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Route from the Cape to Kruger.

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
stormfinch
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Re: Driving from Cape Town to Kruger

Unread post by stormfinch » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:30 pm

We are heading to Kruger next year and have booked a night at Karoo NP and 2 nights at Golden Gate on the way (a bit like your trip the other way round)
Can you please tell me how long it takes you from GGHNP to Kruger and which route you normally take?

Thanks.

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Kaapsedraai
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Re: Driving from Cape Town to Kruger

Unread post by Kaapsedraai » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:15 pm

stormfinch, it was our first time last year and travelled GGNP-Bethlehem-Warden-Standerton-Ermelo-Carolina-Badplaas route and about 8hours (840km).
The road between Standerton and Warden esp Carolina is very busy with coal trucks and in bad condition, even on a Sunday afternoon.

I am exploring a different route from Kruger to GGNP i.e. via Badplaas-Piet Retief-Ladysmith-Harrismith-GGNP.
It is about 100+km longer and possibly in time as well.
Estimated time per the AA route planne = 9h30 min (896km)

Another option is Badplaas-Ermelo-Newcastle-Ladysmith-Harrismith-GGNP, but have been advised it is not a good options as some road works and bad road conditions and taxis close to Newcatle.
I stand to be corrected here.
Estimated time per the AA route planne = 9h 20 min (909km)

These distances have been calculated from from Berg' n Dal to GGNP.
The idea is to explore new areas and I have never travelled the area crossing KZN, hence will be new experience.
Any advice re these two road welcome.
-------------------
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LionWhisperer

Re: Driving from Cape Town to Kruger

Unread post by LionWhisperer » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:43 pm

Hi there
3 years ago we did the direct Route. Up N1 then along N4.
If you love driving on the long road (We do) then it will be great.

We left CT at 05h00, arived in Kroonstad (half way between Bloem and Jhb) at around 7pm. Had a great dinner at the guest house there, then left again at 05h00 and arrived at Orpen Gate at around noon.

We found the accommodation in a Brochure called "Places to Stay on the N1 from CT to Jhb" You can get the that brochure at the welcome Centre in Canal Walk.

Stayed at the same place on the way back.

Safe journey...

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Re: Driving from Cape Town to Kruger

Unread post by Bekke » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:55 pm

When taking the most direct route, we also push for Kroonstad the first day.
Typically we stop at Beaufort (breakfast), Gariepdam and Bloemfontein (e.g. Vroue monument).
Then you still arrive at Kroonstad during daylight.
Second day: Easy to reach lower regions of Kruger, or do stopover around Panorama route.

June this year we've decided to take longer route.
Kimberley (2 nights Mokale), after stopping at plenty Boer war sites (e.g. concentration camp site at HopeTown).
From there we went to Bela Bela (another 2 nights, after visiting Magersfontein and plenty other amazing sites) and on to Kruger on day 5 (via Magoebaskloof).

On the return journey, we took the scenic route via Baberton, Bloedriver, Spionkop, to the Drakensberg mountains.
2 Days later around Lesotho, via Golden Gate (amazing!) to near Ladybrandt.
Next day to Graaf Reinet for 2 days.

The roundabout way was fantastic - but I will not do this every year :-)

We also used Premier Class before (from Jhb to CT), but you need 3 days for that.
Day 1: From Kruger to close to Jhb.
Day 2: Need to load vehicle very early in morning -only departure around 13:00.
Arrive in CT 17:00 on Day 3.
GREAT option (relaxed!).

okie
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Re: Driving from Cape Town to Kruger

Unread post by okie » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:57 pm

We've just done the up-route Ct- KNP .
Stayed over at Mokala, then Modimolle ( Nylstroom ) then Phalaborwa .
We find that whatever you plan, add another few hours for hold-ups, be it pp-stops, fill-up stops, or road-works
Roadworks alone on either route can add one to two hours - and then every little town you go through is another hold-up, bring down your average speed .
We tried to maintain the speed-limit 120 kph, but whereas on the first day the actual MOVING average ( per my GPS ) was 101 kph, the additional hold-ups, made difference of another 10 kph .

Over the two days Worcester to Nylstroom, 1767 kilometers, took just over 21 hours including the hold-ups ( not sleeping ) actual moving time 19 hours .
So overall moving average 93 kph , total overall average speed 84 kph .
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .

