Your self-drive travel experts

Sense of Oceans 4×4 provides clients with an affordable and enjoyable way to discover Southern Africa, with highlights such as Chobe National Park, Okavango Delta, Etosha National Park, Fish River Canyon, Kruger National Park and Garden Route National Park to name a few. Our self-drive itineraries can be tailor-made to suit all budgets and preferences and showcases some of Southern Africa’s most beautiful and magical destinations in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana.

Our itineraries are suitable for both couples and family travel. Whilst the most popular itineraries are based on camping accommodation, we can also tailor-make itineraries with only accommodated options or a mixture of camping and accommodation. They can be as relaxed or as adventurous as required with a range of rental vehicles on offer, from single cab equipped 4×4 vehicles to spacious and comfortable motor-homes.

We will not only plan and book the relevant accommodation/camping for you, but also provide clients with a detailed route description for their journey. Along with maps, general information about the different countries to be visited and other useful guides and tips, our travel documentation will help clients to make the most of a truly memorable holiday in Southern Africa!

Travel Tips

Road rules

  1. All distances, speed limits and speedometers are in kilometres (1 mile is approximately 1.6km)
  2. Fourway stops are commonly found at the quieter intersections – the first vehicle to arrive has priority.
  3. Vehicles in traffic circles travel clockwise. Drivers on traffic circles should give way to the right.
  4. Drivers must carry a valid driver’s license, registration documents and insurance documents at all times while driving. An International Driver’s Permit carried in conjunction with a national driving license is recommended and must be printed or authenticated in English.
  5. Wearing seat belts when driving in a car in the region is mandatory for the driver and passengers.
  6. The use of a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, with the exception of a hands free system.
  7. There are strict drinking and driving laws – with a maximum allowance alcohol blood content of 0.05%. Translated, that means about 1 glass of wine for the average women and perhaps 1.5 or 2 for the average large man.

Road conditions

  1. Potholes are a major problem in most of the region and can lead to unsafe driving conditions, especially during the rainy season.
  2. Road travel at night in rural areas can be hazardous and travellers should note that abandoned vehicles, pedestrians and stray animals could present a danger.
  3. Always respect the warnings on road signs – be aware that the roads in many rural areas are not fenced, so you could find dogs, chickens, sheep, and even horses or cows on the road, which makes it dangerous to drive at night.
  4. Large antelope crossing the road can also be a hazard in certain areas.
  5. Many of the national roads between the major centers are toll roads. Make sure you have a credit card or cash in the correct currency to pay.
  6. When asking for directions, self drivers may be surprised to get the response “turn left at the next robot…” – a robot is the South African term for traffic lights.
  7. In South Africa, petrol/fuel stations are mostly open 24 hours and spread along all the routes. They are not self-help but manned by attendants who can also check oil, water and tyre pressure if required. Gratuities for this service are at your own discretion.

