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Logistics of car hire

High Wycombe...
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220 posts
48 reviews
29 helpful votes
Logistics of car hire
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Hello

Having booked our hotels for April we are now looking at car hire.

As a family of 5 who are moving from place to place a few times and also staying mid trip in a lodge from which we wish to venture out to other places, I have been told hiring a car is a good way to travel. I have compared a few prices and service and SS rent a car seems better value than Avis but also has good recommendations.

My question is ... as we are arriving at Lilongwe late afternoon after a long flight do you think it would be easier to get a hotel transfer and then get the car delivered to our lodge (we’re only stopping there one night) or is it easy to just collect and get on with our travel from the airport. I’m a bit worried that the process will be long and we’ll be tired, get lost etc without too many daylight hours to spare. We have limited experience of Africa in general so are a little nervous- but looking forward to the adventure!

Does anyone have any experience of car hire? Any tips would be gratefully received. We’re booking a larger 4x4 to accommodate 2 adults 2 teenagers and a 10 year old.

Norwich, United...
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747 posts
72 reviews
23 helpful votes
1. Re: Logistics of car hire
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Malawi is a relatively easy country to self drive around.

A large 4x4 is perfect and much easier than a saloon. There are lots of bumps, potholes and the need to go off the edge of the road when a lorry is coming towards you.

If it were me I would get the car the next day. Get over the flight, sort yourselves out etc etc.

Have you thought about navigation? Road signs are minimal - have a look at Tracks4Africa much better than google maps or suchlike. Just because a road appears on a map doesn't mean it is the best/safest/quickest route - work out your routes in advance. The main roads are generally very good for Africa.

Watch your speed - lots of speed checks. Also get used to police road checks around pretty much every town. And, please, never drive after dark.

Sheffield, United...
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7,611 posts
5 reviews
3 helpful votes
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I agree with the above entirely

yes the main roads are generally good but they are single carriageway and not always wide and where you do need to be careful is that it is not unusual for the edges to have a pothole or simply eroded away and these would do a lot of damage hit at speed at best

High Wycombe...
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220 posts
48 reviews
29 helpful votes
3. Re: Logistics of car hire
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Thank you - I shall look into getting a car delivered the day following our arrival

High Wycombe...
Level Contributor
220 posts
48 reviews
29 helpful votes
4. Re: Logistics of car hire
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And I’ll watch my speed. Thanks for the advice

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
4,717 posts
18 reviews
7 helpful votes
5. Re: Logistics of car hire
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You also need to be very cautious of pedestrians, including small children, cyclists, and animal-pulled carts along the roadways. Avoid driving at night and have a great trip!

Maarssen
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75 posts
15 reviews
7 helpful votes
6. Re: Logistics of car hire
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We ended up renting our car from Land & Lake Safaris...excellent service !! Highly recommended...

They delivered a VERY nice Nissan XTrail to our hotel and also picked it up from our accommodation after 2 weeks...unlimited mileage...with a few surprisingly nice extra's added :-)

They were in fact the only company that clearly explained the insurance situation...90% of the excess is covered by them...10% you would have to pay from your own pocket in case of damage...(for this 10% we took out an additional insurance online - € 99.- for a whole year since we will travel again soon - but for one time rentals cheaper)

We were asked for a deposit as guarantee for the rental and were asked to pay for this by bank transfer...this did not work well and it was not until 2 days before departure that they could find our payment with their bank...I hope they will find a better solution for such deposit payments...maybe a creditcard guarantee would work better...

We drove ourselves without a local driver because that gives us more freedom - at least that is how it feels to us...driving and finding your way in Malawi is real easy....

Car rental in Malawi is not cheap...I would with no doubt rent again from Land & Lakes !! Thank you guys !! and...what a wonderful country and people !!!

7. Re: Logistics of car hire

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