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Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

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

Unread post by chirinda » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:47 pm

Hi Schoemanskloof,

Have a look in "Northern Parks", there is some information about getting from Kruger to Mapungubwe, and Pontdrift is just up the road.

In August 2016 we drove from Joburg to Musina and then on the R572 to Mapungubwe which was not in bad condition, although a few potholey patches but not bad potholes. There were also some potholes on the Mapungubwe to Pontdrift road and also Pontdrift to Alldays, but on the whole the roads were not bad. Of course you are going to be going a year later. People have written about the Pafuri Gate to Musina road. Why not ask questions on the Northern Parks thread about Punda Maria Gate to Louis Trichardt and then on to Alldays or Musina, and also Phalaborwa-Polokwane-Pontdrift. Those are not roads I have ever driven, but others may well be familiar with their condition.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Dawid2005 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:08 am

Good Day All

First I want to wish all the members a very prosperous 2017 full of wonderful sightings in this magical place.

I would like to know what will be the best route to take from Joburg to Orpen gate, I do believe that there is some potholes on the Dullstroom route as I will be pulling a trailer I do not really want to have issues with major potholes. So I was thinking on taking the N4 to Nelspruit and then from there up to Orpen does anybody know what the condition is of this route, or are there any other routes that you can suggest.

Thank you in advance for the information.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Albert » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:26 pm

N4/R40 to Hazyview and beyond...
Road surface is good, traffic is bad, particularly through the Bushbuckridge area.
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Thunderbird7 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:25 pm

Whatever you do DO NOT use the R36 from Bambi to Mashishing (Lydenberg when the road was ok).

Despite rebuilding approx 1/4 of the route, the rest is like driving across the Somme. Not having used it for 18 months I was naively expecting a new road - stupid boy. Easily the worst road I have driven on in the whole of ZA.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:10 am

Thanks, Thunderbird7.

That Lydenburg-Bambi road has had a very bad history. Last time we used it, a couple of years ago, it was terrible and the bit they were re-building was even worse! We are going up to our farm near Lydenburg next month, so will now definitely go the Belfast-Dullstroom-Lydenburg route, even if that also has its usual number of potholes
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by James89 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:48 am

Hi All,

Friday lunch time off to Pafuri gate, staying at Tshipise about 100km from Pafuri gate on Friday eve.

Plan is to go from Hartebeespoort, take N4 to N1 then 450km until after Louis Trichardt then turn right toward Pafuri.

Is this the best route? Any recommendations? It is the first time I am driving this route.

Cheers,

James

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:47 pm

That sounds good. I can't think of any alternative route. Highway most of the way, so you should be able to keep to a pretty good speed - don't go over the limit - lots of speed traps on that road, especially on Fridays!!

Have a safe trip and great holiday.
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by regimka » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:36 am

Hi,
We are planning our first visit to South Africa and Kruger Park. We thought about 2 night stops to make it easy and enjoyable.
We want to make Panoramic Road in second day and think about stay the night at Phalaborwa and enter the park from nearest gate.
We have first night in park in Satara camp so we thought about drive in park due Letaba and Olifant?
Is it's good idea or better to enter from Orpen gate?
What places are recommended for visit in Panoramic Road?
The first night is more problematic. We thought about stay in Dullstroom. Johannesburg airport on road 12 and then road 4 due Belfast, road 540 Dullstroom.
And next day till Lydenburg, road R37 Sabie direction and then R532 which is Panoramic road with Blyde river canyon and so on till Phalaborwa .

Do you know if road problems near Dullstroom were fixed or may be better to chose another road and stay for night in another place?
According google maps the distance is 345 km and required around 5 hours but I am afraid that it's not right...

thanks for help

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:49 am

Hi regimka, my daughter and I recently traveled between Dullstroom and Lydenburg. I'm afraid the road was still rather potholed. The road through Lydenburg was very bad.

The road was being fixed, but it should be driven with caution.

Despite the bad roads at the moment, I would still be tempted to stay at Dullstroom. It really is so close to the panoramic route and is a very quaint little town. If you have a bit of time, the raptor center on the outskirts of town is a good place to visit. Many of the raptors have been rehabilitated from road accidents.

I have driven the Panoramic route a number of times and it is extremely beautiful. The road has, however, many twists and turns and for long distances the speed limit is sixty to eighty. I think that this is possibly why google maps predicts such a long driving time. There can also be heavy trucks on the road from the Pine plantations that would slow you down as well.

Despite these problems, this is one of the most scenic areas to visit. The beauty is quite breath taking. You have to get out at 'God's window', the stop is well worth the effort.

Blyde River Canyon is a must, of course. I would suggest Burke's potholes and there are many falls to visit on the route. I would suggest possibly Grasskop for lunch. It is famous for it's pancakes. Last time I visited, I also bought some wicked chocolate from a chocolate specialty shop. Although it is a slight detour, I would consider 'Pilgrim's Rest'. It is an old mining town converted into a museum. The graveyard with the robber's grave gives an interesting perspective of life in those times.

Enjoy :thumbs_up:
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:12 am

Hi regimka and welcome.

We went up to our farm near Lydenburg last weekend. The road from Belfast - Dullstroom - Lydenburg still has many bad potholes. They are fixing them, but as soon as one if filled, another appears! The trick is to not drive too fast, and have time to dodge them!

