There’s so much to discover in South Africa, for all types of holiday goer. For those wanting to see the wilder side, there’s plenty of Safari and wildlife excursions to choose from as well as the vast array of animals and wildlife out in Kruger National Park. Alternatively, for those who fancy something a little less adventurous there’s the more peaceful paradisiacal option of taking long strolls along the seemingly infinite coastlines, going whale watching and exploring the stunning vineyards. For urban exploration, a trip to the ‘Mother City’ of Cape Town is an absolute must – boasting an array of bars and restaurants, as well as shops all a stone’s throw from Table Mountain.
Driving in South Africa
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
It is recommended to always drive with your doors locked and windows closed, especially when stopped at an intersection or traffic lights.
Park in well-lit areas and never leave anything valuable in the car when you are leaving it unattended.
Thieves have been known to leave large rocks in the middle of the road to encourage cars to stop. It is advisable to approach with caution and drive around the rock rather than stop the vehicle.
In rural areas it is likely that animals, livestock as well as large antelope could be in the road. Approach with caution and reduce your speed.
Driving culture in South Africa
What are the roads like in South Africa?
National roads in South Africa are in good condition, however in more rural areas expect pot-holes as the surface of the roads tend to be of poor quality. Main roads are maintained by the South African National Roads Agency and generally the road infrastructure is good.
How will I find South Africa drivers?
Aggressive driving is a serious problem in South Africa. It’s advisable to drive cautiously at all times. It might seem excessive, but the best plan of action is to follow the rules of the road and keep your distance. The majority of car accidents in South Africa are down to the culture of aggressive driving by excessive speeding, disobeying traffic signals and cutting up other drivers on the road.
What are the best times to drive?
Weekends and during the day outside of rush-hour is the best time to be on the roads. In and around Cape Town, rush-hour can start in the morning around 6am and 4pm in the evening. Take extra precautions when driving at night. It’s generally advisable to avoid driving at night, wherever possible.
What are the driving laws?
It is compulsory to wear seatbelts in both the front and rear seats of the vehicle. Anyone caught not wearing a seatbelt while travelling will incur a fine.
The first to arrive at a four-way-stop intersection has priority. Drivers approaching roundabouts must give way to the right – although this rule is commonly ignored, so be sure to proceed with caution.
You cannot use a mobile handset for calls, texts or internet while driving as this is against the law. It is recommended to use a hands-free kit if you want to speak on your mobile phone whilst driving.