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

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Hendrik Smit – Oryx 4×4

Hendrik Smit ? He started these story writting. I am going to share three real fact stories of what happened to me, Carel Pienaar, over the past 18 months. Maybe even a fourth story. Will see what the legal consequences are before posting. In the 9 years that I have been involved with 4×4 rentals I can share stories that you will tell me I am making them up. Real life can be more interesting than any fiction.

This story starts October 2018. Monday morning. 7am I receive a call from a Hendrik, Oryx 4×4 in Cape Town. I have never met this person or have done business with him before. Apparently, he found me on Google. For a moment I was excited that I was found on Google. At least my marketing is working well. Usually when I get calls this early in the morning it only spells problems. Little did I know what problem this call will create for me over the next four months.

Hendrik’s Story

Hendrik’s informed me that he was meeting a client from Germany in about 4 hours time at OR Tambo International Airport. He has engine trouble about 200km from Johannesburg and will not be able to deliver his 4×4 vehicle to the client. He sent me pictures on WhatsApp from him standing next to the road, Picture of oil on the tar. Picture of the 4×4 being towed in. Can I assist with a replacement 4×4 ?

I had a Toyota Hilux available and decided to assist. I also had situations where my 4×4 vehicles gave last minute mechanical problems and I needed assistance from other 4×4 suppliers. Let me play it forward. Next month I may have the same problem and will need help.

I met the clients at the airport a few hours later. Made arrangements for the delivery of the 4×4 for the next day. Payment was already made to Hendrik and he will pay me directly. I had no problem with this arrangement. They had an excellent 2 week holiday in South Africa and Swaziland.

During this period the problem started as Hendrik never got to the point to pay me and somehow always had a valid excuse. Was out of the country. Changing bank accounts. Point is I never got payment for this rental.

More Scams, Fraud

To keep things interesting, he had a second rental that I could take over in a few weeks’ time and this trip starts in Cape Town where he is based. I can deliver the 4×4 and we can sort out the money for both rentals. I can also meet him in person. Sounds good to me. I prepare a 4×4 and get ready for a delivery in Cape Town. I meet the clients. Great people from the USA. Send them off on a four week South Africa and Lesotho adventure. They had a great time. Even sent me photos and video clips of their adventure. I have them somewhere posted on social media.

Hendrik provides me a couple of days later with a proof of payment for an EFT ( electronic funds transfer ). Looks legit. I go to Zambia for a couple of weeks. By the time I am back these payments will be cleared in my account. Two weeks later. No funds in my account. Hendrik put this down to internal bank issues that he takes four weeks to try and sort out. He never sorted this out. Towards the end of this interaction with Hendrik I found that he provided me with a fake / fraudulent proof of payment that he must have made up on PDF or made the payment, got the proof of payment and then stopped the actual payment. Point is there was no payment ever made.

The French Connection

While he is sorting out these payments he has another client that requires two 4×4 Hilux vehicles ( a Captain in the French Navy stationed in Reunion Islands ). As I did not receive any money to date, I insist on full payment on delivery of the vehicles. This is arranged and I drive 2 vehicles to Cape Town for delivery. Client are happy with the vehicles. But last minute they make a mistake to pay Hendrik directly and not me as arranged. I face two options. Stop their tour and demand payment or let them go and collect during the next few days. Clients go on their tour. They still broke a clutch on the one vehicle and bumped the other 4×4.

Enter the Private Investigator

On the same day while we are returning to Johannesburg, I receive a call from a private investigator. He saw on Oryx’s 4×4 Facebook page, a photo with one of my vehicles and wanted to know what my relationship is with Hendrik. I have nothing to hide so I tell him the same story as what I have written about above.

He informed me about the following :

  1. Hendrik convinced a lady from Italy to buy him 2 4×4 vehicles for rental. He never paid her any money for the use of these vehicles for over a year. She employed the private investigator to recover her vehicles and any money possible.
  2. The one Hilux had a major accident in Namibia and was written off. This vehicle was never found and the lady suffered the loss. She did not even know her vehicle was in a major accident.
  3. Hendrik sold off the equipment of the other 4×4 to get extra money. Sold the rood top tent. Sold the fridge.

The Fight Back

This is early January 2019. Now the alarm bells are going off. My approach changed a lot toward Hendrik as I am aware, I am in a scam and will not see any of my money, ever. I find out where he stays. Find out who is his wife. Where she works. I actually met her at the beauty salon she worked. I did not introduce myself but used the info she provided to get a clearer picture of where they stay and other surrounding info. Where the kids go to school. Time for action.

