What is a Safari Vehicle

- What is a Safari Vehicle -
Open Game Drive Safari Vehicles Explained

full day safari south africa kwazulu natal hluhluwe-imfolozi park
Half Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari

What are the Safari Vehicle Regulations

Going on Safari should be on any bucket list, joining in on a organised safari can and should be unforgettable to say the least. So what exactly is a safari vehicle and more importantly what are the advantages or benefits?

Open Game Drive Safari Vehicles are generally large 4x4 vehicles that have been modified according to specific regulations ensuring safety of the clients being transferred. These regulations do vary from province to province in South Africa as well as park or game reserve specific regulations.

Please note that private reserves or park regulations are different from national regulations. This article will focus on national regulations.

So what exactly are these regulations then when it comes to Open Game Drive Safari Vehicles.

  • Pickup's converted for the use of Safaris have to offer a maximum seating capacity of 10 seats (clients)  and driver.
  • Game Drive Frames have to have a minimum of 3 upright roll bars.
  • These upright roll bars have to be a minimum of 38mm and a minimum of 2mm thickness.
  • Each entrance for clients onto a bench or seat must beable to close or lock securely.
  • Each frame is to have a roof, this roof may be covered with fabric or comprise of a hard top.
  • Each row of seats must be a minimum of 350 mm between the next row of seats.
  • Each row of seats have to be staggered in height.
  • Each row of seats have to have a foot rest.
  • The frame has to be enclosed on the sides by a minimum of 350mm.
  • Each vehicle has to have a first aid kit as well as a fire extinguisher.
  • Each passenger has to have a SABS approved seat belt.

All Safari Vehicles traveling on any arterial or national road conveying clients have to have a COF (certificate of fitness certificate). These certificates are renewed annually and are only issued once an inspection has been completed and passed.

These vehicles usually have a different colored number plate, eg (KwaZulu Natal Black Number Plates) are issued. The COF issued will indicate all relevant information with regards to the make of the vehicle and it will also indicate the number of passengers that are allowed to be transferred.

The South Africa Roads Act (Department of Transport) issues all permits for the conveyance of paying passengers. No operator is legally allowed to transfer any passenger without this certificate. Should any incident or accident occur without a carrier permit then the passenger liability will not be covered.

What to WEAR on Safari in South Africa

What are the Advantages or Benefits of Open Game Drive Safari Vehicles

Firstly and most importantly it's the unobstructed views. Added to that is the fact that each row of benches or seats are staggered in height. Therefore the last row will be the highest and the first row will be the lowest.

Seats versus Benches, seats may be more comfortable however restrict movement especially if you are a avid photographer. Benches offer absolute flexibility and the advantage of being able to move ones camera with ease.

Communication with ones's ranger or guide is made easier as their is no obstruction between client and ranger.

Ranger or Guide, these men or woman are passionate about what it is that they do. Each individual has to complete various courses and all courses vary in difficulty.

No matter where one travels on safari it is the ranger or guide that will inevitably make the outing a memorable one.


  • Safety Assured
  • Photographic Opportunities Assured
  • Vantage points from within the Game Drive Vehicle
  • Comfort Assured
  • Qualified Ranger/ Guide
  • Sit back and Relax
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heritage tours and safaris

Heritage Tours & Safaris offers safari excursions into the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park and iSimangaliso Wetland Park departing daily. The company was established in 2003 and has since become one of the largest privately owned safari companies in KwaZulu Natal.

The company offers a wide variety of day safaris as well as overnight safari packages.