Car Rental in Polokwane
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Polokwane?
For decades, the South African province of Limpopo was flying under the radar of everyone but the most adventurous travelers. However, over the last few years, the region in the far north of the country that borders Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique has finally been noticed. More and more tourists come here to enjoy Limpopo’s vast national parks, safari tours, and wildlife sanctuaries. The region’s capital, Polokwane, is the best place from where to explore it all, as well as an interesting and culturally rich city in its own right.
Top ways to enter Polokwane
- Polokwane Airport: Also known as Pietersburg Airport after the city’s former name, it is the closest airport to the city. However, as of December 2019, it only hosts flights along one route, that between Polokwane and Johannesburg-Tambo (served by Airlink). Located 5 km (3 miles) from the city center, the airport can be reached in about 15 minutes.
- Johannesburg Tambo Airport: The busiest airport not only in South Africa, but all of the African continent, Johannesburg’s primary airport serves about 21 million travelers every year. Named after O.R. Tambo, the former president of the African National Congress, it provides flights to and from destinations all over Africa, as well as in Asia, Europe, the Americas, and even Australia. Located 305 km (189 miles) south of Polokwane, the airport can be reached in about three hours.
- Johannesburg Lanseria Airport: The other, smaller international airport serving South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg-Lanseria Airport handles a number of domestic flights as well as a connection with Zanzibar in Tanzania. Located 311 km (193 miles) south of Polokwane, it takes 3 hours and 15 minutes to reach.
- Kruger Mpumalanga Airport: Serving the city of Mbombela (formerly known as Nelspruit) in the neighboring province of Mpumalanga, Kruger Airport handled about 270,000 travelers in 2018. The airport provides flights to and from all the largest cities of South Africa, some smaller and remote locations in the northern part of the country as well as Livingston in Zambia. Located 330 km (205 miles) southeast of Polokwane, Kruger Airport can be reached in about four hours.
- With a semiarid climate and an elevation of more than 1,200 m (3,940 ft), Polokwane has a warm year-round climate and little temperature differences between seasons. The average high temperature is 28°C (83°F) in January, the hottest month, and 20°C (67°F) in June, the coolest. Precipitation is at its highest from November to January, but extremely low from May to August.
- The main spoken language of Polokwane is Northern Sotho, a Bantu language closely related to many others spoken in South Africa and its neighboring countries. Other native languages such as Venda, Tswana, and Southern Ndebele are spoken in the city as well. There are also large communities of native speakers of both Afrikaans (about 20% of Polokwane’s residents), a language mutually intelligible with Dutch, and English (about 10%).
Top destinations and activities
- Polokwane Art Museum. Home to paintings, sculptures, and other works by famous South African artists, the museum is one of the most visited places in Polokwane. In addition to the permanent collection, the opening of new exhibitions is frequent. The museum is located inside the Danie Hough Cultural Center which is part of the Library Gardens Complex, the beating heart of culture and art in this part of South Africa.
- Industrial Art Park. Located within city limits, the industrial park is one of the most original art spaces in Africa. Only 15 artworks, each one made from industrial materials, are on display, but they all are fascinating, not only because of their size, but also the artists’ inventiveness. The Industrial Art Park will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2020.
- Bakone Malapa Open-Air Park. Located south of Polokwane, this open-air museum is dedicated to the indigenous inhabitants of northeast South Africa. Visitors of the park can see traditional buildings, as well as learn about the main professions and culture of the Bakone in addition to those of other Northern Sotho-speaking peoples.
- Hugh Exton Photographic Museum. A fascinating insight into the city’s past, this museum consists of more than 23,000 unique photographs that were taken over the course of more than 50 years in the 1890s and the first half of the 20th century. Located in a former church, the museum also displays several cameras of Hugh Exton, a native of Cape Town and self-taught photographer who was responsible for the creation of this rich ethnographic material.
Traffic and parking
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 120 km/h (74.5 mph) on freeways, 100 km/h (62 mph) on any public road outside of an urban area that is not a freeway, and 60 km/h (37 mph) on any public road within an urban or built-up area.
