Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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lion queen
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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by lion queen »

Hi Marion,

Yes it is possible to travel via the R521 to Mapungubwe NP.

Though the road is close from time to time, due to service delivery actions.

Please keep an eye on social media for media releases closer to the time you will be travelling to the park.

Enjoy your visit!
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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by Tamsy »

Hi,

We are traveling here for the first time in April. Going from Johannesburg. Staying in Leokwe.

Does anyone have advice on the best route to take? On any places to stop for lunch en route?

And anything else I should be aware of?
Many thanks
Tamsy

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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by Tamsy »

RichardJ wrote:Tamsy, I believe the best condition roads route would be via N1 direct to Mussina then left to Mapungubwe. There will be an added massive/ big cost of tolls.

You can use the chain restaurants attached to the service stations regularly along the route.

Louis Trichart has a mall on the right as passing through town, and a well known steakhouse on the left. Mussina is quite a busy town and rather congested.

Enjoy the trip.


Hi Richard

Thanks so much for getting back to me, I really appreciate it.

Tamara
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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by Tamsy »

bueri_6033 wrote:Tamsy, the R572 from Musina to the Mapungubwe was in 2020 sprinkled with potholes. I read a TR in a german speaking forum.

https://www.suedafrika-forum.org/reise-informationen/post167776-reisebericht-camping-tour-knp-mapungubwe-okt-nov-2020/#post167776 (hope it's allowed to set the link)
Another hour's drive on the R572 to Mapungubwe Gate, up a dreadful stretch of road.

Scroll to the pic with the Pontdrift/Alldays sign. The next two photos give you an impression of the road condition.

I don't think, they made some improvements since 2020. :(

Be adviced that you have to bring all food and drinks with you. The restaurant has only a very, very small menu. There is no shop and no filling station. Next shop / filling station is in Alldays and Musina. The chalets are well equipped.

Drive carefully and enjoy the trip. The Mapungubwe is one of our favorite parks.
greetings bueri_6033


Thank you Bueri - thats really helpful to know.
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Re: RE: Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by Tamsy »

PNF wrote:Hi Tamsy
It has recently been announced that there will be major roadworks with deviations in the Musina area. A bypass is being constructed to avoid the town centre - the turn-off to the R572 is a part of this project. Estimated time length of project is 18 months and I believe that it has already started.
Re: potholes - well, :hmz: basically when one leaves the N1 or N11 in Limpopo Province - you WILL encounter potholes; some roads are worse than others - just drive carefully and try to avoid the potholes if possible.
I agree with RichardJ - the filling stations on the route all have a chain restaurant but don't forget to put in fuel before turning onto the R572......there used to be a filling station on that road but I believe that it has closed down. Louis Trichardt is a good place to buy groceries.

Enjoy your stay - one day I will get back there! :dance:
Thank you PNF, good to know about the roadworks. And petrol situation. Many thanks Tamsy

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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by RayK »

Hi chirinda,
Thanks for keeping us updated. I've been through Musina a number of times and always at a crawl. Good to hear about the bypass. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by chirinda »

They certainly have needed a bypass to Musina, with all the trucks these days, and I think everyone will be glad to have the road finished, specially the truck drivers. It must be a nightmare for them too, in such a crowded main street. They had finished a T junction turnoff to the bypass, and we had to turn to go through the town. The bypass turns left and the town right, I think. You can actually see a lot of the roadworks on Google Maps.
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Re: RE: Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by Tamsy »

chirinda wrote:I have just been having a look at Google maps and I see the N1 will be the main road/bypass of Musina and you will have to take the offramp and cross a bridge over the N1 to go into the town. It seems there will also be a few shops there too, for people who do not want to go into the town.
Thanks for all this information. Really helpful. Thank you

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Re: RE: Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by Tamsy »

chirinda wrote:I think the bypass at Musina is nearing completion. We were there in September and the road works were in full swing. It was a bit complicated trying to find where to get onto the R572, and we seemed to have to double back once we were on it, but I'm sure there will be a proper turnoff once the bypass is finished.

The R572 has some good stretches and a lot of terrible places, be willing to go off the tar where you see others have done so. But there were teams patching potholes too, so some progress may have been made. Just give yourself enough time to go slowly.

There is a small but well stocked Spar on the right of the main road not far into Musina, with a small shop across the side road which makes delicious bread and rolls - if they haven't sold out. I think there is also a Shoprite further into the town.

The restaurant at Mapungubwe Interpretive Centre, is more a cafe than a restaurant, but they made us a most delicious breakfast one day.

Enjoy your trip and please let us have an updated road report.

Oh, and if you are in No 8, I think it was, at Leokwe, the kitchen light switch is behind the fridge.
We are just back from Mapungubwe. (What a magical place!)

To update on the roads (12/4/2022).
N1 to polokwane, perfect condition.
Bypass past polokwane worked well.
N1 to Musina, great condition, numerous places where it splits into a double carriage way to allow safe overtaking.

