I need advice on whether or not to rent a car or buy one, for travel in Africa.
Anyone have any advice on this, it's a difficult one. I'm going to be travelling in Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia for 3 months starting from this June. i've seen basic cars are much cheaper to rent than 4x4s, but i don't know, do i really need a 4x4, i just don't know. I've thought if i rented a 4x4 we could sleep in it and have a lot of room, but then it might be cheaper to just stay at some camps and rent for example a toyota corrola. i think i could get a price of $1700 dollars maybe slightly more for 3 months rental. i'm just wondering if buying one is more hassle than it's worth. if you rent a car, do you still need to get temp permits to import a car into another country?
Thanks ..and sorry for all the questions!
if you are going to travel in a car which isn't a 4x4 I suggest you make it a cheap one as it will likely be wrecked after your trip, since the road quality in Uganda and Kenya in particular can be very poor. Its probably best to purchase a cheap 4x4 in my opinion.
Also taking retals across borders is usually a problem and if you are allowed to do so by the rental company, will cost more. Small cars like a toyota corolla, will probably cause you nightmares - a lot of the roads you travel on will be hard going and a corolla isnt, I dont think, a good bet..... it would probably do it, but with a good chance of having problems mechanically.....
All really depends on where exactly you are going.
To take cars across a border in East Africa you need a Carnet de Passage
You can probably take a rental car between a few countries, but you would be hard pressed to find a company that would accommodate your itinerary. We travelled by public transport and then rented cars in a few places (notably South Africa). I agree with above comments, you would want to buy a 4x4 or a very cheap car that you can fix easily and pretty much trash at the end. The roads of Kenya (northern and eastern) are terrible, Uganda not much better and although we didn't make it to Ethiopia, people we spoke to said roads were pretty bad too. It was pretty painful in public transport, but at least it wasn't our vehicle hitting those potholes or blowing tires! Don't let these stories put you off though - Africa is a must to experience!!
We just came through Africa from Cairo to Cape Town but we did it on a truck. Met a few people along the way who were driving. I would definitely go for a 4WD. The roads in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, some in Tanzania would be too hard for most 2WDs, unless you carry a lot of spares. You would normally need a carnet to take any car through. We did come across people who had hired 4WDs fitted out for the trip. They were doing pretty well. I would check a few web sites.