I went to Somerset West ( where he stays ) and force a cash payment of R 10 000. I have done this in a way which I will not discuss on this forum. I did what needed to be done. I think he got worried at this point that his wife or kids may become involved with this messy matter and his attitude towards me changed. Personally, I think he has a split personality or narcists tendencies. He even had another rental for me later the week starting on the Monday in Cape Town. I asked for a R 20 000 upfront deposit. Which was paid and cleared into my account the next day. I never showed up to deliver any vehicles to these clients.

Monday is Monday

I can still remember Hendrik calling me the Monday morning to check if I am still on schedule to deliver the 4×4 vehicles 10 am at the clients. The sound in his voice when he realised, I am not going to be there and that I had collected R 20 000 from him by tricking him was priceless. This whole drama started on a Monday and was concluded on a Monday.

Outstanding Fees

The following rentals and costs Hendrik still owes me :

A – Bejamin Jackson – R 48 925

B – German Couple – R 25 200 ( mom and her son )

C – Pick Up of Vehicle in Windhoek – R 4 825

D – Cape Town One Way Fees – R 6 800

E – Mr FC Junique – R 34 350.00

F = Repairs for Mr Junique – R 6 250

The total value of the rentals and other services are R 126 350.

I have sympathy for a person who runs into trouble and needs help. This was not the case. Hendrik Smit had a good worked out plan. He was prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure he collects money and not pay for any services even if this requires fraudulent activities.

This person is :

Hendrik Johannes Marthinus Smit ( Tihan )

ID : 820212 5210 082

Also likes to call himself Tihan Smit

Hendrik Tihan Smit

Last known address :

10 Prince Drive, Heritage Park, Somerset West, Western Cape. Contact Number : 072 599 4460

Written by Carel Pienaar, 11 April 2020

Welcome to contact me for additional information

If spotted or found please report to :

1 – South African Police Services

2 – Interpol Africa

Money while on a 4×4 Self Drive

Money while you are on a 4×4 self drive ? What works best ? Money, cash, cards or foreign currency ? What is a safe way? How much must I take ? Are there ATMs easily available ? All these questions and some good tips to make your trip saver and without problems.

Money while on a 4×4 Self Drive – Credit Cards

Most hotels, activity providers, fillings stations ans shops does take credit cards as a payment options. I find that MASTER and VISA cards are more widely accepted and that many places does not take DINERS and AMERICAN EXPRESS.

Before you leave please remember to do the following :

  • Contact your credit card company and notify them of your travels. State which countries you will be visiting and obtain a phone number you can use to phone them once you are out on your holiday.
  • Increase you daily limit as you will be spending more than normal.
  • Ensure you international limit on ATM withdrawals have been adjusted to keep up with your holiday expenses.

ATMs

The ATM network in southern Africa has improved exponentially. 20 odd years ago when I travelled with groups I mainly had to carry all our cash with me and an extensive calculation / budget process had to be followed to make sure I do not run out of money. Today, for the modern traveller things are much easier but you still need to do some planning.

Most fuel station today have clean fuel, a small shop to stock up on water, cold drinks and snack items. Many will offer a small outlet that will provide light meals. Usually these fuel stations have an ATM. Some ATMs does not work with your card ( your bank does not have an agreement with the local bank to give you cash ). All you do is find a second ATM and do your transaction there. Also to take note that some ATMs will only give you the maximum daily limit in that country and not an amount what your daily limit is set at. Zimbabwe you can only withdraw 20 USD per day.

Money while on a 4×4 Self Drive – Cash

Cash is king and risky. With my comments above on ATMs you should be able supplement your cash as you go on. I have as a rule of thumb that I have enough cash with me to cover one day of fuel, food and entrance fees. This will be in local currency. I always carry 500 USD or EURO on me, well hidden and in small notes for emergencies. Most cities and towns you will get someone who will exchange your money. The exchange rate my be very bad but you will have local currency.

Cash is King

Borders

Please read my blog posting on borders. When you are negotiating your fees to cross the border with your runner ask him what currency. Some borders will only accept local currency for certain payments. Other payments can be made in any currency and even by card. If you are short of local currency ask him who he uses to exchange money with at the border and buy from one person. Have a good idea what the exchange rate is in order for you not to be done in.

SOUTH AFRICA 4×4 Hire, Land Rover Defender 110 ( TD5, Puma and Puma Expedition ), Toyota DC 4×4, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Fortuner.

All rentals with unlimited mileage and 100% insurance. Satellite phone included.