Road safety against criminals

  1. You should always drive with the doors locked.
  2. Do not stop to pick up hitchhikers, however innocent or lost they may look.
  3. Do not leave anything valuable on show in the car.
  4. Try to always park in a busy, well-lit area.
  5. Take advice from accommodation hosts and ask if there are any areas that tourists should avoid.
  6. Do not confront aggressive drivers.
  7. If possible avoid traveling at night or in remote areas.
  8. Thieves have known to employ various methods to make a vehicle stop, enabling them to rob the occupants. One such method is the placing of large stones in the middle of the road. In the circumstances it is prudent to carefully drive around the stones or obstacle, rather than stop the vehicle.
  1. Sense of Oceans is your appointed ground handler for this journey. In case of any emergency or problem that may arise during your travels, please contact our office immediately for assistance and so that they matter may be resolved.  Sense of Oceans will not be held responsible for any refunds or claims that are only brought to their attention after the completion of your trip.
  2. Exchange money at the Airport as you will get the best exchange rate there. It is recommended to always have some local currency on you to use to pay for toll fees and entrance fees as credit card facilities are not always available. Please note that for Botswana you will require Botswana Pulas (P) to pay for extras. For Namibia it is Namibian Dollars (N$) but South African Rands (R) is also accepted in both Botswana and Namibia. For Zambia and Zimbabwe it is best to have US Dollars ($) with you. For Mozambique you require some Meticais (MT), but South African Rands and US Dollars are also generally accepted (exchange rates not favorable when paying in a foreign currency). Euros will also be accepted but you will not receive a favorable exchange rate.
  3. It is highly recommended that you double check the distances to be driven the following day, the night before, and ensure you leave early enough to allow sufficient time to reach your next destination before dark. It is not recommended to drive at night especially in areas and cities that you are unfamiliar with.
  4. Kindly remember that the approximate distances shown on your day by day directions is merely that – an approximate calculation of the distance you will be travelling. We work on local maps and route descriptions provided by establishments, however, as there are generally more than one way to reach your next stop we can not give you an exact distance calculation.
  5. Please take into consideration that border crossings in Southern Africa can be a very tedious and time consuming process. It can take anything up to 2 hours to cross a border so please allow for this in your daily planning and kindly take into consideration the border operating hours.  We have included directions in your travel papers that describe the process as much as possible, however, as these procedures and subsequent costs are controlled by the various governments they have a tendency to change regularly without any notice.
  6. Please take into consideration that the travelling time on normal tarred roads in South Africa is approximately 1 hour per 100km. Gravel roads (and especially roads in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique) should be allowed additional travelling time for as these roads are not always in perfect condition and may have livestock or wildlife roaming freely near the roads.
  7. The speed limit inside the Kruger National Park, and other national parks in South Africa, is generally 50km per hour on tarred roads and 40km per hour on gravel roads. A mere 100km can therefore take up to 4.5 hours to drive.  Please take this into consideration when planning your next day.
  8. Please adhere to the speed limits at all times and remember to keep your seat belt buckled. There are traffic police throughout Southern Africa.  If you are stopped by a traffic official please ensure that you show your car papers, license, and third party insurance papers on request.  If you can avoid it, do not hand your documents to the traffic official but rather present them clearly for inspection.  If you have handed your documents over please ensure you receive all the documents back before you leave. Being friendly and polite will get you much farther then being rude to an official.
  9. Your tour package does not include any entrance fees, toll gate fees, conservation fees, border crossing fees ext. These are for your own account. Entrance fees are payable at all national parks and game reserves in Southern Africa. Please ensure you have sufficient cash on hand with you to do so.
  10. In South Africa, and surrounding countries, we drive on the left hand side of the road.
  11. Check on your travel documents for the gate opening and closure times for national parks and ensure you plan your time so that you will reach your destination before the gates closes. You will be fined if you are found traveling inside national parks, like the Kruger National Park, after the camp or gate closure times.
  12. It is highly recommended to purchase a detailed map of the park that you will be travelling through. This can normally done at the entrance gate such as the gates of the Kruger National Park.
  13. If you are visiting a private game lodge which is located, for instance, inside the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, try to reach the lodge before lunch time so that you are still able to enjoy lunch and be in time for the afternoon game drive around 3 or 4pm (season dependant).
  14. Please refer to your local establishment (be it guesthouse, lodge, hotel or rest camp) for referrals to local restaurants, activities and things to do in the area.
  15. When travelling in Botswana, always talk to other travellers along the way about the roads they have already travelled to stay updated about road conditions and other information that might be handy.
  16. When you travel in Botswana and you are visiting more than one national park, i.e. Chobe, Moremi, or the Makgadikgadi Pans, ensure that you receive your white printed vouchers/receipts (used to be pink and green) back after showing it at the first camp, as you will need to show it again at all other camps. Failure to produce the papers will result in access being denied to you.
  17. Please note that the entrance fees for the Central Kalahari Game Reserve need to be paid in advance at Gabarone, Ghanzi, Maun, or Kasane. Failing to do so will mean you have to turn back and will not be allowed to enter the park. The entrance fees for Chobe, Moremi and the Makgadikgadi are paid at the Wildlife Office in either Maun, Kasane or Francistown.
  18. When driving to Mozambique or Botswana, fill up the fuel tank in South Africa before entering the neighboring country. It is always recommended to top up your tank regularly as fuel may not always be readily available in neighboring countries or rural areas.
  1. On receipt of your 4×4 rental vehicle, it is very important that you personally check the inventory list thoroughly and ensure that everything has been included in the vehicle as specified (i.e. camping fridge, gas light, spare wheels etc.). The camping gear is essential to your tour, and it is therefore vital to check that everything has been packed accordingly. Once you are in the African bush there are no shops or assistance in the nearby vicinity. Should you require any additional gear you may request this at the depot.
  2. There are various insurance options and it is important that you familiarize yourself with all the options and the conditions as well as the costs. Your 4×4 has a standard insurance cover with an excess of ZAR 45 000. This can be reduced to either ZAR 20 000, at a cost of ZAR 150 per day, or to ZAR 0, at a cost of ZAR 300 per day (rates are subject to change without prior notice). This can be arranged before the start of your journey at the reception of the 4×4 depot!
  3. Please ensure that you have your “Cross Border Letter” with you if you are planning to travel across the South African borders. Your name has to be clearly indicated on this letter.  This letter will give you the required authority to take the rental car across the border of South Africa to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana or Eswatini.
  4. Please take good care of your rental vehicle. It will serve not only as your vehicle but also as your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen for the duration of your journey.
  5. Sand/gravel roads are dangerous! Both wet and dry weather conditions can make these roads problematic. The 4x4s are specifically designed to be strong and durable to handle these roads and conditions but speed is the cause of many disasters.  If you are unsure of a situation, then please take the necessary precautions – such as checking the depth of small rivers and water pools before crossing them.  Alternatively, wait for another 4×4 to be in the area before crossing so that there is someone that can provide assistance and a tow if needed. Driving a 4×4 has a golden rule: “As slowly as possible and only as fast as necessary”.Our advice is that as soon as you start driving on a sand/gravel road, please engage the 4×4 drive.  This enhances the vehicles capabilities. The electronic diff lock should only be used at very low speeds!Also remember that it is not advisable to drive off the standard road – being tarred or a sand/gravel road.  Should any damage occur as a result of the vehicle being driven off the marked or indicated route, the repair costs will be for your account as the insurance does not cover this!
  6. Ensure that you regularly top up your fuel tank(s). Firstly, the distances between petrol stations are long and secondly it is not always guaranteed that you will find fuel at the next petrol station.
  7. Ensure that you always have sufficient essential supplies with you – such as drinking water and food. There are not always shops available in the bush from which to purchase provisions.
  8. Be aware of the wild animals! They will be a big part of your holiday in Southern Africa. The larger animals are not the only dangerous animals, best viewed and approached very carefully from within your vehicle, but the smaller animals can be just as dangerous and should be respected.  You will more than likely be traveling with food items in your vehicle.  Animals are able to smell this from a distance, especially baboons and hyenas. Please ensure that your vehicle is always properly locked (windows closed completely) when leaving the vehicle and that all cutlery and crockery is cleared up and packed away. Firstly it is not good for the animals to scavenge from humans, as they become dependant on this and dangerous to all travellers, and secondly there are very few if any shops in the bush and you won’t be able to purchase new provisions.

