South Africa Car Rental

Flying to South Africa

If you’re traveling to South Africa, you’re probably flying into one of the country’s three main airports:

  • Cape Town International (CPT) servicing the south.
  • Oliver Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, servicing the north.
  • King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban, servicing the eastern part of the country.

Some of the main airlines flying to South Africa include Virgin Atlantic and South African Airways, all providing non-stop flights from major international airports.

South Africa’s stunning scenery and wild landscapes are best explored in the comfort of your own car. With convenient Enterprise Rent-A-Car branches in all three South African airports and a variety of rental cars to rent, you can start your road trip without delay.

Popular Destinations and things to do in South Africa

There are plenty of exciting places to visit in South Africa. Whether you're after South Africa's wild natural spots or drawn to the Cape's world-renowned vineyards – there's something for everyone!

Here's some of the most popular landmarks, nature spots, and activities for you to enjoy:

Top Places to Visit in South Africa

Kruger National Park

No trip to South Africa would be complete without visiting Kruger National Park. As one of the country's oldest conservation areas and the biggest of safari parks, Kruger National Park is the spot for nature lovers and wildlife afficionados. You'll be able to spot Africa's Big 5, with close-up sightings of elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and rhinos all year round.

Cape Town

Another unmissable place to visit in South Africa is Cape Town. This scenic coastal city boasts views over the two oceans, seeing the cold waters from the Atlantic meet the warm currents of the Indian Ocean.

To get sweeping views over the city, take a panoramic cableway up to the imposing Table Mountain, or if you're up for a hike, follow the Platteklip Gorge trail and you'll reach the summit in about 3 hours.

Other things to do in Cape Town include visiting Boulders Beach about a 40-minute drive from the city centre, where you can spot the famous colony of African penguins.

Garden Route

For the ultimate road trip in South Africa, take the scenic Garden Route from Mossel Bay to Storms River. This 190 mile (300 km) coastal road offers breath-taking views over the ocean, crossing the lush Wilderness National Park and the stunning beaches by Plettenberg Way.

Along the route you'll find plenty of idyllic picnic stops, viewpoints for those all-important photo opportunities, and tranquil towns where you can wind down and eat delicious seafood.

Top Things to Do in South Africa

South Africa's Nature & Wildlife

For the best mix of nature adventures and relaxation head to the KwaZulu Natal province. Wildlife enthusiasts will find the iSimangaliso Wetland Park just under a 3-hour drive north from Durban.

This South African national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems. Learn about the many exotic species thriving in the area and then relax in one of the many beach lodges along the pristine Indian Ocean coast.

South Africa's History

Learn about South Africa's history by visiting some of the country's oldest landmarks. Completed in 1666, the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town is one of the best-preserved Dutch East India Company forts. The castle boasts two museums: the Military Museum and the William Fehr Collection of fine art.

No trip to Cape Town would be complete without visiting one of the most important historical sites in South Africa's recent history, Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

South Africa's Vineyards

South African wines are world-famous and include the chenin blanc, pinotage, and shiraz varieties. Learn the history of wine making and explore the beautiful vineyards by visiting some of the country's top wineries.

In just a 45-minute drive from Cape Town you'll find Stellenbosch, home to over 30,000 acres of vines, and one of the oldest winemaking regions dating back to the 17th century. Alternatively, head west up the coast from Cape Town to the Swartland region, one of the most up-and-coming and fashionable wine areas.

South African Food and Drinks

Indulge in some of South Africa's tastiest dishes such as bobotie, a hearty stew; bunny chow, a fusion dish prepared by the Indian African community in Durban; or the much-loved biltong, South Africa's take on beef jerky.

But don't forget to savour one of the most quintessential South African dishes: the braai, which means barbeque in Afrikaans. At a typical braai you'll taste delicious boerewors sausages, springbok, and braaibroodjies, a grilled sandwich loaded with cheese and chutney.

Fish lovers won't be disappointed either, with plenty of shellfish dishes available and traditional recipes such as fish and chips, smoked snoek, and pan fried kingklip fish.

When it comes to drinks, try umqombothi, a traditional South African beer made from corn. If you want to stick to hoppy beers, go for a national favourite: Castle lager.

