Skip to Content

Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14461
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Re: Johannesburg to Punda Maria

Unread postby Imberbe » Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:40 pm

I have done al three.

I suggest Giyani. Good road, not lots of traffic.

Nothing wrong with the other two roads though. But both are going to take you more time.

Travelling through Thohoyandou (the Louis Trichardt route) is time consuming with lots of slow traffic.

Going via Pafuri is a great drive, but as you mentioned it takes a lot of time. And that puts you under time pressure, not allowing you to enjoy the drive down from Pafuri as you should. Rather take a day and drive up from Punda to Pafuri.
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit

One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.

Hazyview Charlie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:50 am

Re: Best route from Johannesburg to Orpen

Unread postby Hazyview Charlie » Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:22 am


We always take the N12 to Boksburg from OR Tambo airport, then onto the N4. After Witbank we turn off the N4 at the Belfast junction and on to the R540 to pass through Dullstroom (nice place to stop for lunch), Lydenburg, Ohrigstad and round the top of Blyde River Canyon before dropping down into the lowveld after Abel Erasmus pass, driving past Swadini and heading for Orpen Gate.

I think it takes around 6 ½ hours.

It may not be the quickest route, but after the Erasmus pass, it feels like entering another world with the game reserves and fruit farms it feels like Kruger is near.

Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1420
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm
Location: Kyalami, South Africa.

Re: Travelling Time Jhb-Phalaborwa

Unread postby Hippotragus » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:17 pm

I agree with the others - Polokwane - Tzaneen. You save a lot of time going on highway to Polokwane and the rest of the route it scenic and not too much traffic.

Have a wonderful trip!
KTP May 2015

Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Kimberley

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Div » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:09 am

Hi everyone,

We will be traveling to Kruger from Bloemfontein and Kimberley on Saterday and plan to enter at Orpen gate on Sunday.Should we use the Belfast,Dullstroom,Lydenburg, Ohrigstad, Blyderiver, Klaserie road or should we rather go further on the N4 and turn of to Sabie and use the Hazyview, Bushbuckridge, Klaserie road?

Thank you for your assistance!

User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 231
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:27 pm
Location: Somewhere

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Mfezi » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:34 am

Div, if I was you, I would have travelled Belfast, Dullstroom, Lydenburg, Ohrigstad, Blyderiver, Klaserie road. In the past, I have travelled the Bushbuckridge road, but everytime it was very busy and there were lots of animals to look out for... :shock:

But this is my experience, maybe someone else has had another (better) experience.

Drive safely and have a wonderful trip! :thumbs_up:

User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 365
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 11:07 am
Location: Western Cape

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Albert » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:28 am

Philippa wrote:Thanx for your reply!! Does anybody know what the toll fees are from Pretoria - Nelspruit?

Also: check the sanral website: (for future reference)
Can tell you the tolls are:
Diamond Hill: R 27.00
Middelburg: R 45.00
Machadodorp: R 67.00 (you miss this if you go Belfast/Dullstroom/Lydenburg/Sabie/Hazyview)
Searching for a Cape Eagle Owl....

User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2274
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:24 pm
Location: UK

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby yoda » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:09 pm

KirstyL wrote:Hi guys,

We will be picking up a hire car from Jhb airport and then staying overnight at Emperor's Palace complex before making our way to Malelane gate the following morning, somewhere between 6-7am. What's the best route and how easy is it to navigate and get ourselves out of busy, busy Jhb?! I presume the journey from the airport to the hotel shouldn't be too bad, but concerned we may get lost trying to get out of Jhb!!


The N4 through to Nelspruit and then on to Melalane.
A striaght forward route on a well maintained road.

User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 365
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 11:07 am
Location: Western Cape

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Albert » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:24 am

Graham_5000 wrote:Going to drive the N4, Lydenburg, Phalaborwa route in a couple of days. From the N4 is the R36 or R540 in better condition do you reckon? Thanks in advance

Avoid the N4-Lydenburg road (R36?) at all costs. Take the N4-Belfast-Dullstroom-Lydenburg option (was OK, not great, when I drove it in May) (is that the R 540?).
Searching for a Cape Eagle Owl....

User avatar
lion queen
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
Posts: 12415
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:03 pm
Location: Upington RSA

Re: Punda Maria gate

Unread postby lion queen » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:43 am

Johannesburg to Phalaborwa is 535km depending on what route you take.

Johannesburg to Punda Maria is 570km.
SANParks Online Fans..........Where passion is pride!

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West

Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:08 pm
Location: London England

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Elephantears » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:50 am

I have two questions regarding driving back from the park.
1. Where is the easiest or best place to refuel the car near JNB airport berfore retuning it with out getting lost and loosing all the fuel??
2. On our last day (sunday)we leave Crocodile Bridge to JNB for our flight which leaves at 20.00. I would like to drive through the park,instead of N4, and come out of Malelane gate, when should I plan to leave CB please?
Thank you very much.

User avatar
Posts: 8723
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:19 pm
Location: Portsmouth, England

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby saraf » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:57 am

There's a petrol station in the airport, SkyStop I think its called and is signposted.
Want to say Thank You or Well Done to a fellow 'mite? Why not nominate them for a Kudu?

Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:21 pm

Protests at Malamulela/Thohoyandou area

Unread postby chungu » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:08 am

Morning Mites,

I will be travelling to Puda Maria late this month, i wanted to check how safe is the road from Thohoyandou to Punda Maria as there is Protests in tha Malamulela area regarding municipal issues.

Anyone who had travelled that road recently can advise.

User avatar
Posts: 205
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:37 am

Re: Protests at Malamulela/Thohoyandou area

Unread postby Stephens.L » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:53 am

It is difficult to confirm if the protests will still be there or not when you visit the park. I will advise that you contact the Punda Maria Gate on 013 735 6870 prior to your departure. Our colleagues from Punda Maria gate monitor the situation on a daily basis and they should be able to provide you with the latest information. Alternatively you can use Pafuri or Phalaborwa Gate.

Stephens Ledwaba
Communications and Marketing Department
Kruger National Park
+27 (0)13 735 4116

User avatar
Leaping Lizards
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:37 am
Location: Too far away from KNP,KTP or KNP

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Leaping Lizards » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:38 am

Hi all

We just traveled the; Belfast-Dullstroom -Lydenburg to Orpen gate route both ways. No road works, but road has lots and very bad potholes for 20kms before Lydenburg, in Lydenburg and about for 30kms outside of Lydenburg. They are all over the road, so slow down and be careful out there.

The rest of the route is pretty easy going and as scenic as ever.
September - Orpen, Talamati and Satara :P

Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1058
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 10:35 am

Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby RobertT » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:05 pm

tent dweller wrote:silly question :redface: :redface: Are the roadworks still active on the Magoebaskloof and Georges valley routes???? I spoke to a customer the other day and they advised us to use Duiwelskloof when going to the park (entering at Phalaborwa gate) in December, any truth in this :doh: :doh: :doh: thanks for any imput

They are TD and think they will be for a little while yet. They are in the process of building bridges to widen the road, one just outside Haenertsburg and the other near the old lakeside motel which became the private school.

I was there a few weeks back and didn't get caught for long as they are very short stop and go's now. Depending on the time you go through, I would probably still go this route.

I have not been down Georges valley for years, so cannot comment on that route.

Return to “Kruger National Park”