The motor home is larger, taller and heavier than the average vehicle. Usually in renting, you do not need to have a special license, but you certainly need to be much more careful while driving.


  • Always keep speed limits.
  • Never exceed 60 km/h on unsealed or gravel roads.

Height limitations

  • Remember your height limitations. The motorhome is always higher than you think it is, because of the cab over area and air condition box.
  • Be careful and keep the road signs while entering tunnels, under bridges, underground parking area, and other low height spaces.

Weight Limitations

  • Overweight causes all kinds of problems such as getting out of control or even breakdown. That is why you have to keep the maximum weight permitted.

Backing Up / Parking

  • Backing up with a motorhome is one of the most common reasons for collisions and accidents. That is why it should be done very carefully. Because of the length of the motorhome, it is rather difficult to see the whole coach.
  • Rear and side mirrors are not always very helpful to indicate the situation behind you.


  • Never back up without someone to assist you. Ask one of the other passengers to get off the vehicle and guide you from the outside.
  • Leave enough room in front of your motorhome incase you need to drive forward, especially if you are towed to another vehicle.
  • Backing up while parking in a campground also requires guidance and direction, because the driver can’t always see what’s behind.

Passing another Vehicle

  • Passing another vehicle must be done very carefully since you can not estimate your own length.
  • Use signals to show your intentions and always accelerate until you finish passing.


  • Use your mirrors regularly to see what is going on behind you and on your sides.
  • The mirror on the driver side is always more reliable than the other side mirror.


  • Since the motor home is a heavy and large vehicle, it takes it more time to slow down or accelerate. Avoid sudden stopping by changing gears gently and graduate.
  • Slow down when entering busy traffic, and make sure you have enough time to stop.

Driving at Night

  • Driving at night is not recommended for inexperienced motorhome-drivers. Bumping into stray animals at night is very dangerous, especially in wild life areas, but also in regular roads.
  • Parking on the side of the road is very dangerous, especially at night. If for any reason you need to do it, make sure other drivers can see you, by turning on the hazard lights.

Hard Weather Conditions

  • Weather conditions can be unpredictable. Avoid driving in fog, heavy rain or dust storm. Wet roads can be very slippery and dangerous and need special driving skills.
  • Be aware of crosswinds. Wind suddenly blowing against the side your motorhome may cause a sudden swerve into another lane.

Hazard Lights

  • In case you are forced to stop on the road, like for example while the road is being under constructions, turn on your hazard lights to warn the vehicle behind you.

A Regular Check

  • Check every couple of days the engine oil, transmission oil, tire pressure, hydraulic fluids, buttery, lights, breaks.


  • Don’t drive while you are tired. Take a break every two hours in a rest area, for refreshment and rest. It is recommended not to drive more than 5 hours a day.


  • Do not storage luggage or any other goods on the roof of the motorhome.
  • To avoid things from falling down while driving, make sure everything is in its place, hitched and tied.
  • Do not leave food and drinks open outside the fridge or cupboards otherwise it will cause a mess.

Seats Belts

  • All passengers including the driver must wear seats belts for their own safety.



South Africa