Melelane to Johannesburg

Driving in South Africa is rough. The drive from Kruger’s Melelane gate to the Johannesburg airport appears straightforward, but the driving style of South Africans makes it dangerous and stressful. They drive very aggressively, often making blind passes and swerving into oncoming lanes assuming oncoming traffic will yield. This all made the drive back to Johannesburg very nerve-racking. You can not be complacent or relaxed while driving! We assume driving was worse coming back than going to the park because we came back on a weekend.

We stopped at an Oasis for JT to get an amazing mocha (R31), gum (R14.5) and for both of us to use the restroom, but otherwise made the trip with no stops.

The barista even made an awesome design with the foam!

We did not have to fill the rental car with gas before we returned it, as Avis claims they will fill it at market rate. We guess this might be because there are some pretty bad neighborhoods around the airport. Getting to the airport was super easy with navigation though. Avis complained about a scratch under the car – our pick-up photos are inconclusive as to whether this scratch was there when we picked up the car. We will see whether they try to charge us for this.

UPDATE: Avis charged R435.03 for ~34 liters of fuel – a reasonable R12.8/liter. However, JT challenged this charge, as the car only holds 45 liters of fuel and we had a photo showing the fuel to be 7/16 full. Avis’ documentation showed the agent checked it in with 3/16 full. Avis has now refunded the entire fuel bill.

We have not had such luck with the damage charge of R1465.72. South Africa Avis office provided Avis with an easily-faked repair bill, but Avis will not challenge South Africa Avis – leaving JT to have to convince South Africa Avis to reverse the charges.

For reference, here is my photo of the “damage”:

Can you find the $124.26 of damage? I cannot

Leave a Reply