half the cost of UK.