Self-drive versus other Modes of Transport
You’ve decided you want to see South Africa. You’ve heard great things about the safari experience, and everyone’s raving about Cape Town. So you really want to see as much as you can…
The next question is: How do you want to get around? Are you interested in doing some self-drive in South Africa, or would you be better off sticking to a mix of transfers and private or scheduled touring?
Hopefully our website’s pages on self-drive in South Africa will help you decide. But we thought it would be fun to have a quiz to see if Self Drive in South Africa is right for you?
Just because you want to do some self-drive along the Garden Route or in Cape Town, this doesn’t mean that you have to self-drive through the whole country. Many people combine some self-drive with road transfers to their safari lodge, or even a fly-in safari. The choice is yours!
Self-Drive in South Africa Quiz
1. How much do you value your independence?
How much do you like to be alone with your loved ones versus with other people?
a) I like to do things under my own steam. I want to spend most of my time with my travelling companions and chat with others only when I want to.
b) Generally I like to be independent but I’m happy to take the odd road transfer or day tour if it eases the stress of travelling.
c) I like the extra security of travelling with others. I also find it more sociable to be with other people.
d) I find that meeting other travellers on a holiday is fundamental to my enjoyment. So I always like taking tours in new countries. I like the feeling of being looked after and not having to worry about directions and how long it will take to get to a place.
2. How flexible do you like to be?
You don’t have to like flexibility to enjoy a self-drive. It’s more a case than if you do like flexibility, then self-drive may be the best way to get around for you, at least for part of your trip…
a) I never like to plan a day until I wake up. I may want to lie in. Or if the weather’s good, I might want to go to the beach or lie by the pool. Spontaneity is essential.
b) I like to have a rough plan in my mind as to what I want to do but may change it on the day depending on how I feel.
c) I like to plan out daily excursions ahead of time but it’s great to have a bit of flexibility built in, to stay longer over lunch or skip a museum if the weather’s good…
d) I plan my trips in great detail and like to know exactly when things are going to happen, what I am going to see and what time I am going to get to the hotel.
Thinking about a self-drive trip in South Africa
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3. Do you like being told things or pick up information yourself?
This is a vital part of answering which mode of transport is for you. I’m an independent soul. I like to read the guidebooks, get touring advice online and I like to figure things out for myself. I don’t mind getting information from guides but it has to be very tailored to me. It’s a personal thing. What are you like?
a) I like finding things out for myself. I don’t really like being told things as it reminds me of school trips. I find the information goes in one ear and out the other.
b) I’m pretty independent but don’t mind receiving information from a guide sometimes however I also like to ask things from people I meet along the way.
c) I am quite happy to get information from a guide, perhaps not every day, as they can give me insights that I might not get otherwise and answer any questions as I think of them.
d) I prefer receiving information about an area from an informed local guide. I get an insider feel and a more nuanced understanding. I also retain the information for longer.
4. How big is your budget?
Again this both is and isn’t a big consideration. Some people think this is THE key reason to choose a self-drive as it is by far the least expensive option. For us, we think it’s just one consideration.
However it may mean the difference between being to afford the trip or not. Or maybe it just frees up money in other ways?
a) My budget is fairly tight. I want to see and do as much as possible with my money.
b) I have a reasonable budget but of course I am looking to make it go as far as possible in terms of getting the best value.
c) I have a good budget but like the idea of spending it on upgrading to a top notch hotels or game lodges or perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
d) Money isn’t really an issue and I am happy to pay for expert advice and guiding.
Comfortable to do a South African Self-drive?
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5. How comfortable are you with driving on the left hand side?
(All British, Australian, Indian and Kiwi readers can slip this one…)
This is a personal one for you to decide. No amount of us telling you that it is easy to drive on the other side of the road will help. Just remember if you are keen on the idea, but nervous, you can always pick up a rental car later in your trip when you’ve settled in.
a) I have driven on the left before and know that it’s no big deal.
b) I haven’t driven on the left before but friends have and they tell me it is just a little odd for the first half hour or so…
c) I am a little hesitant and so I may not want to try it in the cities but I’m happy to give it a go in more rural areas, or once I have settled into the country.
d) The idea terrifies me!
Don’t consider any other option except Self-drive, except in really remote areas. You are borne to self drive!
Sounds like self-drive would suit you best. You may want to supplement this with some excursions, either before you start a self-drive or along the way?
Self-drive would suit you but so would other options such as scheduled or private touring, or transfers from place to place. May depend on your budget, or try a bit of both?
We really question whether you’d enjoy a self-drive in South Africa. If you have the budget, a mix of private touring and transfers would be the perfect solution.
Comparing the Costs of Self-Drive versus other modes of transport
The costs depend on the region and distance travelled but let’s take an average day in Cape Town…
A typical air-conditioned rental car for two people will cost the equivalent of £22 / $35 per day plus an allowance for fuel and entrances say £38 / $61 per day for two people.
A scheduled day tour for two, including entrances, will cost £90 / $140.
A private tour for two including entrances will cost £210 / $330. It will cost much less if there are four or more people.
So this is money that you can either spend on upgrading your hotels and game lodges or perhaps on big ticket experiences such hot air ballooning or helicopter trips.
Get the ball rolling to plan your dream self-drive trip
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