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Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

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Hippotragus
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Hippotragus » Tue May 05, 2015 1:40 pm

For what it is worth - I heard on the noon news today that there are protests on the R40 between Hazyview and Bushbuckridge. Best one avoids the road today.
KTP May 2015

ingefl
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby ingefl » Wed May 06, 2015 3:44 pm

Hello everybody,

I've searched through the forum and this topic, but still need some specific advice on route to Shingwedzi.

We are going to spend our first night in Kruger in Shingwedzi (Saturday, June 13) and are planning to enter Kruger at the Punda Maria Gate after travelling day 1 from Ficksburg (long drive). In your experience, would the travel time from for instance Graskop to Punda Maria be sufficient to easily get to Shingwedzi on time including scenic drive from Graskop on the panorama route and taking the route R529, R81 through Giyani, R524? Google Maps indicate around 4h30 - 5h.

One alternative is to take the N1 and stay over in Polokwane or Louis Trichardt and skip the panorama route. An other is to still stay at Graskop and on day 2 not go all the way to Punda Maria, but enter Kruger at Phalaborwa. The Minimum Travel time from Phalaborwa to Shingwedzi (3h30) indicates that we need to be there quite early compared to Punda Maria (1h15), this is also one of the reasons we aim to enter at Punda Maria.

Thanks!

Inge

stephie
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby stephie » Fri May 08, 2015 4:43 am

Can someone tell me the approximate driving time from Mpumalanga Airport to Skukuza driving on R40 through Phabeni Gate? Thank you.

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Elsa
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Elsa » Fri May 08, 2015 11:16 am

Warm welcome to the forum Stephie!

KMIA to Phabeni gate is about 70kms and after that a further 40kms to Skukuza!
To Kruger its around 84 kms and then only 12 kms to Skukuza.

Do also have a read through Driving KMIA to/from Kruger

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Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - 22nd May - 5th June 2015

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Sneeugans
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Sneeugans » Fri May 08, 2015 5:02 pm

ingefl, I am not very enthusiastic about your proposed travel routes from Ficksburg to Shingwedzi.
1 Entering at Punda Maria is not an option in my book.
2 Last time we travelled North of Mica the roads were terrible, especially the last part before reaching Phalaborwa
3 We always try to enter Kruger as soon as possible for a lot of reasons.
4 You mention the Panorama route as a possible VIA route, but you really need more time to do justice to that beautiful part of the Lowveld.
If you intend going via the N1, I would advise your option to stay on the N1 all the way to Louis Trichard and then entering at Pafuri via
Tshipise which is a lovely route.
But if I had to do the trip, it would be: Ficksburg, Bethlehem, Vrede Standerton Ermelo, Nelspruit.
Then enter Kruger at Phabeni and plan it from there.
But of course that is my personal choice and I`m sure there will be some criticism to it. whatever, I find the planning part is half the fun to any journey

ingefl
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby ingefl » Sat May 09, 2015 11:24 am

Sneeugans, thanks for the many tips!

I agree about using the Panorama route as a via route will not give us nearly enough time we would need there (maybe next vacation), however we were looking at alternatives to the (in our imagination) dull route along Johannesburg, Pretoria along the N1 to the north. We definitely don't want to get too late to the gate/camp, which is why I hesitate planning to go through the Panorama route as it will be on a weekend and we may need to hurry through the area, which would be a shame.

Your idea about entering in the south (Phabeni) instead of in the north is appealing, however we have already booked 10 nights at camps going north to south (Shingwedzi, Olifants, Crocodile Bridge) which will require some rearranging :-|. Especially in the south there were virtually no suitable accommodations (3p bungalows) when we booked (February), also exiting in the south we think will give us a comfortable drive back to JNB, from Shingwedzi this seems to be out of the question.

Sneeugans wrote:1 Entering at Punda Maria is not an option in my book.


I wonder why you say that entering at Punda Maria is not an option? Is it because the Pafuri entry is a more interesting route or due to the road conditions north of Mica?

Inge

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread postby Sneeugans » Sat May 09, 2015 12:59 pm

ingefl. The reason why I wont enter at either Punda Maria or Numbi gates is because of continuous unrest in those areas with throwing of stones not uncommon, so being elderly I simply wont take the chance. I`m sure a lot of people do enter at those two gates and will think I`m overly cautious, but that is the way I feel.
Also, travelling towards Punda will necessitate you in taking roads that carry a lot of trucks transporting heavy loads of ore to Mozambique, and believe me that is again another horror on the Mpumalanga and Limpopo roads.
IMHO I would say, leave your booked itinerary as it stands because I think it will be a very nice trip. Then consider your route to Shingwedzi, and in that respect I would say take the N1 to Louis Trichard, or if you have a few hours extra, get off the N1 and traverse the old road through the smaller towns, which are all very pretty and interesting, also if time is available stay over at Tshipise hot springs (one of our favourite destinations).
From Tshipise it is a pleasant 100Km to Pafuri gate through tomato and fruit farms, have your brekkie at the popular picnic site, do a detour to the fever tree forest and Crooks corner where three countries meet and then a 110Km drive to Shingwedzi.
We have done that exact trip more than once and know it is comfortably Do-able
Hope you come right


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