South Africa Long Distance Driving


I don’t know about you, but I never drive in foreign cities.  City driving in both Johannesburg and Durban is not recommended.  You will however enjoy long distance driving on the major highways and remember that South Africans drive on the right hand side.  Please note that rental cars are manual/stick shift and not automatic transmission.  Sweetness the novel concentrates on two provinces:  Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).  If you want to see Sweetness country, you will therefore either touch down at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg or Durban International Airport in KZN. 

From Johannesburg to Durban

·        Distance approximately 557 km

·        Leave Johannesburg early you don’t want to be caught in the afternoon rush hour

·        Call the hotel in Durban for the nearest highway exit

·        Keep hotel telephone in your pocket or programmed in your cell-phone/mobile

·        Keep money in the glove compartment for toll gate fees

·        Ask the Johannesburg hotel staff for directions to the N3

·        You won’t turn anywhere, just follow the blue route marker signs

·        You can’t miss filling/gas/petrol stations.  They are marked in brown, the tourism colour

·        Such stations are quite far apart so please fill up at the next gas/petrol station

·        Speed limit is 120km per hour

·        Try and adhere to it because speed cops hide behind bushes and bridges

·        Take a break at Montrose filling station and enjoy the picnic basket the hotel prepared for you

·        Don’t do anything you don’t do at home for example. pick up strangers

·        Stay on the slow lane (left lane) and let locals whizz by

·        It will take you 4 hours if you drive outside the law, which is 120km per hour

·        It will take you 5 hours if you drive within the law and take toilet/loo breaks

·        It will take you six hours if you stop for picnics under the trees next to major garages

From Durban to Johannesburg

·        Distance approximately 557 km

·        Call the hotel in Johannesburg for the highway exit nearer the hotel

·        Ask the Durban hotel staff for directions to the N3

·        Leave Durban early because you don’t want to be caught in the Johannesburg rush hour

·        Everything same as above, you don’t turn anywhere

·        Ask garage/filling station attendants if lost

There are daily flights between Durban and Johannesburg (check airline websites) if you don’t enjoy long distance driving.

Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness the novel.

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