Is self drive safe for East Africa?
East Africa is a great region for safari on the African continent and exploring it on a self-drive experience would make it very interesting. East Africa self-drive safari is looked at as a cheaper way to travel through the countries by most travelers. Safety during a self-drive safari should always be a priority as your life should not be put at risk during an adventure time when you would wish to explore.
East African road conditions are generally fair and can be driven on, those outside the cities and in rural areas may however require a 4WD especially in the rainy season. Remember you are driving on unfamiliar roads therefore you must be cautious and well prepared. East Africa, road signs and signals could mean something different from that back in your home country and therefore it is advisable to study these before starting the journey.
When deciding to use Google maps, be aware that roads change and such changes are not effective on the map, therefore it will require you to always ask for directions and especially drive during the day to avoid getting lost in places you can’t get rescued from. When using paper maps, remember they could also be outdated and you could be required to ask for directions.
In case of a breakdown, it will always take you so long to find a local mechanic and if you do, be sure you will have to pay in the local currency.
East African road conditions keep on improving, however, there are roads that have pot holes that are dusty and bumpy, with those obnoxious speed bumps in every hamlet. Always remember to follow the designated road speed limits to avoid getting an accident that could harm you or other road users.
On your East African self-drive safari, you will come across all kinds of sudden unexpected obstacles, near National Parks. These might be wildlife like Elephants, antelopes and other wildlife galloping suddenly from one side of the roads to the other.
Ensure to always be careful and sober when driving to avoid hitting wildlife in the parks as it is an offence and liable to a fine. An animal kill will cost up to USD 500 payable to the park authorities, and maybe USD500 to USD200 for vehicle repair, worst of all you could even lose your life if you hit an African Elephant.
East Africa has great traffic laws; however the laws do not apply when the size of the vehicle is applied. Vehicle size makes right, big cross country buses barreling down what may seem like a one lane road straight at you. Several vehicles seemingly in a convoy passing you at insane speed with some kind of VIP passengers in the main vehicle. Therefore, be cautious when driving on the road and follow rules, especially if you are told to give way please do so.
It is therefore generally safe to self-drive in East Africa, however endeavor to follow all the current guidelines and process all the required documentation. We can always help you with this when booking a self-drive car with us. Our vehicles have the requirements for travel through East Africa and you can book a vehicle to self-drive in one country or book one to use all through the East African countries with a chance to enjoy a long vacation at your own pace.