We previously wrote about how good the road conditions have been in South Africa. While this has GENERALLY held true, we have certainly encountered exceptions over the last week.
One major deviation we noticed has been in the Eastern Cape where livestock entering the roadways is VERY common. We have dodged sheep, goats, cows, and horses crossing the road with frightening regularity. We also had a few close calls with groups of baboons and monkeys, but this happened in both the Western and Eastern Cape.
Another exception has been driving in the Drakensberg Mountains to and from Underberg. Whereas in most parts of SA potholes are uncommon, and generally small, Underberg in itself seemed to be one giant pothole with a few stores lining its sides.
Leaving Underberg we had a near disaster where we hit a pothole that looked to be 4 + inches deep. We hit it doing probably 80 KPH which effectively knocked off front right hub cap and blew out the tire of our beautiful Ford Fiesta rental car. Thankfully, we were able to get the car back to a safe town where a local petrol attendant helped us put the spare tire on the car. We then drove about 100 km to the closest rental car agency to swap out our car for a new one.
We were happy that we bought a south African sim card for our phone and windscreen/tire insurance for our car. Since we put both to good use that day.