4x4 Travelogue, advise and general comments bases on private and SA 4x4 experiences - Travelling in Africa since 1993

South Africa 4x4 - Rental of Land Rover 110 Defenders & Toyota Hilux Double Cab 4x4s. Equipped, insured, unlimitted kilomtres. Anywhere in Africa!

Satellite Phone Rental

Satellite Phone Rental in southern Africa.

why do you need a satellite phone for your adventure ? When we started South Africa 4×4 Rentals in 2008 mobile phone coverage was dismal to say the least. many countries north of South Africa has only started to roll out their mobile phone networks. You were good in major cities but for the rest of that specific country it was a no go. As a solution to this problem we supplied all our rentals with a mobile satellite phone. The idea was that regardless of where you would find yourself on your adventure South Africa 4×4 was only a call away to assist. This worked well and we assisted many clients over the years on this basis (even clients of other rental companies !).

Fast forward to 2017 and things have changed. Today you can sit in Xakanaxa Camp in the middle of the Okavango Delta and send text message. Personally I am not so sure that is a good thing ? Point is that networks have improved tremendously. I can only think of a hand full of places where you will not have mobile phone coverage. The need for a satellite phone has diminished and will only be needed for very remote places.

South Africa 4×4 has therefore decided that we will change our satellite phone use to the following arrangement :

  1.  We can supply a satellite phone for your adventure at a cost of R 200, once off, for the full duration of your rental. Regardless of how long you will be out on the road.
  2. Airtime for the satellite phone will have to be purchased.
  3. Airtime not used cannot be refunded.

PS – Clients that has booked rentals that includes a satellite phone will be supplied with a sat phone.

Satellite Phone Image
Satellite Phone Image








Carel Pienaar


Be Realistic on your 4 x 4 Overland Adventure

4 x 4 Overland Adventure

Be realistic ! I base the following comments on actual experiences the past two months, This may assist you in preparing you for your 4×4 Overland Adventure !

  •   Day 1. Do not  drive more than 400km.

If your plane is delayed, or we need to assist you with anything before your depart you will not have enough time to drive more than 400km. Do not put yourself ( and ultimately me ) under unrealistic pressure. I have seen to many clients who arrived delayed and then want me to skip the hand over of the 4×4 and just basically give them the keys. NO.

  •   Leave enough time for shopping to stock up for you 4×4 Overland Adventure.

It does not take 30 minutes to complete your shopping before setting off on your 4×4 adventure. On average I see clients take 90 to 120 minutes ( How do I know? I satellite track the vehicles on how long they stop at the mall ).

  • Assistance while on the road is provided by 24 hour phone.

This number is supplied to you when we hand over the 4×4 to you. A 24 hour number does not mean we I can do 24 hours a day any of the following :

  • Supply Tyres – We are bound by service providers and their shop hours. Unfortunately I cannot get a tyre shop to open on a Sunday afternoon.
  • Auto Electrician to come to you in remote locations. You need to go to them.
  • Bring you replacement equipment. Yes, your fridge may stop working. no it does not mean I will drive 1200km to bring you a replacement the next morning. I will attend to it at the next town at a service provider. See point point 3.
  When we hand over the 4×4 to you

We take you through everything ( I do not take 90 minutes to hand over a vehicle just to waste your time ). Please take the time to pay attention ( some clients are half a sleep and I am sure they cannot remember much ) and check the items / equipment with us. We do not deliberately forget to pack equipment. We are also human and can forget to pack something you requeste and will gladly add as needed !

  Make sure you know how to operate your 4×4.

I recently had a client that complained bitterly that the aircon did not work on their trip. She did not switch it on. You need to be able to do the following :

  • Know how to operate your fridge
  • Change a tyre
  • Check fuses
  • Operate High and Low Range
  • Operate Diff Lock – Recently had a client that within 30 minutes of receiving their Land Cruiser broke the diff lock and left me with a 30k repair bill – not fun.

6.  READ YOUR CONTRACT – I take great effort in posting my rental contract on my website and add explanation notes. It clearly states whet I will do and when. Do not try and get me afterwards to give in to your demands. EG – Pay for your accommodation if there has been a delay on your trip. That is what travel insurance is for.

If you need details please contact me and I will gladly take the time to explain, in detail, what I do and do not do.

7.  Most important.
I treat you with respect and I speak to you properly. If that cannot be returned, I walk away and will refuse to communicate with you any further.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. As always I state it as it is. NO sugar coating. Hope it helps !
Carel Pienaar
South Africa – Actually, mostly Africa !

South Africa 4x4 Rentals - Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
South Africa 4×4 Rentals – Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4

End of the Road for our Land Rover Defender 110s

South Africa 4×4 Rentals has been one of the last 4×4 rental companies in southern Africa that rented out TD5 and Defender 110 vehicles. But reality caught up with us and I have decided this week. No more. With immediate effect we will start selling off our Land Rover Defenders. We will replace them with Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×4 Double Cabs and Toyota Land Cruisers. I have a few good ideas based on experience the past 8 years on how to really make the Toyota range stand out from the other 4×4 rental companies !

TD5 Land Rover Defender 110

Many Land Rover owners all over the world rented the the TD5 as they had one themselves or a TDi. These vehicles was stopped being produced in 2009 and our 3 we had left were 2008 and 2009 models. They are real classic 4×4 vehicles ! What happened with these is that clients that did not know Land Rovers will rent them for their look and because they are a slightly cheaper 4×4 rental. Reality is that these clients does not appreciate the TD5 ( they probably drive a Toyota Fortuner themselves…lol.. that was funny ) and then do not like the vehicle. This leads to complaints and general unhappiness that results in lots of further issues. I have found that 90% of the complaints regarding our vehicles are Land Rover based. Strange how non Land Rover people will spoil the fun for Land Rover people…. something is wrong with this picture.

Anyway, from a business point of view…Enough !

Somewhere in the future I will add a few Land Rover Defenders again to the fleet but these will be for selected clients and maybe some new clients that can prove before the time they are Land Rover people and can appreciate these awesome 4×4 overland companions.

Thank you to all clients and friends that supported the Land Rover Defender dream…….

Land Rover 110 Defender Rental
SA 4×4 Rentals – Land Rover 110 Defender Puma Ultimate









Carel Pienaar
South Africa 4×4 Rentals – Johannesburg

Botswana Tourism Levy Notice – Effective as of 1 June 2017

Botswana Tourism Levy

Botswana Tourism Levy Notice – Effective as of 1 June 2017
Please be advised that the Botswana Tourism Organisation has announced an obligatory Tourism Development Levy (TDL) of USD 30 per person, starting 1 June 2017. This will be for all current and new bookings made. Payments are done on the ports of entry including airports and border posts.

This will effect all current and new clients that travels to Botswana after the 1st of June 2017. I would suggest that this fee you provide for in CASH, as I am sure there will be implementation issues in the beginning.

Botswana Border Post - Martin's Drift
Botswana Border Post – Martin’s Drift