- the legal alcohol limit is 0.05% per 100ml of blood and 0.24% per 1000 ml of breath for experienced drivers and is 0.00% for novice drivers. Exceeding the allowed limit can lead to large fines, deportation, or imprisonment.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s registration needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
There are many toll roads in South Africa. However, unlike in most of the world, no payments are made on the highway, be it in cash or by credit card. Instead, a vehicle is identified either by an electronic tag that is on the vehicle or by the vehicle’s license plate number.
Many rental cars are equipped with an e-tag that will be used for making toll payments. Some rental car providers will charge an additional fee for this service. Ask your car rental provider about it beforehand.
The exact rate for using the toll roads depends on the type of road. See more information about the latest toll rates here.
If your rental car is not equipped with an e-tag, the bill for using the toll roads will be sent to your rental provider. Due to delays in the South African toll system, you could be billed and charged after the end of your rental period.
Ideas for day trips
- Polokwane Game Reserve. One of the largest of its kind, Polokwane Game Reserve is home to many unique species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. One of the main attractions of the reserve is the Moletjie Sanctuary, a preserve for the unique and threatened cape vulture. Visitors of the reserve can join tours or go on independent hikes. Located just 5 km (3 miles) from the city center, the Polokwane Game Reserve can be reached in about ten minutes by car.
- Kruger National Park. The size of a small country, Kruger is one of the two largest national parks in South Africa. Shared by Limpopo and Mpumalanga, the national park is home to the black rhino, South African giraffe, African bush elephant, Nile crocodile, and hundreds of other species of animals. You can explore Kruger with a rental car - the park’s roads are in a very good condition and there are even petrol stations inside it. The park has nine entrance gates, and the closest to Polokwane is in Phalaborwa. About 205 km (128 miles) east of Polokwane, it can be reached in about three hours.
- Moletzie Bird Sanctuary. Another notable natural area on the outskirts of the city, Moletzie is primarily dedicated to the preservation of Cape vulture, the iconic and threatened raptor known to only inhabit the southern part of the African continent. The drive from the city takes only about 20 minutes.
- Wolkberg Wilderness Area. Centered around the famous Cloud Mountain that gives the area its Afrikaans name, this is one of the most popular – and most beautiful – hiking areas in all of Limpopo (though if you wish to get around by car, a 4x4 might be required). The area is known for its diverse flora and fauna and is practically surrounded by other nature preserves such as the Agatha Forest Reserve, Lekgalameetse Provincial Park, and Balule Reserve. The drive from Polokwane to Wolkberg takes just under two hours.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Polokwane is the Volkswagen Polo, although many travelers also go for the Renault Clio and the Kia Picanto. The most popular rental car types are economy, standard, and mini.
- Mpumalanga. Limpopo’s neighboring province is a rarely visited place, but those travelers who do venture there won’t leave disappointed. Mpumalanga is home to the stunning (and stunningly huge) Blyde River Canyon which includes sites like God's Window and the Three Rondavels, industrial sites, along with some of South Africa’s best safaris. The capital, Mbombela (formerly known as Nelspruit), is 300 km (180 miles) southeast of Polokwane and you can explore the rest of the province from there.
- Johannesburg. A true melting pot, South Africa’s largest city is home to people from not only all over South Africa but all over the continent. Consequently, the city boasts distinct neighborhoods, a diverse center, and an amazing concentration of different cultural centers. Famous landmarks also abound, including the Museum of Origins and Rock Art and Johannesburg Planetarium. Located about 320 km (199 miles) south of Polokwane Polokwane, Johannesburg can be reached in 3 hours and 15 minutes.
- Botswana. South Africa’s northern neighbor has the third-lowest population density of any country in Africa, but what it lacks in urban areas, it more than makes up with pristine nature which has everything from otherworldly deserts to lush river deltas and endless grasslands. Relatively developed and safe, Botswana is an increasingly popular travel destination. Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, is 480 km (298 miles) southwest of Polokwane and takes about six hours to reach. Many rental car providers do not permit crossing the border, so it’s important to ask them in advance. Alternatively, you can travel by public transportation and pick up a new car after arriving in Botswana. It’s also important to check in advance if you need a visa to visit Botswana as the country has a different visa policy than South Africa.
