Just a warning to anyone wanting to travel on the road from Polokwane to Phalaborwa or up to Punda Maria / Pafuri gates.
There are now roadworks everywhere!
1. R71 (past Moria towards Tzaneen). There are roadworks before Moria, but I saw yesterday that they are 3/4 finished with the other side of the road, so it may be open within the next month or so. From Moria to Haenertsburg there are daily blasting and this may delay you for 1 hour 'additionally' if you are unlucky to catch that one. It seems they do the blasting early in the morning if weather allows it.
Also on that road is a stop-and-go delay that can add 30 minutes to your traveling time. Not only may you have slow trucks infront of you, but you may have to dodge the idiotic and impatient reckless drivers who try to pass you on the left or try to force their way to the front of the queue.....
After Haenertsburg you have a choice of going on the Georges Valley road. Unfortunately most trucks also take this road and there was 1 x stop-and-go on that road recently, so they are also now working on that piece. Although, it did not delay us for more than 15 minutes.
If you take the Magoebaskloof road (after Haenertsburg, just keep straight), there are odd roadworks, but usually not stops and you may just have to drive slower on some parts of the road.
After Magoebaskloof there was a big Stop-and-go past Debegeni waterfall turnoff, but this road has been opened last week and now that 30 minutes delay is gone! Thank goodness for that.
Just outside of Tzaneen (coming in and going out) there are roadworks, but the stops are quite short.
2. Duiwelskloof / Modjadjiskloof road: R81
This road has several stop-and-goes everywhere!! You may add 1 hour to your traveling time depending how you catch the stops. When I was on that road in September, it took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to travel 105 km!
If you are turning towards Giyani before Duiwelskloof on the way to Punda Maria or Pafuri, I will recommend that you take an alternative (will explain), because there are more roadworks on this road to Giyani (about 2 stop-and-goes) and can add about 40 minutes if you are unlucky.
There is an alternative to get to Punda or Pafuri. You can continue straight on the N1 towards Louis Trichardt. Just before you enter the town of Louis Trichardt, you turn off to your right towards Giyani. (R578). This road is about 90 km and brings you out at Giyani. There you turn left and you are back on track! (another 80 km to the Punda Gate from Giyani)
However, I don't know if they may have started working on the road from Giyani to Punda Maria? I will be on that road next week and report back.
The other alternative is to also take the N1 to Louis Trichardt. There are 3 fourway stops as you enter town. At the last one turn right on the R524. That road takes you to Thohoyandou and then to Punda gate.
This road is not very good and there are large pieces where you travel through villages - cattle and pedestrians.
GOOD LUCK!! When these roads are completed, it will be such a pleasure to drive on them!