I agree with MM, Dullstroom is a quaint little town and has many places to stay - hotel, B&Bs, guest houses etc.

The Panorama Route is lovely and you will enjoy the places such as God's Window and Bourke's Luck Potholes (real ones!). Just be careful to lock your car and keep valuables out of sight when you go to any of the lookout points - there are sometimes opportunists around who will try and steal (the same applies in any town or village if you plan to stop to shop etc.).

Enjoy your trip!
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by regimka » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:00 am

Thanks a lot.
Few additional questions:
1. Is it's better to stay for night in Dullstroom or Lydenburg if I have options in both places?
2 Is road Dullstroom - Lydenburg in bad conditions? How long it will take us? According google it's 45 km (45 min). Is it's right?
3 When better to make Dullstroom - Lydenburg in the morning or afternoon to prevent heavy traffic?
4 If we'll decide to enter park from Orpen Gate where recommended to stay in night before? We changed first night in Kruger from Olifant to Satara but I
have reserved night before in Phalaborwa (can be changed).
So what will be more simple and recommended / beautiful :
drive from Panoramic road till Phalaborwa , spend night in it and drive in the morning to Satara due Olifant and Letaba
or
stay not far from Orpen Gate and drive to Satara from it?

the questions are what drive in park is better and will give us opportunity to see more animals?
Where to stay near Orpen Gate?

thanks

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:03 am

Hi Regimka,

My own preference would be Dullstroom for a night over. It has a lot to offer the tourist and is really a lovely little town. The road between Lydenburg and Dullstroom is seldom very busy, so I not be too concerned about traffic. I have sometimes been stuck behind a very slow vehicle, but the area is so scenic, that it has not concerned me.

Dullstroom has mainly tourist industry. Lydenburg tends to have a lot more mining and mining related industry. The Lydenburg area will definitely have heavier traffic. It is why the town's roads have been so badly damaged.

I must say that I prefer entering at Orpen Gate. It has a lot more sighting opportunities for first timers. I am sending you a pm with a place where I sometimes stay. I have never been disappointed. It is about 40 kms from Orpen Gate.
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by pirlet » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:59 pm

Hello,

1. I'm planning on entering Kruger through Pafuri via the R525. I heard there's a detour through a river bed in Msisi. Is this detour easily accessible for a non-4x4 car?

2 I'll be exiting (a couple of days later) through Skukuza with my final destination being Johannesburg. I'd like to make the drive to the Blyde Rivier Canyon - Three Rondavels view. Las time I did, in 2013, I had an awful streth of road cribbled with huge potholes. Can anyone recommend a roadworthy itinery from Skukuza to the view point then back to Joburg?

Thanks, regards

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by carolv » Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:04 pm

Hi pirlet

Sorry I cannot assist with question 1 but with regard to question 2:-

The easiest route from Skukuza would be to exit via Phabeni Gate, and go to Hazyview. At the main crossroads in town, turn right, and a couple of Kms later take the left turn to Graskop. Watch your speed careful as there are very regular speed traps along this section. The road then goes through Graskop and follow the signs for the Blyde Canyon. Each attraction then has a short road down to it eg God's Window, Berlin Falls, Lisbon Falls, Bourkes Potholes, Three Rondavels etc. The road then continues until a junction with the Lydenburg (Mashishing) - Tzaneen road, turn left and continue down to Lydenburg, Dullstroom, Belfast and then join the N4?12 back to Jo'burg. However, when we did the road from Hazyview/Graskop/Rondavels/ Dullstroom/Belfast in early March 2017 the potholes were truly awful. Some were so bad, if you did not drive slowly enough to spot them ahead, I suspect you could 'lose' a small car in them. They were the worst we have ever seen in South Africa. I'm not sure if you have a time when you must get back to Jo'burg (a flight from Tambo maybe?) then I think you would need to think seriously whether you will have enough time to drive this route. See what other people think as well. When we did the Canyon drive, we were actually staying in Hazyview and only had to return to Hazyview - the drive took all day with the stops at the various sites.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Mischief » Wed May 24, 2017 11:50 am

Hello junglebird

Warm welcome to the Forum.
What you have suggested makes perfect sense and is doable provided you get to the gate at least 1.5 hours before gate closing times.Always err on the side of caution.Once you have done the Panorama Route you can enter at either Phabeni and then travel approximately 40 kilometers to Skukuza along the Doispane tarred road.You can also enter through Paul Kruger Gate which is as easily accessible from Hazyview and then travel only
10 kilometers to Skukuza.

Hazyview has a huge mall where you can shop for groceries and meat if you wish but try to avoid anytime around 4 pm when the local residents are arriving home or commuting from Nelspruit back home which can make the shopping mall extremely congested as well as the road into and around Hazyview.

From Skukuza you will be able to reach Olifants in a day provided you leave camp at the gate opens and your stick mostly to the tar roads up towards the north!

The are several hotels and bush resorts around both the Phabeni/Paul Kruger/Hazyview area...I suggest you just google Haxyview town to see the selection.

Hope this has been if some assistance,please feel free to ask any more questions that may come to mind.
Good luck with planning your trip :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
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