Long Term Rentals – 1 night’s FREE accommodation in Johannesburg on rentals of 25 days or more.

www.southafrica4x4.co.za   – Hire of Defenders

www.4x4rentalsafrica.com  – Hire of Land Cruisers and Hilux 4x4s

www.sa4x4blog.co.za  – Travel Information

Also follow us on Social Media – Links at the top right of the page.

We 4×4 Africa

South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, Angola, Congo DRC, Cameroon

Equipment for your 4×4 Self Drive

What equipment do you need for your self drive 4×4 adventure ?

Equipment for your self drive! We have it covered. What equipment do you pack ? What equipment do you need ? The big question is always how much space do I have ? South Africa 4×4 Hire packs everything you need because you cannot bring everything with you on your flight. SA 4×4 Hire tries to get to the point that you only pack your clothes and buy food items as you need them.

Standard with Every 4×4

All our vehicles have the following items as standard :

  • Long range diesel tank (Hilux 180lt & Cruiser 145lt & Land Rover 110lt)
  • Lockable Aluminium Canopy + Spare Key
  • Dual Battery System
  • Built in Water Tank
  • Snorkel
  • Tyre Inflator – Compressor

Extras

As for the extras you need to add to make your 4×4 holiday as comfortable as possible because we all do not camp the same. Pleas remember to add when you complete the Client Info for us to get your requirements clearly.

EXTRAS
Free Standing Tent
Extra Spare Wheel
Child Seat / Booster Seat
Potjie
Hi Lift Jack
Extra Cooker Top
Bed Sheets
Jerry Cans

Download our Camping Packlist

Unequipped 4×4 Hire

Our Unequipped 4x4s have the following items packed :

  • Canopy
  • Long range diesel tank
  • Water Tank
  • Dual Battery System
  • Recovery gear
  • GPS

For the rental of Land Rover 110 Defenders, Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Hilux 4×4 vehicles.

Our Johannesburg branch is only 5 minutes from OR Tambo International Airport which makes it easy to do you handover and get you on the road sooner for your adventure to start !

SOUTH AFRICA 4×4 Hire, Land Rover Defender 110 ( TD5, Puma and Puma Expedition ), Toyota DC 4×4, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Fortuner.

All rentals with unlimited mileage and 100% insurance. Satellite phone included.

Long Term Rentals – 1 night’s FREE accommodation in Johannesburg on rentals of 25 days or more.

www.southafrica4x4.co.za   – Hire of Defenders

www.4x4rentalsafrica.com  – Hire of Land Cruisers and Hilux 4x4s

www.sa4x4blog.co.za  – Travel Information

Also follow us on Social Media – Links at the top right of the page.

We 4×4 Africa

South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, Angola, Congo DRC, Cameroon

4×4 Rentals in Africa

4×4 Rentals in Africa ? So what is this 4×4 rentals in Africa all about ? I as a South African, I have always had a 4×4 to go and explore the bush and just get away from it all. My preferred type f holiday. I have been doing so with my tent and many lost tracks in the bush over a 30 year period. I have experienced many great sights, wildlife and historical sights. Too many experiences to mention and many years before we had a camera at our side to take a photo of everything.

When renting a 4×4 and going out to explore southern Africa I am sharing the good experiences I had with you as a visitor. South African love the outdoors, to braai and experience nature. Some of us are more adventurous than others as I like to get lost in the bush where no one can find mind and that I can reset for life. Other prefer a scenic beach and some lodge accommodation. What ever your budget or accommodation type a 4×4 rental will make it more fun!

Important to be Prepared

When I go to the bush with my 4×4 I do experience minor mechanical issues just like most 4×4 enthusiast. Many of these things I can fix myself with the tools I have packed to take on my adventure. It is important that you can do the basics to help yourself.

What do you need to be able to do ?

Flat tyre in Namibia - Carel Pienaar
Flat tyre in Namibia – Carel Pienaar

At the handover of your vehicle check with the person that you have a jack, wooden support plank ( great to use in sandy conditions ), wheel nut spanner and stick to access the spare wheel. You must be able to change a tyre on your own.

From left to right. You may have experienced a water crossing or hard rain. This will enter your air imput till it reaches the air filter. You may be required to open the air filter and let it dry before continuing.

Driving through the bush you way get to the point that grass and seeds collect to the point that your radiator is covered and it may not be able to work as normal. Even with a seed net the grass comes through and you need to check on a daily basis that the grass is removed. Usually by hand. Takes about 30 minutes to clean a radiator properly.

Driving through mud may result in mud build up on your wheel rims. This you need to spray off at the campsite before continuing.

