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Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

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Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

Is it safe for women to drive from Durban to Zulu Nyala? Then form Zulu Nyala to Phinda for excursions? How do you handle a car breakdown? Thanks. Kim

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1. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

Kim K

Are you a solo driver or more than one gal? (women -plural)? We drove from Ballito just north of Durban along the coast road to Umfolozi Game Reserve and from there to Mkuze next door to Phinda. From there to Kosi Bay, Tembe and all the way up to Balule North Kruger. 3 weeks self drive this year and last year. Taking usual precautions we have not had a problem.

I have copied this info which is from my 2013 self drive itinerary, which may be of use to you. For safety's sake have a mobile phone with you and a local sim card to make calls. Normally there will be clear procedures / guidelines from your rental company provided in your contract or in the glove box. These will normally involve an accident advice line, and you should also have a number for roadside assistance for breakdowns. Check this with your rental provider before you drive off.

 

If there is no guidance, follow these pointers:

 

It is not advisable to get out of your car on the shoulder of the road. You’re probably safer locked inside the car. Consensus is to pull over as far as you can, put your emergency indicators on, and wait inside the car, with the doors locked, and ring the police on 112 on yr mobile. If it’s not the police, but a tow-truck you need, ring directory enquiries on yr mobile, or the number provided by your car rental company – normally in the glove box (called a “cubby-hole” in SA) of your car or on your key ring.

 

(If you need to ring directory enquiries, there are 3 mobile service providers in S.A. : Cell-C, MTN, and Vodacom. Cell-C numbers begin with 074 or 084, MTN numbers begin with 073 or 083, and Vodacom Numbers begin with 072 or 082. On Vodacom, directory enquiries is 110, on MTN it’s 200 and on Cell-C it’s 146.)

 

If there’s been an accident, unless there are injured parties, or the damage is significant, the norm is to move cars to the side of the road.

 

The police need to be informed of ALL accidents and incidents (even if only to give a case no. for insurance claims – and sometimes that’s all you will get from the police).

 

Take photos with your mobile, and contact your rental company to inform them.

If you see someone else broken down, or even an accident, the custom is NOT to stop to help them. Get a passenger to ring the police from your mobile and advise them that a motorist is broken down, or there’s been an accident and someone requires assistance. Therefore, if you’re broken down, don’t expect anyone to assist you. It may happen, but mostly not. If someone does stop to help, it’s customary to remain in your car with the doors locked, and open your window a small amount to speak to them, until you’ve established their intentions.

Edited: 8:54 pm, October 06, 2013
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2. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

Thank you. Will we be safe locked in the car or is carjackings a risk? There will be three women.

Thanks, Kim

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3. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

Also, mobile reception in that area is okay? Thanks, Kim

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4. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

《If you see someone else broken down, or even an accident, the custom is NOT to stop to help them.》

This is not a "custom" anyone has ever alerted me to. One does have to be aware of possible setups, obviously, but I do hope we as a nation don't routinely drive on by. Personally I'm cautious about stopping but then I'm female and say what you will, that makes a difference. If I were the first to come upon a situation where someone was obviously in trouble, I hope I would assist in any way I could.

If I found myself in a situation like the one you are envisaging, I would try phoning and yes, caution would dictate staying in the car. However in hot weather, staying *locked* in the car with the windows up would be untenable. I would also expect at least one other motorist to stop, and in that event I would be out of the car engaging with them - unless intuition dictated otherwise.

In the event of no cellphone signal I would try to flag down a likely-looking passing vehicle. Yes of course it's riskier (as anywhere else in the world) but one can hardly sit there all day.

Not sure what you mean by "car-jacking". Someone stealing the car and leaving you on the side of the road? Someone shooting you and then stealing the car? Someone stealing the car with you in it? IMO the first two scenarios are less unlikely than the third, but on rural roads all of them are pretty unlikely.

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5. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

Duplicate post -apologies. @#$/ mobile devices where you can't see what you're doing!

Edited: 1:11 pm, October 07, 2013
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6. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

Hello and just take note as above and avoid driving after dark, Make sure you have all contact numbers for where you are staying and the hire company. My wife and I spend a lot of time driving in KZN and the actual driving is quite easy as from the airport to Zulu Nyala is nearly all highway. Google maps are good for where you are going to for pre-planning. I always allow to cover 90kms every hour when driving allowing for road conditions, tolls and hold ups. Make sure you have some cash for the tolls to. Its a stunning area you will be visiting, have a wonderful time!

Mark - Owner - SafariKZN

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7. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

I cannot think of many places in the UK that I woud feel the need to lock myself in the car or not stop for an incident.. In fact , if we need to pull over on the hard shoulder of a motorway in the UK , it is considered safer to actually get out of the car and stand as far away from the traffic as possible.

However, locking yourself in seems to be the recommendation for driving in SA. with no explanation as to why.

Perhaps Auntie can answer this one as she is local. What exactly are the potential dangers of getting out of the car? Is this advice only for remote areas or anywhere?

Does it mean that the dire poverty in SA means that people would necessarily rob or highjack you?

I lived in SA from 1968-70 and many times on long journeys just pulled over to doze for a while and even pitched our tent anywhere and everywhere throughout SA.

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8. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

Sorry, not handling the device too well tonight. Response to follow.

Edited: 4:07 pm, October 07, 2013
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9. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

Hello gem166, and just to say that I now lock myself in my car when working here in the UK during the day. My wife is originally from SA and locked herself in the car at home as a habit much like us putting our seat belts on. I have just picked up the habit I suppose. I also know that in all countries where there is a mix of wealth & poverty inevitably it leads to crime. I have not seen recent statistics but the last ones I read did show that crime involving tourists was lower than places like America & Australia, however as said I have net seen any figures for a few years. The best advise is always be cautious.

Mark - Owner - SafariKZN

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10. Re: Going from Durban to Zulu Nyala

[Cross-posted with Mark]

Oof. Awkward question gem. Yes I suppose the assumption is that if you're in some way vulnerable (in this scenario, by virtue of being stranded somewhere isolated), someone is likely to come along and rob you. Obscenely high GINI coefficients make for those kinds of conditions. Plus which, while our crime rate may be grossly exaggerated it is nevertheless higher than in less fraught places and it tends to be violent. So the principle being espoused is to err on the side of caution. Personally I think the chances are a stranded traveller would be offered assistance with graciousness and generosity.

You cannot compare SA as it was for whites in the late 1960s with SA as it is now. It is worth remembering that that free-and-easy lifestyle obtained on the back of a crime against humanity, and massive oppression. Today's reality is complex and I don't believe a discussion of those complexities falls within the scope of this forum.

Edited: 4:35 pm, October 07, 2013