South Africa




R.A.C.E. (Ray’s Auto Centre of Excellence)

Tel: Hout Bay 94199.

Coordinates S34 02.391 E18 21.055.

Small general garage. Reasonably cheap.

First visit - New starter motor at beginning of trip

Second visit - Oil service, antifreeze, new temperature sensor and general check-over at end of trip.



Werner Jacobs Hersteldienste, Paul Kruger Straat 10, Upington. Mobile 0844325039.

Coordinates S28 26.671 E21 15.240.

One-man operation in back garden specialising in Land Rovers - very cheap (Diesel leak from tank - split fuel return pipe)



Megaworld4x4, No. 2 Builders Way, Baileys Centre, Hillcrest.

Tel: 031 7657595.

Coordinates S29 47.185 E30 46.266

Off-roading specialists. ARB Air locker problem.



Highway Service Centre, 70 Albany Road, Port Alfred, next door to the BP garage. Mike Kolle

Tel: 0879412030.

Coordinates S33 35.265 E26 54.451.

Small general garage - reasonably cheap. Service.



Megaworld4x4, 1 Hyperama Road, Link Road, Meadowdale, Johannesburg.

Tel: 061 397616622.    

Coordinates S26 09.502 E28 10.081

Off-roading specialists. ARB Air locker problem.

Republic of South Africa

Route & Camping Facts



South Africa at 1,221,000 km2 (UK 243,000 km2) is bigger than France, Spain & Portugal together. It has a population of 49,320,000 (UK 62,000,000) and a population density of 41 per km2 (UK 255 per km2).


It is bordered by 6 countries: Namibia for 967 kms; Botswana for 1840 kms; Zimbabwe for 225 kms; Mozambique for 491 kms along with the Kingdoms of Swaziland for 430 kms and Lesotho for 909 kms. It has 2798 kms of Indian and Atlantic Ocean coastline.


Low point = sea level: high point =  3,408 metres Njesuthi Mountain in the Drakensberg Mountains.


Capital – Pretoria


Official language

11 official languages with Zulu; Xhosa; English and Afrikaans having the most speakers.


Entry issues: Passport with 6 months remaining. Visas are not required for UK Nationals but free Temporary Entry Permits are. These generally are granted for 90 days but beware Swaziland to South Africa issues. Initially South Africa refused us entry but then grudgingly allowed us in for 7 days. We had to extend, at a cost, at Home Affairs office but even then only extended for 30 days. This appears to be the only problem entry border and no real reason for it.


Border crossings generally, with exception of the Golela Swaziland to South Africa one, relaxed and hassle-free.


Vehicle issues: Carnet de Passage required – no requirement for it to be stamped within Southern African Common Customs Area (South Africa; Botswana; Swaziland; Lesotho; Namibia) but various from crossing to crossing. Photo driving licence or international licence required. Drive on left. Insurance, third party, is included in fuel costs. AA basic recovery for 12 months (South Africa only) cost R650.


Petrol and Diesel widely available at most towns and large villages. Most garages are cash only, all attended and usually with a screen washer – small tip usual. As with all of Africa, will squeeze as much in as possible, usually leading to spills! Some of the larger garage chains are starting to take credit cards but not widely available.


Average cost of diesel: 1st visit - £0.51; 2nd visit - £0.55; 3rd visit - £0.53


Banks; ATMs; Credit Cards

ATMs widely available in the towns and larger villages. Generally reliable. Credit cards accepted in many larger shops and supermarkets in the larger towns.


Telephones: International dialling code +27. Fairly good mobile coverage in towns and along major routes. Vodacom & MTN used. New requirement for new SIMs to be registered at a computer terminal – not easy to determine which shops do it though!


Time (UTC = Coordinated Universal Time, equal to GMT) = UTC+02


Currency & UK£ rate at time of first visit:


£1 = R13.55; 100 Rand = £7.27






Dates (first visit): 8th February 2009 to 22nd March 2009

42 Days - 22 on the road.

2528 miles (4044 kms)