Self Repairs

Small ingenious repairs while on the road. It is 4×4 roads and things will break off and shake loose. Use the tools and equipment supplied. A ratchet strap to keep the exhaust in place until a stop could be made in a town to fix permanently. Screws fell out from the tent hinges and washer was used to replace the missing bolt. A quick stop a few days later and all fixed.

What assistance do I get while out on a 4×4 rental ?

When renting a 4×4 vehicle you are provided a 24 hour number that you can contact. You are welcome to phone this number or tonight when you are at your accommodation place to use the WiFi and WhatsApp me with your question or problem. I will assist in three ways. First is to give you advise on what you have experienced or have reported. If it is something small I will guide you over the phone to have it fixed. If it is slightly more complicated I will arrange a place where we can stop and have a professional look at the problem.

SOUTH AFRICA 4×4 Hire, Land Rover Defender 110 ( TD5, Puma and Puma Expedition ), Toyota DC 4×4, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Fortuner.

All rentals with unlimited mileage and 100% insurance. Satellite phone included.

Long Term Rentals – 1 night’s FREE accommodation in Johannesburg on rentals of 25 days or more.

www.southafrica4x4.co.za   – Hire of Defenders

www.4x4rentalsafrica.com  – Hire of Land Cruisers and Hilux 4x4s

www.sa4x4blog.co.za  – Travel Information

Also follow us on Social Media – Links at the top right of the page.

We 4×4 Africa

South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, Angola, Congo DRC, Cameroon

Be safe. Have great time !

Carel Pienaar

Welcome Back Carel Pienaar

Welcome back Carel Pienaar. It is with great excitement that I am finally again the legal owner of www.sa4x4blog.co.za. I will make a post about all the behind the scenes drama on this matter this later. As for now I am looking forward to start sharing 4×4 travel stories and ideas and I am looking forward to your contributions.

Some of the items that you can look forward to :

  • Being able to book your 4×4 rental from this blog.
  • Lots of new photos. isn’t travel all about photos ?
  • Honest 4×4 advise and travel shared experiences.
  • Less crap more fun !

A reminder of the 4×4 vehicles we rent out :

  • Land Rover 110 Defender
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Toyota Toyota Hilux

While I am changing things you are welcome to look at our websites :

SOUTH AFRICA 4×4 Hire, Land Rover Defender 110 ( TD5, Puma and Puma Expedition ), Toyota DC 4×4, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Fortuner.

All rentals with unlimited mileage and 100% insurance. Satellite phone included.

Long Term Rentals – 1 night’s FREE accommodation in Johannesburg on rentals of 25 days or more.

www.southafrica4x4.co.za   – Hire of Defenders

www.4x4rentalsafrica.com  – Hire of Land Cruisers and Hilux 4x4s

www.sa4x4blog.co.za  – Travel Information

Also follow us on Social Media – Links at the top right of the page.

We 4×4 Africa

South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, Angola, Congo DRC, Cameroon

Carel Pienaar and the love of travel !

Run Away Clients Card Imprints

Card Imprints – South Africa 4×4

Cared imprints for South Africa 4×4 Hire. I have seen some interesting things the past 2 weeks. Referring back to my postings about accidents. Some clients do not want to pay for accidents they caused. Some clients just run away and is not to be found. I must admit that I am shocked to see what people get up to. These people have unfortunately spoiled the way we do business hence I have to introduce the following to ensure we get paid as per our rental contract.

We do take imprints of your credit card for R 2500 admin fee, R 20 000 single vehicle roll over and if you booked on standard insurance.

PLEASE NOTE – THIS IS AN IMPRINT ONLY. WE DO NOT TAKE THIS MONEY FROM YOUR ACCOUNT.

Below samples of the card imprints.

Card Imprint Procedure South Africa 4x4
Card Imprint Procedure South Africa 4×4 Hire

 

On return of the vehicle we return these signed imprints to you.

Also have a look at our insurance options. I think they are the easiest to understand and the most affordable options available.

SOUTH AFRICA 4×4 Hire, Land Rover Defender 110 ( TD5, Puma and Puma Expedition ), Toyota DC 4×4, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Fortuner.

All rentals with unlimited mileage and 100% insurance. Satellite phone included.

Long Term Rentals – 1 night’s FREE accommodation in Johannesburg on rentals of 25 days or more.

www.southafrica4x4.co.za   – Hire of Defenders

www.4x4rentalsafrica.com  – Hire of Land Cruisers and Hilux 4x4s

www.sa4x4blog.co.za  – Travel Information

Also follow us on Social Media – Links at the top right of the page.

We 4×4 Africa

South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, Angola, Congo DRC, Cameroon