Before You Pack

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Planning the trip is a good deal of fun and excitement, but there are certain requirements if leaving South Africa that should not be overlooked.Here are a few general guidelines;as things change from time to time it’s worth checking details before departure.

The South African government strictly enforces laws that require certain documentation when crossing a border. These apply to fully paid up vehicles and vehicles that are still under finance contracts. This legislation is in place to limit the traffic in stolen vehicles.

It is important to ensure that your insurance cover is up to date and covers cross border travel. If travelling on a 4×4 excursion it is important to ensure that you have full cover outside South Africa with vehicle and medical repatriation in place, check that the insurer will collect your vehicle where it breaks down , otherwise you may be faced with the cost of getting it to a border post .

A cross border letter giving permission to take the vehicle out of South Africa is a requirement, if you own and have paid off your vehicle a police affidavit will do the trick, if you have not paid your vehicle off a letter from the financing company is required. If the vehicle is a rental or owned by a company a letter from the rental company or owner is a requirement. If you are unsure contact a body such as the Automobile Association or your finance company.

The South African Police might want to see your vehicles original registration papers or certified copies thereof. Make sure your vehicles chassis and engine numbers match those on the registration papers

• Be respectful and kind to all officials.
• Speak English.
• Don’t wear a hat or sunglasses inside the customs building.
• Do not attempt to bribe anybody and react carefully when a bribe is solicited
• Do not bring in too many South African products as the expectation is that you will shop locally. (A reasonable amount of alcohol is acceptable).
• Get permiission to take photos or video footage especially of buildings that could be classisfied as key points.
• Only exchange money with legimitate places of exchange.
• Observe all traffic laws and do not drive at all if you have been drinking.
• Be careful of pedestrians and livestock on the roads anaccident could cause delays, fines and even detention.
• Always be aware of local police especially at veterinary checkpoints and manning radar speed traps. Observe the speed limits at all times.
• Take adequate drinking water for the initial period of the trip , around 2 litres per person per day. Bottled water is generally available as well as water to wash dishes and shower.
• Remember third party insurance for countries that require it,it is available at the border posts and insurance for Mozambique can be purchased before departure at the AA in South Africa.
Safety requirements !
According to the traffic regulations of the various countries you have to display the following stickers on your vehicle:
• White “reflector tape” left and right front.
• Red “reflector tape” left and right rear.
• ZA sticker right rear
• 2 x Yellow triangles on a blue background if towing a trailer or caravan.
• Each vehicle also needs to be equipped with a fire extinguisher that is preferably mounted at arms length from the driver.
• At least 2 xred plastic warning triangles per vehicle.
• When going into Mozambique, one needs to have a reflective vest for each person in the vehicle. You can get that from Outdoor Warehouse or most 4X4 Accessory outlets.
Malaria
• We suggest that you take enough Peaceful Sleep or Tabard and also talk to your chemist about prophylactic medication.

About the Author
Glyn Demmer

Glyn Demmer

My first 4x4 was a Nissan Hardbody thereafter I started travelling all over the country. In 1992 we held a big 4x4 day with hundreds of Nissan families, and then the 4x4 bug really bit. A friend Monty Brett and I started running 4x4 courses at the Hennops Off-road Trail just outside of Johannesburg. At first we offered day-and-a-half courses that started on Friday afternoon and finished on Saturday afternoon. Hannes Grobler the Rally Ace regularly assisted, and we reached a nice balance between our two styles and our skills.

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