Today a good question we get asked a lot: should I bother with a GPS in South Africa?
It's possible to rent at GPS when you pick up a rental car in South Africa They aren’t cheap: R95 a day so it adds quite a bill to the car rental. They are also in South Africa pretty clunky machines that don’t work brilliantly. We normally advise our clients not to bother and use a smartphone instead. Even a basic smartphone these days uses its internal GPS coupled with internet it gets from its SIM to work out exactly where you are. We recommend downloading an offline version of the route you’re taking that day on wi-fi before you leave your accommodation in case you get spotty connections en route.
Both smartphones and normal GPSes need a signal to work and so if you're going to some pretty remote areas, you might like us to get you some good old fashioned maps, having them delivered to your first port of call.
If you do decide to go with your smartphones over a normal GPS, we can arrange for pre registered and pre loaded SIMs to be delivered to your first stop for you. Note that your smartphone must be unlocked (i.e. not tied to a cellular network) for this to work. Many of our clients make use of this service as roaming with data is horribly expensive. If you don’t like to lose contact with friends and family back home whilst you’re overseas, bring another (unlocked) smartphone with you. This is because you’ll need to remove the home SIM from the device and as such, you won’t be able to make or receive calls on your home number.
Hope this is useful!