Skip to Content

Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
Hansie11
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:48 am

Polokwane to Phalaborwa

Unread postby Hansie11 » Mon May 26, 2014 9:55 am

Hi all,
Can anyone tell me the condition of the R71 from Polokwane to Phalaborwa?

Thank you
Hansie
29 June - 10 July!!!!!!

User avatar
alf
Posts: 396
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Centurion

Re: Polokwane to Phalaborwa

Unread postby alf » Mon May 26, 2014 11:20 am

H Hansie11,

I have done this road middle March and it was fine. Just make sure you stay on the R71 (recently upgraded) and stay off the R528 turning right from Haenertsburg towards Tzaneen, this road have a lot of really bad potholes. I made the mistake to drive this road in the night.
Made my booking for Desember 2014!! Whoohoo

SAF
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:34 am
Location: Polokwane

Re: Polokwane to Phalaborwa

Unread postby SAF » Mon May 26, 2014 11:18 pm

Hi Hansie

I have done this road this past weekend from polokwane to Letaba
The road is in excellent condition no roadworks
Took me 2 hours from Polokwane to Phalaborwa gate

Very pleasant drive

Well done to all those in charge of roads and transport
If You Spend Your Life Fearing The Storm, You Will Never Enjoy The Sunshine

To see many of my KNP pictures and tales, visit my Facebook page at :
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safraaz- ... 1744385395

brenjack
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 8:51 pm
Location: West Rand, Johannesburg.

ROUTE ADVICE - PLEASE

Unread postby brenjack » Wed May 28, 2014 8:25 pm

Hi All, This might be the same old question but it has a twist to it. :naughty:

I am traveling JHB to Satara in mid June with a convoy of 5 vehicles all pulling trailers, the largest being a 3 ton truck. We are setting up a large camp in Satara for 5 weeks for a family re-union. :lol:

Based on all the suggestions which would be the best route for a slow convoy. Uphill the truck will sit on 60 so speed is not an issue. I travel on a Saturday, the week before the school holidays and I am concerned about the Saturday traffic / drivers on the White River - Hazyview route. :wall:

If I am slow in any case, would the Lydenburg - Ohrigstad route be a better option? :hmz:

Any and all advice is appreciated. :gflower:
Last edited by brenjack on Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 16282
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Re: ROUTE ADVICE - PLEASE

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:39 pm

Brenjack, I have been thinking of the route I would take.

Unfortunately most routes to Orpen Gate go through passes with narrow roads. I think my next choice would be Kruger Gate.

The highway really poses no problems. I would then suggest the Schoeman's Kloof pass towards Nelspruit. It is in excellent condition and should not pose problems.

The road between Whiteriver and Hazyview is a bit of a challenge, but again, it is a good road.

Once in Hazyview, the mountainous stuff is over. There are a few narrow roads, but the upkeep has been good.

You would have to leave in time to give a good 5 hours between Kruger Gate and Satara.. but what a joy to drive that road.

I am getting quite excited just thinking about it. :dance: :dance: :dance:
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

User avatar
DinkyBird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 46511
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Location: Across the Equator, otherside the Atlantic

Re: ROUTE ADVICE - PLEASE

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:20 pm

Brenjack, we come up from the Cape, so bypass the Jhb area on the N12/N4 out to Kruger side of the world. We always make our first night close to the southern border, so I am not sure if you will have enough time to do as Tieroog suggests, but that would be my suggestion too.

We always find it is just as slow going to try and get to entr the park on the western border as it is to take the N4 to Malelane or Croc Bridge and drive up to a camp higher in the park. Same for leaving the park. Allow about 6 hours to drive from Croc Bridge to Satara. And you will have less traffic stress once you are in the park.
Sawubona
Dalene

Doodles
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 4:45 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Doodles » Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:25 pm

Returned home today after a great family trip. About road conditions: when we took the R40 up north, the road signs still advice to not drive to Numbi gate but instead try Phabeni. Which we did, those roads were just fine.

Worse were the roadworks on the N4 between Malelane and Nelspruit. We had to wait nearly an hour before we could go on. Made us nearly miss our flight... Average waiting time was said to be 90 mins.

Hippotragus
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1540
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm
Location: Kyalami, South Africa.

Re: JoBerg airport to Punda? Help please

Unread postby Hippotragus » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:17 pm

I don't think there have been any problems since then, but they can flare up at any time, without warning. Best to phone Punda Maria Camp or Gate before you leave the airport and check.

I have been using the R81 from Polokwane - Giyani and then R524 to Punda Maria Gate. The R81 has fairly recently been upgraded and is a pleasure. There are a few potholes at one point, but a month ago we saw they were being fixed.

