I was going down to Durban, South Africa for the big international travel show – to represent Leopard Lodge in Kafue National Park, Zambia. Sue decided to come down with me and we were going to take our Botswana car.
We got there on the Friday afternoon before the Indaba and went shopping for things we couldn’t get back home here in Botswana. We had a sea facing room and after dinner we sat watching the sea and our car which was parked just in front of the hotel.
We went to bed roughly at 9.30 and at 10 it started to rain, Sue got up to see the rain, it is something different for us, as we live in a desert. Only to find that our car was no longer there.
Two phone calls and an hour and a half later the police arrived. They were rude and arrogant: not even greeting us. They claimed that as it was a foreign vehicle they could not do anything about it unless we had got a special document at the border when we entered the country. They weren’t even prepared to open a case.
We had simply lost a car, personal items and groceries we were going to bring back with us. On top of it the car was not insured.
We had to hire a car to get home. At the border we enquired about the special document we should have received. The cops there said there was not such a document and the police in Durban had probably been involved.
I then approached the Botswana Police and asked what would happen if a foreign vehicle was stolen in Botswana. They said they would immediately open a case and register it on Interpol as there was a good chance the car would be stopped at a border.
So my advice to you – unless you can get very secure parking don’t take a foreign car into South Africa. They are targeted, as the cops will do stuff all about it. Best of all, unless you have a life threatening emergency – just don’t go to South Africa.
It was so nice getting out of Zuma’s playground and back into a decent country. You will not get me visiting SA again in a hurry. I sincerely hope we never have to live there again.