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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 post by Hippotragus » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:47 am

Ngiri - I would tend to stay on the N4 for as long as possible - it is a well-maintained, fast road. The Belfast - Dullstroom - Lydenburg road is notorious for potholes - as soon as they fix them, more appear!

I would then either continue to Malelane Gate and then take the dirt Voortrekker Road (H2-2) across to Pretoriuskop or continue up the tar H3 to the tar H1-1 across to Pretoriuskop.

You could also turn off the Nelspruit bypass onto the R40 and go up through White River to Hazyview and enter at Phabeni Gate and drive down to Pretoriuskop. You could, at a pinch, enter at Numbi Gate off the R40, but recently visitors have been advised to avoid Numbi and enter at Phabeni.
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Snoobab » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:28 am

Hi Hansie11

Where in the north are you staying? We stayed at Shingwedzi in Dec/Jan and it is actually quicker to drive up to Punda gate and down to Shingwedzi than enter at Phalaborwa. I'm a camper so like to get to camps as soon as possible to get a good site.
The road from Louis Trichardt to Punda Gate is in good condition. In Nov I did the R81 which to me is a better option than the R71, so if you want to enter at Phalaborwa then to me take the R81. It is slightly longer than R71 but no potholes and you miss the steep Magoebaskloof pass and avoid going past Moria

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by RobertT » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:30 pm

You don't have to go down Magoebaskloof, you could turn off just after Haenerstburg and take the Georges Valley road. It is the recommended road for caravans and trucks. It is a more gentle descent than Magoebaskloof.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Snoobab » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:01 am

Just a word of advice if you take the R81, it is not very well sign posted. When travelling north on the N1 you actually take the R71 off-ramp but then instead of turning right onto the R71 you go straight and travel next to the N1 to the next off-Ramp and then turn right onto the R81. For some weird reason there is no off-ramp for the R81.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by carolv » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:20 pm

Hi Albert,

There was no problem at all between Hazyview and Sabie, the road was good and no roadworks. We actually drove this section 2 or 3 times whilst we were out in SA

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by LauraVC » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:08 pm

Hi all,
I will be driving from pretoria to either Berg-en-dal or crocodile bridge on 27th Feb, wondering if anyone can give me an estimate of how long It will take (without stops!). I havent decided yet which accomodation to book hence why Im asking about both locations just in case!

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:19 pm

Hi LauraVC.

I would say about 4 1/2 hours for Berg'nDal - drive to Malelane Gate and then a short drive to Berg'nDal.

5 hours for Crocodile Bridge - you drive to Komatipoort and the camp is right at the Crocodile Bridge gate.

The N4 is a very good, fast road. When you get the option of Schoemanskloof or the old road, take the Schoemanskloof option (to the left). There are several toll gates, but there is not normally too much of a queue.
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by AnnaVR » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:04 pm

Hi all,

This July we're staying at Ekhutuleni in Hoedspruit, and would like to undertake day visits to the Park via Phalaborwa gate.

Can recent travelers to the Park comment on comparative condition of the following two routes leading to Ekuthuleni:

Route 1: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zPvMCD_EZSh8.k19rs85h5m6s
Route 2: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zPvMCD_EZSh8.kjdHDLyoz3XM

Of particular interest are the tar roads once you've turned off the highway - haven't traveled Route 1 recently but I know it used to have some notorious patches. Any recent improvements?

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:57 am

I am sure the flights are more expensive than driving but I think the convenience and time saved is a factor to be considered.
Here are some links that will hopefully help with the decision although I'm sure others will also help.
Hoedspruit Airport
Travelling to/from KMIA
and not sure if you are aware there are now regular flights right into Skukuza Airport

As long as you drive around during the daylight hours and stay on all the regular roads you should be safe.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Elsa » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:18 am

They consists of 49 gantries on Gauteng highways. The gantries charge people by electronically identifying the number plates of vehicles that drive under them. Each time a vehicle passes, a toll is charged. The cost is determined by the kilometre distance which the gantry represents.
So basically a toll road that one doesn't stop at but gets charged electronically and an a/c is sent out.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by carolv » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:03 pm

Well explained Elsa. For anyone driving a rental car, you are billed afterwards. On its return the rental company will raise the toll fee on the credit card which has been used for the car rental. From personal experience the charge shows on the next credit card bill after we have returned home. The only niggle is that it is all put together with any other items which are billed afterwards eg additional driver. If you need anything more exact Brawler, pm me and I will look up on my Jan bill to see the exact amount charged which I know on that occasion was an additional driver fee plus the e-toll fees from the Airport until out of Gauteng and back.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Elsa » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:27 am

Andrea, I can't really comment on the roads to take, not in my neck of the woods but sure you will receive info on that shortly!

Do have a read through the following topics Auto Rental advice needed and also Car choice/best vehicle/Insurance for Kruger for lots of info and advice.
Also just note you don't really need a 4WD vehicle for the regular gravel roads in Kruger, but a high clearance can be useful but not essential.
The only time you will need a 4 x 4 is if you plan on driving any of the specific 4 x 4 trails offered.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by saraf » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:28 am

I think you are going to be better off carrying on up to Phalaborwa. From Eastgate up to Hoedspruit for the Pick N Pay is the opposite way to Kruger so going in at Orpen would be doubling back on yourself a few times, which i tend to find a bit irritating. Disclaimer - i haven't actually done that route so I have no idea of the road conditions.

They will probably let you buy your Wild Card at the camp rather than the gate so that should save some time. However, if this is your first Wild Card then I would suggest getting it on line before you go. That way you will have a confirmation email, rather than just a receipt (which could be mislayed) and you will have all your details already entered so your card will be sent. There have been some difficulties with people buying at the gates and camps and not entering their details online later.

Hope you have a great trip.
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by spargish » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:13 pm

Hi Lisa

The road from Hoedspruit to Orpen is 50 odd kilometres, from the gate to Olifants is 102km(I think there may be a few more as you enter the park a few kilometres before the official gate). The road from Hoedspruit to Orpen is good, I have used it many times.

From Hoedspruit to Phalaborwa is 74kms, from the gate to Olifants is 83kms. I can't comment on the road from Hoedspruit to Phalaborwa as I haven’t driven on the road from Hoedspruit to mica, and haven’t travelled on the rest of the road for a while.

All in all the distance is pretty much the same. You did mention that the gate closing time is 17:30. That would not be the most important number to worry about though. Olifants is one of the camps that has no late access. You will need to reach Orpen/Phalaborwa before the minimum travel time cut off. From Phalaborwa the minimum travel time is 2hours and from Orpen it is 2:15hours.

So you will need to enter at Phalaborwa before 3:30pm or Orpen 3:15pm. Speaking from experience you will not be allowed to enter the park after these times. If you are worried about making these times perhaps try changing the first night of your trip to Letaba,Satara,Orpen or Tamboti .

Hope this helps, have a great trip :thumbs_up:
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Albert » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:19 pm

To add to what Saraf and Spargish has already said:
The road surface from Eastgate to Orpen is good (67 km or 50 - 55 minutes).
The road surface on the section of the R 40 to Phalaborwa (the last 40 km) is poor. It was atrocious 9 months ago, it has been extensively patched fairly recently (improving it from atrocious to poor :lol: ). With the volume of heavy trucks it carries, I suspect the road surface will deteriorate quite rapidly (again). So the 75 km from Eastgate to Phala is nominally 50 minutes (according to Uncle Google), but I would say an hour is closer to the mark.
As you land at Eastgate at 11:20, you should be in your rental car and on your way at 12:00. You should therefore (shopping included) be at either Phalaborwa or Orpen gates by 14:00 at the latest.
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