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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 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:33 am

I haven't done that (R81, Giyani) route since May last year. It was OK then. I am going up 13-24 October and plan to drive that way back home on 24th.
Skukuza 13 October 2017
Letaba 14-17 Oct 2017
Shingwedzi 17-20 Oct 2017
Punda Maria 20-24 Oct 2017

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

Unread post by payton » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:52 am

Hello there,

I am leaving Johannesburg on 24th Sep to Phalaborwa for a night before continuing my trip in Kruger National Park. Letaba is my first stop.

I need some help in planning my driving route from Johannesberg to Phalaborwa.

This is how i plan to do :

Depart from guest house in Johannesburg to God's Window (R24 > R36 > R539 > R37 > R532 > R534)

God's Window to Potluck Boskombuis for Lunch (R534 > R532)

Potluck Boskombuis to Bourke's Luck Pothole (R532)

Bourke's Luck Pothole to Three Rondavels (R532)

Three Rondavels to Phalaborwa guest house (R532 > R36 > R530 > R40)

Based on google map, the total distance covered is 623KM and a travel time of 8hrs 5mins if driving non-stop.

1) Is it possible to complete the route in one day?

2) Is this the best scenic route?

3) How is the road condition of the route? Any particular road to aviod?

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:59 am

Hi Payton.

That is such a beautiful route that I would not attempt it in one day. Many of the places are iconic and need a bit of time. I certainly do think that it is the best scenic route though.

The Panorama route has good roads, but it often carries heavy logging trucks. The logging traffic can slow you down considerably.

The road has many twists and turns, making it a road that needs a lot of concentration. The speed limit for long periods is 80/km hour. This will put a lot of time pressure on you.

It is do-able. I suppose a lot depends on your priorities. If Kruger is your number one priority and you are happy to just drive by, it is fine. If you wish to enjoy some iconic nature and historical sites, try giving it another day.
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Hippotragus
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:19 am

I agree with MM that the Panorama Route is beautiful. It is, indeed, a winding, slow route. I would not try to do it in one day and have to rush - even driving that route and not stopping at any of the sights takes a long time.

Whatever you choose to do, be very careful when you stop - don't stop at the side of the road where they sell trinkets and when you stop at any of the sights, be sure to lock your car, hide any valuables and be very aware of possible pick-pockets. I'm not trying to scare you, but just warning you to be careful. That also applies to when you go shopping in any of the towns on the way to Kruger - better safe than sorry.

Have a wonderful trip.
Skukuza 13 October 2017
Letaba 14-17 Oct 2017
Shingwedzi 17-20 Oct 2017
Punda Maria 20-24 Oct 2017

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Leaping Lizards
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Leaping Lizards » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:19 pm

Hi all

We'll be driving from OR Thambo to Phalaborwa gate on Thursday, this Thursday :dance:
What is presently the best route to take to Phalaborwa gate?
N4 to Lydneburg or N1 to Polokwane? (If Polokwane, which route is it that trucks are not allowed to take to Tzaneen?)

Once again :dance:

Best wishes
LL
September/October - Shimuwin, Letaba, Olifants, Talamati and Satara :P

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

Unread post by Hippotragus » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:54 pm

I always go to Phalaborwa gate via N1, R71.

When you get to the Polokwane by-pass (some roadworks, but traffic flowing), take the R71 signed to Tzaneen. When you get to Haenertsburg stay on the R71 (straight on) and do not take the R526 (right turn). It is clearly signed and a big sign telling trucks not to use the R71 (though some ignore it!). The R71 goes down Magoebaskloof and is very scenic and recently improved.

Have a safe trip and a wonderful time in the KNP.
Skukuza 13 October 2017
Letaba 14-17 Oct 2017
Shingwedzi 17-20 Oct 2017
Punda Maria 20-24 Oct 2017

Barb15584
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Barb15584 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:15 pm

H
That is good advice, it is good to be reminded that vigilance is always required. It bought to mind some advice that we received shortly after we landed for our 2014 trip "keep your cell phones out of site and in front pockets if at all possible, and it is best not to use them in public places".
This may or may not be still valid.
Barb

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Leaping Lizards » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:37 pm

Thanks Hippotragus

That's perfect. I usually use that route, but have not driven to Pharlaborwa gate in 4 years, and Google Maps was suggesting through Lydenberg. I usually either go to our come from Kruger along that route, and have not had a clear road without potholes since 2007.