I have not done the Makhado route, so cannot comment on that.
Paul Kruger Gate (day visitor) 24-28 August 2015
Skukuza 14-18 October 2015
Satara 18-21 October 2015

User avatar
PNF
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3324
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: In the heart of the Waterberg; Deep in Limpopo

Re: JoBerg airport to Punda? Help please

Unread postby PNF » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:42 pm

The Polokwane/Giyani/Punda road is fine except for a short stretch of about 20 - 30 kms between Giyani and Malumalele where there are potholes but these are in the process of being fixed. We travelled back that way (towing a large caravan) two weeks ago and found this part of the road acceptable.
"Service delivery protests" can flare up anywhere at anytime so a quick phone call to Punda gate before leaving the airport is a very good idea.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
Benjamin Franklin

Us and The Ant:
Shingwedzi 20 - 24 Aug
Tsendze 24 Aug - 5 Sept

Rolypoly
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:10 pm
Location: Pretoria - Gauteng

Re: Driving from JHB International to Kruger - Directions

Unread postby Rolypoly » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:55 pm

Can anybody help me with the directions from Polokwane to the R81, is there any sign to indicate where to go on the R81 when you are on the N1 - Polokwane Road. We want to go via R81 to Phalaborwa Gate.

Hippotragus
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1540
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm
Location: Kyalami, South Africa.

Re: Driving from JHB International to Kruger - Directions

Unread postby Hippotragus » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:20 pm

Hi Rolypoly.

It is the R71 you want to take from Polokwane to Phalaborwa - not the R81. The R81 is off the R71 but goes up to Giyani and then onto another road that takes you to Punda Maria.

A short distance before Polokwane you will see signs to the left marked R71 Tzaneen. Take that and you go on a bridge over the N1, round a by-pass road and eventually turn right in the direction of Tzaneen. Watch out for speed traps when you go past the townships.

At Haenertsburg , make sure you stay on the R71 (straight) and do not take the R528 to the right. Go through Tzaneen still on R71 and at Gravelotte turn left R71 signed Phalaborwa.

Have a great trip!
Paul Kruger Gate (day visitor) 24-28 August 2015
Skukuza 14-18 October 2015
Satara 18-21 October 2015

Rolypoly
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:10 pm
Location: Pretoria - Gauteng

Re: Driving from JHB International to Kruger - Directions

Unread postby Rolypoly » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:15 pm

Hi Hippotragus

Thank you for your reply, but we want to go via the R81 because we are towing a caravan, at Mooketsi you take the R36 to Modjadji kloof/Duiwelskloof, then to Tzaneen, Letsitele, Gravelotte and then Phalaborwa.
This route will be easier with the caravan. What I can understand is that you take the R71 and then off the R71 you will get the R81, is this correct.

RobertT
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1065
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:35 am

Re: Driving from JHB International to Kruger - Directions

Unread postby RobertT » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:34 am

Hippotragus wrote:Hi Rolypoly. I understand your dilemma - I would not be happy towing a caravan down the R71 hills!!

Looking at my map it seems that you take the R71 off the N1, go round the by-pass and at the point where the R71 goes right to Tzaneen you seem to go straight ahead for the R81. I think it might be signed to Giyani. I have done it (R81 from Giyani) in the opposite direction and seem to remember joining the R71 for a bit.

I'm sure if you keep your eyes open you will see signs.



:thumbs_up: As far as I recall the R81 splits off the R71 at that turnoff to Tzaneen, you take offramp to go to Tzaneen and stay on road if going to Giyani.

Rolypoly, I have seen caravans taking the R71 and then at Haenertsburg taking the R528 Georges valley road, the gradient is not as steep as Magoebaskloof pass. Trucks etc over I think it is 3Tons have to use this route and not Magoebaskloof.

RobertT
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1065
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:35 am

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby RobertT » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:25 pm

:thumbs_up:

Not sure if it is signposted, but about 2 km after the Shell ultra city before Polokwane, there is the R71 turnoff to Tzaneen. That bypasses Polokwane town. Looking at google maps it looks like you need to take same offramp as for Tzaneen, but go straight instead of turning right to Tzaneen. Then at Mall of the north turn right.

Try this link and see what I mean.

https://www.google.co.za/maps/place/Pol ... d4b18e4df7

User avatar
Guzz
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:17 am

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Guzz » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:09 am

RobertT is absolutely correct.

We drive that route regularly as we have family in Duiwelskloof (Modjadjiskloof).

Take the bypass around Polokwane. Shortly after passing the airport on your right you'll take the offramp left. At the traffic lights, don't turn right towards Moria, go straight on and at the next lights you'll turn right. Carry on straight on this road all the way to Tzaneen. The road is in pretty good shape. No major potholes or any danger to caravans etc. Might just have to dodge the odd taxi, unroadworthy bakkie, or cow. :shock:

*G


Return to “Kruger National Park”