Musina bypass is still not completed. It was very difficult to find our way onto the R572. We ended up going a route through the suburbs ending up on dirt roads and somehow ended up going up a sand embankment onto the R572. I wouldn't recommend that route! We came back a slightly better route, turning right before the R572 meets the N1 north (, signposted Alldays), then kept to the left when it split X2, and then left onto 1st Ave, then right onto Bergview road, and right onto the N1. But this was still confusing and we ended up in a maze of dirt roads, back tracked and even using Google maps it was more luck we found the N1, as Google maps was confused too!

The R572 is newly tarred, great condition for the 1st 60km. The last 10kms to the gate were badly potholed. But there was a roadworks sign so hopefully this will be repaired too.

The receptionist mentioned that the road to Alldays is still in very poor condition.

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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by Tamsy »

Just seen this on Facebook site:

"Plenty of roadworks (in Musina) where the border bypass is being completed as you leave the town on the north side, but just watch for Mapungubwe turnoff sign."

This sounds far more sensible and easy to get to the R572...... Oh well, we had an adventure through Musina

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Re: RE: Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by Tamsy »

chirinda wrote:
The R572 is newly tarred, great condition for the 1st 60km. The last 10kms to the gate were badly potholed. But there was a roadworks sign so hopefully this will be repaired too.
That's fantastic news, Tamsy, it certainly needed a major overhaul.

You seemed to have had your own adventures finding your way through Musina, but glad you found your way eventually, even though you took the scenic route.

So glad you enjoyed Mapungubwe. It's lovely there, isn't it.
It is super, a very special place!

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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by RichardJ »

If it is showing via R572, then be warned that between Alldays and Swartwater, in 2019, the road had become a corrugated gravel with glimpses of tar road. We towed a 'road caravan' along that section at 20kph. We did Marakele to Mapungubwe. The portion of the road south of the N11 (Groblersbrug) to Thabazimbi was good.

I think the best route is via the N1, but which exactly, I am not sure. Hopefully you will get offered some better info.
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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by Tamsy »

suntime wrote:Is Google maps useful for determining road conditions on the more remote roads, or does it simply provide theoretical journey times ?
I am thinking of Mapungubwe to Thabazimbi which looks pretty straightforward on Google maps.


As far as I am aware it only provides theoretical journey times.

AA road conditions and distance calculator (as far as I am aware) does give more details regarding road conditions.
https://aa.co.za/road-conditions-and-di ... alculator/

Having said that - I just checked a route that I know has terrible potholes and this did not show up as an alert on the aa road conditions and distance calculator.
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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by chirinda »

Having just returned from Mapungubwe, I can give an update on the roads in the area.

The last 50 km or so of the N1 before Musina is starting to get tatty. The road is good right down the escarpment from Louis Trichardt and through the tunnels, but after that little wooded kloof near the R523 turnoff it starts to deteriorate. The trouble is that with so much heavy truck traffic, potholes get big and deep quickly. So from there on, until a few km before Musina, one needs to be on the lookout for the potholes.

When you get to Musina the bypass is the main road, but if you need to get fuel you need to take the Old National Road which crosses over the new road and takes you into town. There is no fuel on the bypass before the Mapungubwe turnoff. You can continue through the very busy and still congested town, or refuel at one of the petrol stations and go back to the bridge and get onto the bypass. The Mapungubwe road is signposted Alldays or Pontdrift, I think, the R572.

There is a good, small Spar shop on the right a short way into Musina, and a large mall much further into town with Checkers, banks and a whole lot of other shops, but the Woolworths is only a clothing store.

Beware of unmarked speed bumps on the northern end of the main road through the town.

If you drive through town, the northern end of the main road crosses over the bypass and becomes the R572. This road is good and newly re-surfaced for about 50 km, but then degenerates into potholes for the last 20 km or so before the Mapungubwe reception. The potholes are not deep, but some places you can see where cars have gone off the tar for a less bumpy ride past the worst bits. The speed limit changes along the road, there are a couple of high accident spots with lower speed limits, and also lower speed signs on potholed stretches of the road. The highest is 100 kph.

After the Reception, if you are going on to the western section of the Park, the tar road is not good the whole way to Pontdrift. The Den Staat road turns right just before Pontdrift. Den Staat road is a fairly good dirt road. We didn't travel the whole length of it, only the western end, past the farms, but I think it is doable in a sedan the whole distance. The eastern end turnoff is a couple of km after the reception, if you want to miss the bad tar road.

Musina is the closest place to Mapungubwe to get fuel, People who had come through Alldays said "Don't", but there is also fuel available there and it's approximately the same distance as Musina.

Do check the road out on Google maps, it is very clear and easy to see where you have to go.
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Re: Mapungubwe: GETTING THERE

Unread post by FinMari »

Thank you so much Chirinda for very good information :k :gflower:
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