Thanks again and regards
September/October - Shimuwin, Letaba, Olifants, Talamati and Satara :P

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

Unread post by payton » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:40 pm

Meandering Mouse wrote:Hi Payton.

That is such a beautiful route that I would not attempt it in one day. Many of the places are iconic and need a bit of time. I certainly do think that it is the best scenic route though.

The Panorama route has good roads, but it often carries heavy logging trucks. The logging traffic can slow you down considerably.

The road has many twists and turns, making it a road that needs a lot of concentration. The speed limit for long periods is 80/km hour. This will put a lot of time pressure on you.

It is do-able. I suppose a lot depends on your priorities. If Kruger is your number one priority and you are happy to just drive by, it is fine. If you wish to enjoy some iconic nature and historical sites, try giving it another day.


Hi MM and Hippotragus

Thank you for the reply.

Another question. I will need to drive from lower sabie to Jnb International Airport for my 4pm flight to Cape Town. Google map shows the journey takes around 6 hours of driving non stop. If I were to set off from lower sabie at 7.30am, do you think it's possible for me to reach the airport at 2pm (stopping for short breaks in between). I still need to drop off the rental car and is not sure how long it takes to settle the bill and such.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:39 pm

Hi payton. I think you might have a problem!

Why only leave Lower Sabie at 7.30 a.m. - if it is September the camp gates open at 6.00 a.m. and if it is October at 5.30 a.m.

It will take you between 1 hour and 1 hour 30 mins to get from Lower Sabie to Crocodile Bridge gate. Then at least 5 hours from there to the airport, plus comfort/food breaks, plus possible delays on the road. Then you have to find the rental drop-off area and wait for transport to the terminal.

I have never done that exact route, or had to drop a car at the rental place.

Hopefully someone who has done exactly what you plan will read this and comment.
Skukuza 13 October 2017
Letaba 14-17 Oct 2017
Shingwedzi 17-20 Oct 2017
Punda Maria 20-24 Oct 2017

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by carolv » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:04 am

Hi Payton

Assuming you collected your rental vehicle from the airport (O R Tambo) and plan to return it to the same. then it takes no time at all to drop off your vehicle. When you reach the airport, look out for the Car rental returns lane and then follow the signs for whichever company has supplied your car and then there will be someone to accept the vehicle and check with you if there have been any problems and no damage to the vehicle. Then it is just a case of loading your luggage onto a trolley and making your way to the Departure terminal which should take no more than 5 mins from the drop off point.

With regard to the actual drive from Lower Sabie to the airport, I would try to leave camp by 6am, exit via Croc Bridge Gate and then allow 5-5 1/2 hours plus some extra time for comfort stops en route and you should be Ok for your flight

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by payton » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:14 am

Hi Hippotragus and Carolv

Thank you both very much for the feedback. Much appreciated. Will try to hit the road at 6am latest. :D

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Driving JNB - Skukuza, Gowrie Gate, Panorama

Unread post by TaraMom22 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:15 pm

Would love any advice on the 3 major drives we have coming up:

Sunday, 1 Oct - will be driving from JNB to Skukuza. We land at 8:40 and our friends will already have the rental car. I saw this elsewhere. Is this the best route?:
head out on the N12 (from the airport follow the signs for R21 South to Boksburg, then take the N12 Emalahleni exit). The N12 becomes the N4. After the Machadodorp toll gate, the N4 splits and the better option is to turn left to go through Schoemanskloof, which joins up again with the main N4 (fewer trucks on this section). From Nelspruit, follow the R40 past White River and at Hazyview turn right onto the R536 to Kruger Gate.


IF we get through immigration and customs quickly we might want to stop for groceries (otherwise could possibly make a grocery stop part of our game drive the following day). Advice on timing to make sure we get to Skukuza before the gates close. IF we got to the Irene Mall by ____ time, it would be safe to stop for 30 minutes and buy groceries. Opinions on what that Safe time would be?

Thursday, 5 Oct - will be driving from Lower Sabie to Djuma, so need to get to Gowrie Gate. Opinions please on which way you would drive that? Should we drive north through KNP to Orpen gate, or should we drive out Kruger gate to the R40?

Sunday, 8 Oct - will be driving from Djuma/Gowrie gate (depart about 10:00) to JNB. We have a hotel at the airport booked for that night, so no specific time we need to arrive. We want to do some of the Panorama route as we drive back to JNB. Advice on route and stops would be appreciated.
Skukuza 1 & 2 Oct
Lower Sabie 3 & 4 Oct
Djuma 5-8 Oct


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