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Safe to Drive from Cape Town Airport to Hotel @ 6 p.m. (18:00)?

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Hello.First, let me apologize this is so long but I hope it'll help me get good answers if I'm detailed in my question!

We (Me & husband - middle-aged parents from San Francisco Bay Area - and our daughters, ages 13 and 10) are visiting SA for the first time (never been to Africa at all) in June. After having been on safari for 11 nights and spending 3 nights in Jeffrey's Bay for my surfer husband, we will arrive at 6 p.m.(18:00) to Cape Town airport after a flight from Pt. Elizabeth, so not a long flight. We will have had a rental car for a few days prior to this to drive from Pt. Elizabeth to Kwandwe Lodge (about a 2 hr. drive) and then to Jeffrey's Bay where we'll stay for 3 days, using the car for fairly short drives around Jeffreys Bay and perhaps to St. Francis Bay and then back to the Pt. Elizabeth Airport. So we'll have gotten somewhat used to driving on the "wrong" (for us) side of the road.

We're staying at Welgelegen, a small "boutique hotel" at 6 Stephen Street - I believe it's in the Gardens neighborhood - they have directions on their website from the airport and we'd also have our GPS. Nevertheless, I am particularly anxious about the 'wrong side of the road' issue because of a tragic car accident in which I was a back-seat passenger and in which my aunt was killed (in Jamacia). She was driving and hadn't driven much there, spaced out, pulled out of a hotel into the right lane instead of the left and we had a head-on collision. This was 20 years ago but as you can imagine, it's not something one easily gets over. I am a confident driver myself and actually prefer to be the one to drive at home, as I feel in control. My husband is a very confident and good driver, though, and I may have him be the one to do most, if not all, of the driving in SA.

I think it'll be dark by 6 p.m. that time of year (late June) and wonder if it's a bad idea to drive ourselves? Have read mixed things about the N2 being dangerous at night if you were to break down (maybe it's not the same part of the N2 we'd be on though?) and pedestrians and animals on the road, etc. Then other people say oh nonsense, it's perfectly safe, etc.

Our lodging and car rental have been arranged by the agent from &Beyond that we've been working with to plan the entire trip (some staying at &Beyond lodges and some not) including the Cape Town part. She's checked for us and offered that if we prefer not to get our car at the airport that night, Welgelegen could arrange a transfer for us to the hotel from the airport, and then the car rental could drop off the car at the hotel for us the next morning, for a fee. We figured out that it will cost us quite a bit more to get picked up by Welgelegen at the airport and get the car the next day - these are the relevant costs:

o Daily rental = R 288 per day

o GPS rental – R 69 per day

o Car Delivery at Welgelegen is R 500

o Transfer from Cape Town international to Welgelegen is R688

So by getting a transfer on the night we arrive, we'd save the cost of the car rental and GPS for the prior night (I think? though I'm not sure would that cost be a whole day or is it charged by parts of days or what??) - let's say that we did save a whole day's car rental costs so R288 plus R69 (GPS) - and I'm going to convert to USD now as it's easier for me to understand - we'd save $44 BUT we'd incur R1188 in transfer and drop-off charges, about $149. So overall, it would cost us about $105 extra to do it that way. Trying to figure out if it's necessary?

By the way, we'll be in Cape Town 4 nights, so we arrive on a Monday night at 6 p.m. and leave the following Friday afternoon on a 6:10 pm (18:10) flight back to the US.

My husband is inclined to say let's just drive ourselves and save the $105 extra. It WILL only be 6 pm which seems better than if it were midnight but ... just wanted to see what others thought?


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