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 Post subject: Best Route to Kruger via Swaziland
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:17 am 
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We have travelled to KNP a few times from DBN using various routes.
Please can anyone who has travelled via Swaziland tell me what it is like and what route is best.
What are the border facilities & attitudes like.
We are spending 10 days in Kruger in Sept and travelling up to Pongola on the N2 and then going through Swaziland to get to Croc Bridge seems a lot easier than fighting the road works via Ermelo.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:15 pm 
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Daggaboy

Did this route once
Big Bend, Manzini, Mbabane, Jeppe Reef.
Was rather straight forward.
Tarmac was okay
Most traffic was from Mbabane to Jeppe Reef (border)
This is also the hilly part.

Attitudes at the border wasnt bad at all
Took as 15 min to official enter Swaziland

Take care: cattle and people also use the roads

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:20 pm 
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Hi Daggaboy, and welcome to the forum. :D
We travel from Dbn via Swaziland to the Croc Bridge Gate every year and have found the following route to be the best:
Off the N2 a way before Pongola, through the Lavumisa/Golela border, up to Big Bend, turn off, pass Siteki and on to Mhlume, exiting at the Mananga Border Post, very quick and easy, have had no hassels at borders, usually very quick.
Enjoy your Kruger visit in September.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:10 pm 
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Location: Swaziland. The smallest country of the S. Hemisphere
Salva wrote:
Hi all,
In September we'll drive from Kwazulu Natal to KNP-Skukuza.
It seems that I can't take my rental car into Swaziland.
My question: is it feasible to drive from Ithala game reserve to Skukuza in one day on south African roads? How long would that take more or less?

Salva make sure that you cant take your car first, I know of some firms that wont let you, others that demand a HUGE deposit and others that don't mind at all.......... (we have Avis and Budget here so think they are ok,) I think half the hire firms mean Moz as a border, not so much Swaziland!.

Your best bet is Vryheid, Piet Retief, through Piet Retief, turn of the road to Ermelo a few kilometers outside Piet Retief and head to Amsterdam (not in Holland!).
Out of Amsterdam on the R33 (which in fact is the road you have been on since Vryheid) and about 1.5kms after you pass the turn - on your right - to Swaziland, down a dip past a big dam (Westco) on your left hand side and up the other side, and take the R33 to Carolina.
Watch for this turning as its easy to miss......(Ask Loams!)
You will eventually read a T-Junction, DON'T TURN LEFT TO CAROLINA, turn Right To Swaziland........ (yes sounds mad but it isn't!).
Am not sure of the distance you will travel on this road but you will come to a sign post saying BADPLAAS on your left.
Take it. Go to T-Junction, turn Left.
Get to next T-Juncion, just before Badplaas, and watch for speed traps here its 80kph, take road to Barberton, ie turn RIGHT.
Up and over Nelshoogte, and to next T-Junction, take road to Nelspruit which is a Left turn.
Up and over the hills and voila your in Nelspruit.

The road between Piet Retief and Ermelo is yukkie and the road between Piet Retief and Amsterdam and on to the T-Junction where you turn right to Swaziland is good.
So is the Road to Badplaas and to the next T-Junction.
Only road that is a bit narrow is the last one into Nelspruit.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:56 pm 
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Salva wrote:
Jazil, you mentioned Avis so I might switch to them but had a quick look at their SA website! They mention Bots, Nam and Lesotho as countries where you can take their cars from SA but no word about Swaziland! strange :hmz:

Salva, Avis' SA website has 2 different versions of "Terms & Conditions". This one also mentions Swaziland. You find it under "Rental Guide", "Terms & Conditions" on their main page.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:21 pm 
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Salva, you might need to arrange a letter authorising you to take the vehicle across the border. We have rented from Avis in the past and taken the vehicle to Nambia, just had to ask for the letter which we collected along with the vehicle, there was no extra charge but I think the excess and insurance conditions of the country you travel in are applied rather than those of the rental country.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:38 pm 
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One additional driving question: I plan, later on, to drive out of the Kruger (probably from Nelspruit) to Umfolozi.
I have done it before but that was more than 10 years ago, and I had gone through Swaziland, sleeping in route.
I now want to do it directly in a one day push, but I'm wondering what's best (ie. fastest): go through Swaziland, or go around via Piet Retief ?

The online Maporama / Shell route planner indicates 5h from Nelspruit to Hluhluwe, but some people on the forum say it's fastest through Swaziland ?
Also, I can't see which road is actually the main one going through Swaziland:
is it through Bulembu border crossing, and then Mbabane, Manzini and exiting at Pongola border ?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:46 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
Toddelelfe wrote:
I left KNP through Crocodile Bridge, passed Komatipoort and get into Swaziland at Mananga Border Post.
Than through Swaziland, but i forget the other Border Post.
I think it was near Golela. Than to the N2.
It was an easy drive, but it was Sunday morning.
I think it took me all in all 6 - 7 hours.


