Okay to Rent a Car in Nelspruit and Drive to Kruger

Jun 27th, 2010, 05:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 31
Okay to Rent a Car in Nelspruit and Drive to Kruger

The per-person transfer rates are very high from Nelspruit and for that price I can rent a car for the same period and drive around Kruger. is there any reason why I would not do this? Any car companies or other advice? I see Avis has a desk at the airport
Is the drive from Nelspruit to JNB airport pretty easy and reliable so we could drop outr car there to catch a flight? It would mean driving the last part to and thru JNB at about 7PM

Jreinho is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 03:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 85
Last August we rent a car in Johannesburg and drove to Kruger (Malelane gate). No problems at all. Good roads and traffic was very light. On our way back we got out from Punda Maria gate and drove to JB by thaking the northern route via Thohoyandou, with equally good conditions. In-between we also drove to Kruger Mpumalanga airport (Nelspruit) were we rent another car which we returned the next day. That route was also very good with minimal traffic. First rental was through www.sunnycars.com, the second through www.drivesouthafrica.co.za. These are both brokers (the first directed us to Europcar and the second to Budget) but we found out that brokers had better rates and/or availability.

Self-driving in Kruger is excellent and I wouldn't do it any other way.
micmic is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
I see no problem with renting a car. But I highly recommend joining a formal "game drive" while you are in Krueger. First of all, the vehicles are higher, so you see more. But the main point is that you will be riding with an expert guide who can help you spot and identify animals and birds that you wouldn't be able to see in a self-drive. Moreover, there are usually a few other fairly good spotters among your fellow riders, so that increases the chances of seeing animals.

unionsquareny is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 767
I've done what you're thinking about (car pick-up MQP, drive to Kruger region) several times. I've used Budget and Thrifty, always using the company that gives me the lowest rates. You could also look at http://www.autoeurope.com/index.cfm?aff=autoeurope for their rates. It's an easy 90 min or so drive from MQP to Kruger Gate. From Kruger Gate to JNB would be about 5-6 hrs, so a bit shorter from Nelspruit; it's a straightforward drive.
sdb2 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 421
We went to Kruger in March this year. We picked up a hire car - I booked through a consolidator, holidayautos & we got a Hertz car. We drove from Johannesburg to Malelane, did some shopping there ready for all of our BBQs (braiis) & then entered via that gate. I had worried beforehand about this drive, and did make copious notes as to how to easily leave the airport & get on the right road. It was fine & very straightforward, for us coming from London there seemed to be very little traffic.
We stayed in the sanparks accomodation (south african national parks) & I booked cottages that had their own kitchen, bathrooms and braii, as well as air con, as wen went in March (a hot time). This isn't luxurious accomodation, but is clean and fine for us. We loved driving around in our own car, at our own pace, looking for whatever walked in our direction. We saw lots (especially as March isn't considered a prime game viewing time), from dung beetles to cheetah, really wonderful! We were in the park for 6 days (we returned from there on a cruise Durban to Genoa)and really had a great time. We booked "sunset drives" from the restcamps on two evenings, so that we could see animals that were just getting up and those settling after a long day. This also allowed us to hear, from the park rangers, more about the animals & it was very interesting. It doesn't have to be expensive (well not that expensive, like at the luxury camps, which I am sure are very beautiful) but you can still see a lot. You can combine the self drive with the park drives (these are higher vehicles of course), and see things from different perspectives. We enjoyed it so much that we just booked with some air miles to visit again next year!
janev is online now  
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 421
Just to also mention - there are "City Bugs" that you can get from OR Tambo to Nelspruit if you really would want a transfer. See http://www.citybug.co.za/shuttle_service.asp

Also for flights look at kulula air.
janev is online now  
Jun 28th, 2010, 10:47 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 73
Hi there

Renting a car and doing your own driving will be fine. Kruger is more of a self-drive destination, but doing a game drive or two with a game ranger should be interesting for you. Driving back to Jhb from Nelspruit should also be fine as long as you keep basic rules in mind - don't pick up strangers, don't stop in desolate places and stick to the main roads.
Kind regards
living4safari is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 03:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,323
We picked up a rental car in Nelspruit and drove through Kruger--saw the big 5 on the first day. We had no guide and the car was a compact. From JNB to Nelspruit, we took a shuttle bus which I booked on-line.
JaneB is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,929
we did the drive yourself last oct for about 8 days....we rented at the JNB airport and returned there....we drove to elephant plains in sabi sands via dullstroom where we stayed the nite both going and coming at cherry grove (excellent with good restaurant too) and then spent several days driving around kruger using olifants as a base....we saw more game on our self drive, btw... we loved EP however..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
For those not seeing the other thread about this, FWIW here is my Fodor's trip report from Sep 2009. We also spent nights in Kruger camp Oliphants and in camp Letaba. We flew into JNB, rented car, spent 7 days in Kruger, then out to Kings Camp and Kirkmans Kamp.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  

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