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 road surfaces tend
to be of poor quality. Main roads are maintained by the South
African National Roads Agency and generally the road
infrastructure is good.
What are the drivers like in South Africa?
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 6:00 and 16:00 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