Hugolita, we travel through Swaziland every year to and back from the park and it is definitely your quickest route to your particular destination.
We normally travel on a Friday and never have encountered any delays at border posts. and those are the correct border posts as TE has stated.
I am not sure of what the visa requirements are if you are travelling on a French passport but maybe the others can help here.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:01 am 
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Hi skicabin

I would suggest that when you leave the Park you leave via Croc Bridge gate and head towards the Mananga border post to Swaziland. If you go via Mhlume, Siteki and Big Bend and out the Lavumisa border post back into KZN - this is the fastest route to St. Lucia. It will probably take you around 4 hours to St. Lucia from the Park. Let me know if you need any further advice!

Enjoy
Yours in Parking
Penny

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:20 am 
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Location: Swaziland. The smallest country of the S. Hemisphere
The route I would suggest to get to Satara from Mbabane in one day, is maybe rather a strange one if you look at the map, but I am sure the quickest.

Leave Mbabane and go on highway to Manzini.
Trough Manzini on the road to Mhlume.
But At Mafutine Garage, about 10kms from Manzini, take the road to Luve, keep going until T-Junction, turn right, the sign should say Tshaneni, but its a brand new beautiful tarred road, so not sure about that sign post. You will get to a circle, at the circle it will say Border Gate, straight through that to Komatipoort.
From Mbabane to Komatipoort is approximately 2 hours 20 minutes.
Komatipoort is only 8kms from Crock Bridge.
Croc Bridge to Satara is quicker than Malelane to Satara.

From Mbabane to Nelspruit will be about 2 and half hours - so you can see which way is quicker. Mbabane to Malelane is also about 2 + hours.

Hope this helps.

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Last edited by Jazil on Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:29 pm 
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Location: Swaziland. The smallest country of the S. Hemisphere
Hi skicabin.
You could enter either way, what day will you be coming through?
I personally would go Jeppes Reef way, it is much prettier, and the border nicer.
Oshoek can be absolutely dreadful depending upon the time of day and which day of the week it is.
I steer clear of Oshoek if I possibly can.
Jeppes Reef way is more windy, but its very pretty.
Both ways you will enter Mbabane on the detour, which is not really too bad at all.
I imagine that you are hiring a car.
Just check with your car hire firm that you can take the vehicle into and out again of Swaziland.
Most do, but some dont allow it.
Sondzela Packbackers is apparently nice, have not seen it, but its not far from us.
THere are lots of crafts around the area, Swazi Candles is only about 5kms away and there are lots of craft markets in Ezulwini which is also close.
If you want to go to Ingwenya Glass Factory, its near the Oshoek border, but also only about 5kms away from the Jeppes Reef/Mbabane Road, so no sweat to turn there and go there.
Just depends what time you are coming through.

On your way out, presumably through Lavumisa/Gollela, I would suggest that you stop in at Nsela, its a good toasted sarmie/loo stop and you can watch the birds and the croc they have there.
Do let me know when you are coming through.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:25 pm 
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Location: Durban Kwazulu Natal SA
Hi Grobyak
It is 650kms from Croc Bridge to Durban thru Swaziland if you leave at 07h30 you will be in Hluhluwe in 3 to 3.5 hours including your border stops from Hluhluwe to Durban is about 3 hours.

I will post the name of another thread on the forum were I gave the exact route through Swaziland.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:56 pm 
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Hi Grobyak, I live in Durban & have travelled through Swaziland for the last 7 years to KP & will do so again in August.
We have never had any problems.
We leave at 4.30 am,pulling a caravan.
We usually arrive for breakfast 7.30-8.00am at Mkuzi which is north of Hluhluwe +- 48 Kms & arrive at CB +-1.00pm.
you will have plenty of time to get to Hluhluwe.
One point to note is they charge R50 toll fee.
They have upgraded (complete new tar surface) the road from their southern border for a considerable distance to round about Big Bend (60 Kms, August 07).
The road in general is not bad at all (few bad spots).
Our SA road from Komatipoort to their northern border is i.m.h.o the worst road to travel.
N.B. You must have a AA road map or else you will make wrong turns & end up in who knows where.
If you decide to use this route & need more detailed instructions give me a buzz.

Hope this helps


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:27 am 
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Location: Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal, SA
It takes us exactly 2 hours to travel through Swaziland. We enter at Managa, go through the Kings Hunting
Ground and then Siteki, Big Bend and out at Golela (Lavumisa), then it is a mere hour down to St. Lucia. There is no need to go to Mbabane at all unless you wish to stay over there. If your would like more detailed instructions please pm me.

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NO TO BUILDING OF HOTELS IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
26.09.14 - 03.10.14 Burchells Bush Lodge
03.10.14 - 10.10.14 Ngwenya Lodge
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:27 am 
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Penny , apart from a passport what other border formalities and charges are there to travel through Swazi ? I take it the roads must be quite good to only use up 2 hours travel time .

I am going to KNP from Illovo beach this December so this sounds like a nice shortcut .


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