Should you rent a car in JohannesburgSouth Africa>Johannesburg

Any suggestion of driving in Johannesburg might well spring to mind fears about being a city with a high crime rate, where car-jackings are still commonplace.

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Despite efforts to improve matters, car crime is still a legitimate concern, and as with any destination, we can only provide a few brief pointers. For visiting the city of Johannesburg itself, and including the wider metropolitan area stretching as far as the (political) capital Pretoria, there is no huge need to drive, because the major centres in this corridor have been connected by the newly built Gautrain network.

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  • The real attraction of Johannesburg is not the city itself, but any number of world-famous national and other parks which are situated within a day’s driving from OR Tambo International airport.
  • The most impressive of all of these is the Kruger National Park, the entrance of which is around a five hour drive heading east from Johannesburg towards the border with Mozambique.
  • Car-jacking in perspective – according to a leading South African insurer, vehicle theft of any kind only accounts for 7% of claims, compared to 55% for accidents. Although you will always face a risk driving away from OR Tambo Airport, these risks are reduced once away from the main urban area (but you still need to be careful at all times, especially at night).

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  • It’s far more common for visitors on safari to have transport to and within the national parks provided as part of a package.
  • No need for a hire car in and around the city of Johannesburg – it’s more of a liability than an asset.
  • See FCO warning re: driving in South Africa.

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Author: Carometer

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