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Blog: Self-drive in Africa & South America


Jun 2017

Self-drive in Africa & South America

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, South America, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

For the independent traveller looking for adventure in Africa or South America it’s been very tricky or impossible to find a) a reliable vehicle and b) an affordable one. Venture Co is pleased to announce that we can provide self-drive cars and 4X4’s throughout sub-Sahara Africa and throughout South America.

Malawi and Zambia, for example, are perfect countries for this popular holiday option. Driving is on the left hand side of the road and your UK driver’s licence can be used for a period of up to 3 months; that would be a long holiday!!

Fully-equipped 4X4 ready to go

There is a choice of vehicles at your disposal from saloons to full-equipped 4X4’s complete with pop-up roof-tent. I began my working life as a driver/guide in Africa and can offer advice about the most suitable vehicle to use and assist you in route planning if needed. We can even suggest camp sites and hidden-away spots that aren’t in the guidebooks. We provide the necessary backup for you whilst in the country as part of our service.

The same applies in South America and in 2017 our most popular route, would you believe, is a trail around the Atacama in the far north of Chile: stunning country, engaging culture and absolutely beautiful scenery.

In India I think you are better advised to hire a car and driver. Driving on the sub-continent remains a dark art and it’s much more relaxing to sit back and let someone with local know-how interpret the rules of the road.

To give you an idea about prices you’re looking at about £120 for a good saloon and perhaps £250 for a top of the range 4X4, fully equipped with camping gear. Rates are per day.

I think the 4X4’s are particularly good value for couples or even two couples: they come with rooftop tent and bedding, all the catering equipment you need for independent living including gas cooker and a gas light, car fridge / cooler, water jerry can, high-lift jack, spare wheels and unlimited mileage. All you need to do is turn up! No lodge fees, no guide fees and you’re completely independent! It’s not for everyone of course, but if you enjoy setting your own pace, going where you please and stopping when you like, then a self-drive holiday is a realistic possibility now.

Crossing Borders
In South America there’s no problem crossing from Chile to Argentina, for example; additional documentation is required, but it’s either free or comes with a nominal charge. In Africa it’s also possible to combine 2 or 3 countries and the additional doc’s are about £150 per country. The thing to remember with both continents is to try to return the vehicle to the same place you started. One-way hires can become a bit pricey.

None of these suggestions are written up on our website because no two itineraries are the same. Do please call us and we can get the wheels turning.

Access to the Atacama Desert is easy nowadays.

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