- Mozambique. Something of a hidden gem, Mozambique remains a mysterious destination for many. Those who do venture to the Portuguese-speaking nation will find scenic islands, lush jungle, unique culture, and endless beaches where you can find everything from all-inclusive resorts to tiny, idyllic villages. The country is still developing and lacks the infrastructure that South Africa and Botswana have, but the travelers who dare to go are likely to return feeling very rewarded. Maputo, the capital, is 500 km (305 miles) southwest of Polokwane and takes about seven hours to reach; other destinations are even closer. As with Botswana, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit you crossing the border (even fewer do) and check to see if you need a visa to enter.
Car Rental Prices in Polokwane
- Large cars - from $32 per day
- Medium cars - from $24 per day
- Vans - from $46 per day
- Premium cars - from $68 per day
- Small cars - from $15 per day
- SUVs - from $53 per day
Increase your chances of landing a great rental car in Polokwane by following these tips:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Polokwane is the cheapest in April when renting a car is about 36% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 56% cheaper than renting a vehicle in November.
Top 20 Cities near Polokwane
Nelspruit Car Rentals from $15.47 per day238.7 km / 148.3 miles away
Pretoria Car Rentals from $15.51 per day244.6 km / 152.0 miles away
Centurion Car Rentals from $15.51 per day257.8 km / 160.2 miles away
Johannesburg Car Rentals from $15.47 per day282.8 km / 175.7 miles away
302.1 km / 187.7 miles away
Richards Bay Car Rentals from $15.47 per day604.3 km / 375.5 miles away
Pietermaritzburg Car Rentals from $15.47 per day652.0 km / 405.1 miles away
Durban Car Rentals from $15.47 per day661.8 km / 411.2 miles away
Bloemfontein Car Rentals from $15.47 per day662.7 km / 411.8 miles away
Kimberley Car Rentals from $15.47 per day722.8 km / 449.1 miles away
772.7 km / 480.1 miles away
Margate Car Rentals from $23.21 per day784.6 km / 487.5 miles away
Mthatha Car Rentals from $16.89 per day860.0 km / 534.4 miles away
East London Car Rentals from $15.47 per day1034.3 km / 642.7 miles away
Port Elizabeth Car Rentals from $15.47 per day1187.6 km / 737.9 miles away
1293.3 km / 803.6 miles away
George Car Rentals from $15.47 per day1322.3 km / 821.6 miles away
Stellenbosch Car Rentals from $20.95 per day1522.6 km / 946.1 miles away
Hermanus Car Rentals from $20.95 per day1536.9 km / 955.0 miles away
Cape Town Car Rentals from $15.47 per day1541.7 km / 958.0 miles away
Top 19 Locations near Polokwane
Wonderboom Airport Car Rentals from $15.51 per day236.6 km / 147.0 miles away
Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day238.7 km / 148.3 miles away
Pretoria Hatfield Car Rentals from $21.87 per day244.6 km / 152.0 miles away
Johannesburg Lanseria Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day279.4 km / 173.6 miles away
Johannesburg Airport Car Rentals from $24.35 per day282.8 km / 175.7 miles away
Tambo International Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day282.8 km / 175.7 miles away
Richards Bay Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day604.3 km / 375.5 miles away
King Shaka International Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day661.8 km / 411.2 miles away
Bloemfontein Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day662.7 km / 411.8 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $15.47 per day685.9 km / 426.2 miles away
Kimberley Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day722.8 km / 449.1 miles away
772.7 km / 480.1 miles away
East London Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day1034.3 km / 642.7 miles away
Port Elizabeth Rhodes University - Grahamstown Car Rentals from $20.68 per day1091.4 km / 678.2 miles away
Port Elizabeth Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day1187.6 km / 737.9 miles away
George Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day1322.3 km / 821.6 miles away
1503.3 km / 934.1 miles away
Cape Town Airport Car Rentals from $15.47 per day1541.7 km / 958.0 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $15.47 per day1550.2 km / 963.2 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Polokwane?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Polokwane?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Polokwane?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||2|
|Popular suppliers||First Car Rental|
|Popular car categories||Small cars|
|Lowest price||$15 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|First Car Rental||Honda Amaze||5||1||Small cars|
|First Car Rental||Suzuki Celerio||5||1||Small cars|
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