Bush Pig Safaris
The Best Equipped 4X4 That You Can Hire
Useful Information

Useful Info For Your 4X4 Safari

  • Driving in southern Africa is done on the left-hand side of the road in right-hand-drive vehicles.
  • The highway speed limit is generally 120kph and 60kph in built-up areas.
  • The driver must be in possession of a valid local or international drivers license.
  • The wearing of seat belts in the front seats is compulsory by law.
  • From April 2015 it is illegal for children under the age of three to sit in the front seat of a vehicle or to not be appropriately and safely restrained.
  • The use of hand-held mobile or satellite phones while driving is illegal.
  • Do not exceed the speed limits – take extra care in outlying areas, particularly when approaching rural villages. Traffic officials are often strict and quick to issue a fine.
  • The price of fuel in South Africa is adjusted on the first Wednesday of every month.
  • Government regulates the price of petrol. Diesel prices are not regulated and vary from one service station to the next.
  • Bushpig Safaris’ Land Rover Defenders all run on Diesel – take care when refuelling at a service station to ensure that the attendant does not fill your tank with petrol.
  • If the service station attendant has erroneously dispensed petrol into your diesel tank, do not attempt to start or operate the vehicle.
  • Before having your tank filled it is advisable to confirm with the attendant that the service station accepts payment for fuel by credit card.
  • All distances and measurements are metric (i.e. kilometres, litres, etc.).
  • Take care to avoid pedestrians – the rate of pedestrian fatalities on Southern African roads is very high (likewise, be extremely cautious when crossing a road on foot even at designated pedestrian crossings – never assume that an approaching vehicle will stop for you).
  • Avoid driving at night unless absolutely necessary as in many areas wildlife crossing the roads at night can present a serious risk.
  • The standard of the road network in South Africa is generally very high and roads are well signposted.
  • Take care on gravel roads particularly after a sustained period of rain or a sudden thunderstorm.
  • Remember to adjust tire pressures (lower) when driving for any distance on gravel or sand roads and to inflate once you are back on a tar road.
  • There are a few toll roads in South Africa (mainly these are in the metropolitan areas) – try to avoid them where possible, otherwise make sure you are carrying enough cash or your credit card.
  • Be warned that the standard of driving in Southern Africa is often questionable and that local drivers are notoriously impatient.
  • When travelling in your vehicle, particularly in towns and cities, lock the doors and keep valuables (purses, wallets, handbags, etc.) out of sight.
  • Do not venture into areas that are not prime tourist destinations without first checking on their safety – often obtaining the advice of locals helps.
  • When travelling in game reserves, do not get out of your vehicle unless in a designated safe area.
  • Seek advice about the appropriate safety precautions before travelling on safari into remote areas or areas where there is an abundance of wild animals.
  • Once you have planned your trip, check whether you will be visiting an area where there is a risk of getting malaria. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. The symptoms are similar to the flu and can include headaches, chills, high temperatures, sweats, fatigue, nausea and severe discomfort to the eyes when not in a dark place. Check with your doctor or a specialist travel clinic and commence with a course or the recommended oral prophylaxis prior to travelling. Malaria can often be avoided by using the ABCD approach to prevention:
    • Awareness of risk –find out whether you are at risk of getting malaria.
    • Bite prevention –avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent, covering your arms and legs between sunset and sunrise and using a mosquito net.
    • Check whether you need to take malaria prevention tablets –if you do, make sure you take the right anti-malarial tablets, at the correct dose and that you finish the course.
    • Diagnosis – seek immediate medical advice if you experience any of the above symptoms during or up to a year after your trip.
  • The serious danger of sunburn is not always appreciated by visitors to Africa, often with dire consequences. Take care to wear sunglasses and a hat or cap when out in the sun. Always apply a good quality sunscreen to the face and body and avoid spending extended periods of time in the sun.  
  • Supermarkets in South Africa are open 7 days per week and in general all sell groceries, fresh vegetables, bread, meat, cold drinks and toiletries. Many of the larger supermarkets sell wine and some even have a small in-house pharmacy. For beer and spirits, it is necessary to visit a bottle store. The sale of alcohol on Sundays is generally prohibited.
  • Municipal tap water is generally safe to drink throughout South Africa but bottled still and sparkling mineral water is availably in supermarkets and convenience stores. Do not drink untreated water in rural or remote areas unless you have first ascertained that to do so would be safe.
  • The major supermarket chains that we would recommend include Checkers, Woolworths and Spar. Most service stations have a convenience store but since they usually offer a 24-hours service, you can expect prices to be slightly higher.
  • As you venture North, you will find that the towns are further and further apart and it becomes more and more difficult to source good quality supplies. It is recommended that you take adequate provisions with you and as such the availability of a large fridge/freezer unit in your safari vehicle will be invaluable.
  • Prior to travelling to southern Africa it is advisable to ensure that you have visas for all of the people in your party, for each country that you intend to visit.
  • Check and make sure that you have the requisite inoculations.
  • On arrival you may be required to demonstrate that you have adequate funds to support yourself while in the country.
  • Make sure that you have visas for the countries that you intend visiting.  At the border posts, you may be required to present certified copies of the vehicle registration papers, a letter of authority from Bushpig Safaris and the vehicle license papers.  In some countries you will be required to carry white/red reflective tape, warning triangles (to be displayed in the event of a breakdown, an incident or an accident) and a fire extinguisher.  The vehicle will also need to have a ZA sticker at the back.

For information about the climate in South African, visit: www.southafrica.info. The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate with rain falling in the cooler winter months.  As you travel further North, the climate changes and can vary a great deal.  In Namibia, the days can get hot while temperatures drop fairly dramatically at night.  By the time you get to Zambia, June through September is the best time to travel. Although the early mornings and late evenings can be cooler, the climate is generally temperate with moderate changes. September and October can be very hot followed by the rainy months, from November to March.

South African Public Holidays:

  • 1 January 2017 - New Years Day
  • 21 March 2017 - Human Rights Day
  • 14 April 2017 - Good Friday
  • 17 April 2017 - Family Day
  • 27 April 2017 - Freedom Day
  • 1 May 2017 - Workers Day
  • 16 June 2017 - Youth Day
  • 9 August 2017 - National Women’s Day
  • 24 September 2017 - Heritage Day
  • 25 September 2017 - Public Holiday
  • 16 December 2017 - Day of Reconciliation
  • 25 December 2017 - Christmas Day
  • 26 December 2017 - Day Of Goodwill

For South African school holidays visit: www.info.gov.za

Electrical Power:

The Electric Power supply in South Africa and neighbouring countries is:  220/230V

Additional information:

The following sites may provide a useful source of information when planning your trip: www.southafrica.net, www.namibiatourism.com.na, www.zambiatourism.com.