Non-alcoholic drinks include the world-famous rooibos tea with its distinct red colour and full-bodied herbal flavour. Alternatively, try amasi, a non-alcoholic fermented milk product akin to yogurt.

Best Time to Visit South Africa

Whilst South Africa can be explored at any time of the year, it's recommended to visit during the cooler months, from April to September.

For example, the best time to visit South Africa for safaris is from May to October, that's because it's easier to spot wildlife during the dry cool season, thanks to the sparser vegetation.

If you're planning to visit South Africa, it's worth knowing when the best festivals and cultural events take place. One of the top foodie festivals in South Africa takes place in Knysna in June, where the annual Knysna Oyster Festival takes place.

In September, the Hermanus Whale Festivals celebrates these ocean giants with whale watching tours. September is the best time of year for spotting whales, so you won't want to miss this opportunity.

The prestigious Cape Town Jazz Festival, the world's fourth largest jazz festival, also draws in a crowd of music fans, and takes place in March.

Driving in South Africa

One of the best ways of traveling around South Africa is by car. But before you start your road trip, here’s a couple of important tips to follow, including necessary documents and information.

All drivers in South Africa must hold:

  • A full, valid driving licence
  • An international driver’s permit (if your licence is not written in English)
  • Vehicle insurance certificate
  • Registration documents
  • Your passport

You’re probably wondering: what side of the road do they drive on In South Africa? In South Africa, you drive on the left-hand side of the road. All road signs and directions are written in English, and wearing seat belts is compulsory by law.

Roads across South Africa are generally well-maintained. Toll motorways connect all major cities but make sure to have cash on you, as some toll booths don’t accept card payments.

When taking smaller local roads, make sure to keep an eye out for crossing animals. Farm animals and wildlife may suddenly cross over the road, so it is advisable to drive within the speed limit.

Road trips in South Africa are generally safe, but we strongly recommend you follow these tips for a safe and comfortable journey, especially when driving in major urban areas:

  • Lock your car doors and keep windows wound up, especially by traffic lights (or robots, as they’re called in South Africa!)
  • Don’t leave anything valuable in your car when parked or left unattended.
  • If you cross wildlife on the road, keep at a distance and don’t open your windows.
  • Avoid driving at night – there’s a higher incidence of animal crossings and carjackings.
  • Avoid picking up hitchhikers – although the practice is quite common in South Africa, it is not advisable for tourists.

Are you ready to explore South Africa? Check out our car rental options and prepare for a smooth drive through this spectacular country.

Car and van rental in South Africa with Enterprise

Enterprise South Africa offers a range of car and van rental services including one-way, long-term and short-term vehicle rental. Commercial clients can speak to our award-winning business rental team who will tailor a mobility solution for your needs and budget.

We are part of the Enterprise group, the largest transportation solutions provider in the world. Our global network covers more than 90 countries and over 9,500 locations, allowing us to serve your mobility needs, wherever you’re going.

We are committed to providing the best service possible and exceeding our customers’ expectations for quality and value.

Car rental in South Africa

If you are traveling with your family or in a big group, you may find a 7-seater or a people carrier will give you more space to travel comfortably with your luggage. For a city trip, a handy hatchback that’s easy to park may suit you better. For business trips or long drives an executive car will combine comfort and performance.

Whether you prefer automatic to manual transmission, no problem. If you want a petrol, diesel or hybrid engine, we’ve got you covered. You may also need GPS, a child seat or want to add another driver to the contract, let us know and we’ll arrange it for you.

Van rental in South Africa

Should you need to rent a van while you’re in South Africa, all our vans can be driven on a standard license and are modern, clean and easy to drive. Just ask and one of our branch team will happily show you around your rental van to make sure you are comfortable with it before you head off.

South Africa Car Rental Locations

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is proud to serve customers in South Africa. As part of the world’s largest car rental provider, which owns and operates more than 1.5 million vehicles, we’re sure to have a location near you or your travel destination. And while we are an internationally recognized brand, Enterprise remains family-owned with one goal in mind for our customers: to exceed your expectations for service and overall value.