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Road Conditions - car suggestions?

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Road Conditions - car suggestions?

Unread post by kiwi_camper » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:12 am

Hi there guys,

Couple of Kiwi Campers here soon to depart for the Kruger! Woo hoo! :dance:

We will be in the park in April and were wondering if anyone could update us on the road conditions in the park. We currently will be driving a VW Polo on our trip and so are concerned with the state of the dirt roads (due to the low clearance of the car).

So basically our question is this:
Will we be alright driving in a VW Polo on the dirst roads? Or should we get another car with a larger clearance? :hmz:

Your feedback is much appreciated!

Many thanks


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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Road Conditions - car suggestions?

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:57 am

Hi kiwi_camper. Goodness, you must be excited. :D

Yes it is very lush at the moment and will still be so in April.

I was in Kruger with my daughter at the end of Feb and beginning of March. We were in a small Ford. I realized that a small car can sometimes have advantages. We were able to see the smaller creatures, such as mongoose, certain birds, reptiles and the little antelope and buck with greater ease. We had one experience where a 4x4 found it impossible to see a leguane that we were watching, as he was too high.

When the grass is very high and thick, it is difficult to see anything if it does not want to be seen. Many good sightings occur when animals more close to, or move onto the road. The only time that height is a real advantage is when an animal is quite deep in the bush and fairly still. I also find that 4x4's are kinder to smaller cars in letting them go in front at certain sightings, as they do not obstruct their view.

I would say, keep your Polo and rather use the money to go on a guided walk or night drive. Some might not agree, but that is my view.
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Re: Road Conditions - car suggestions?

Unread post by Elsa » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:23 am

The dirt roads have taken some strain due to all the rains that have fallen over the past month or so but they are busy with grading and repair work, so unless there is more heavy rain they should be fine for a normal sedan.
Enjoy your trip! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Road Conditions - car suggestions?

Unread post by chirinda » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:35 am

Meandering Mouse wrote:I would say, keep your Polo and rather use the money to go on a guided walk or night drive. Some might not agree, but that is my view.

I agree with MM, that's what I would do, too. I've always been to Kruger in my small sedan cars, and clearance is not a problem on the dirt roads. The Park is aware of us who drive smaller vehicles and they keep the roads in good condition. It's only when there has been a lot of rain and the larger, heavier vehicles have churned up mud that problems could occur, that's why they close dirt roads after heavy rain to prevent problems.

Do choose a sunset or night drive at least once, it is magical out in the bush after dark, when everyone else is shut away in camp. Take warm clothes on the truck, if you go, it gets quite cold on the back of an open vehicle.


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Re: Road Conditions - car suggestions?

Unread post by Crested Val » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:20 am

I can agree with previous posts. We drove a Hyundai i10 immediately following the heavy rains in 2012 and 2013.

Once the dirt roads had been opened, we had no problems whatsoever............and it's true about small cars...........sometimes the larger vehicles will let you in at a sighting because they can see over the top of you.

You can always check with the camps each day if there are problems on any of the dirt roads.

Having said that, we have had some of our best ever sightings in the past 40 years on tar roads!!!!

Whatever you decide................enjoy!!!! :thumbs_up:

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Re: Road Conditions - car suggestions?

Unread post by Tessa G » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:55 pm

Hi Kiwi_camper,

A Polo will be absolutely fine! We were in the park December 2015 and January 2016 and hired a VW Polo TSI.

We had to travel from Talamati Bush Camp to Biyamiti on the 2nd Jan and all dirt roads were closed due to heavy rain so that they could be repaired. We had no choice but to use the roads and were given permission to do so by the Regional Ranger. We coped perfectly and took it slowly with absolutely no problems with clearance or anything else. I am sure that by April the rains will not be as heavy and that you wont have these problems with the dirt roads. The parks board roads maintenance team are on the ball and we found that they kept the roads well maintained.

Enjoy the park :mrgreen: :mrgreen: and enjoy the Polo. :clap: :clap:

Take advice from those above, Particularly MM with regard to walks and night/sunset drives. Brilliant!!
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