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jaybabe
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Re: Driving from Cape Town to Kruger

Unread post by jaybabe » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:37 pm

My 2 cents worth...
We have just driven to KNP from CT and back and this is what we did and what we will do differently next time:
Left CT 5:30am, slept 30km north of Bloem on a dairy farm
Bloem to 60km north of Pretoria.
Pretoria - to Punda Maria
Very easy and not tiring at all - quite a few stop and goes between Beaufort West and Bloem, but as we were travelling on a weekend it added maybe 35minutes onto our time.
Left Satara and drove to Nelspruit.
Nelspruit to Bloem.
Bloem to Beaufort West to Karoo National Park for 2 nights.
We decided that it would be easy to drive from the south of Kruger to Bloem in one day the roads are easy only a bit slow around N12 near JHB before getting on to the N1.
We would also definitely stay over at Karoo National Park again - we thought that it was awesome.
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Re: Driving from Cape Town to Kruger

Unread post by Tiko » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:32 pm

We did the same trip earlier this year.
Left around 06h00 from outside of Worcester and had an easy drive to Bloemfontein.
From there to Clarens and Golden Gate.
From Clarens we drove Bethlehem, Frankfort,Heidelberg, Delmas. N12 and N4 to Lower-Sabie entering at Croc Bridge.
On our return we left via Malelane and drove all the way to Colesberg.
Found the roads around Jhb very busy and confusing with the road works.

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pathfinder
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Re: Driving from Cape Town to Kruger

Unread post by pathfinder » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:19 pm

Hi Munchkin, we met a few years back at Kwang in the Kalahari :D
The pathfinders are going to be towing an off road trailer to the KNP in December this year......slow going towing a heavy trailer at the best of times so am budgeting three nights to get to Berg En Dal. Anyone know whether you can put a car AND a trailer on the train? :hmz:

We can't leave earlier than 12h00 on day 1 so will probably try for:
1) Karoo National
2) Gariep
3) Golden Gate
and arrive on day 4...but I am concerned with the GGNP to Berg En Dal day. How long would this take averaging about 100 kmph forumites?
Am also toying wih not booking anything and taking pot luck..but could be risky?
Camping Kruger Dec-Jan 2010/11
Trip over :(
Perhaps Kalahari Dec 2011 ? :)

camken
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Route from the Cape to Kruger.

Unread post by camken » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:13 pm

Hi All

My 2011 trip to kruger will be my 4th, and each time we've flown from Cape Town to either Joburg or Nelspruit.
This time we were thinking of braving the long drive in an effort to save some money!!

Please could you give me some advice on driving from cape town to kruger? Our first nights accomodation will be at Skukuza.

Opinions on which roads to take, places to spend the night on the way up, places to eat on the way up, how much it usually costs you in petrol etc, will all really be appreciated!! :D

I've had a look and couldn't find an exisiting thread on this topic, but if there is one, please point me in the right direction.

Thanks everyone!!

o-dog
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Re: DRIVING FROM CAPE TOWN

Unread post by o-dog » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:22 pm

Hi camken
I have done this trip by car at least 20 times and suggest you take the N1 to JHB, then N4 east towards Nelspruit and enter via the preferred gate.

We normally stop over in Bloemfontein as this enables us to leave very early and get to the park by mid afternoon.
Bloemfontein is a fairly large city and has many accommodation options from guest houses to hotels.

If you want to take the trip in a more relaxed fashion I say leave Cape Town and stop in Karoo National Park (470km from Cape Town).
There are about 60km of easy driving tourist roads that cover a wide area of this little gem of a park.
Also with the reintroduced lions and black rhino population, there is extra incentive to explore this area which has many specials.
I would then say next night in Kroonstad (about 700km drive) one of the most beautiful towns in South Africa and is just off the highway.
Pm me if you want the name of a guest house which I stayed at in November.
Then take the drive to Kruger (700km) making sure you avoid Jhb. traffic.

At the moment the worst road works are found between 3 Sisters and Colesburg and south of Leeu Gamka. Joburg roads (N12 especially) are an absolute dog show at the moment with few or no road markings making it very dangerous so that's why avoid high traffic times.

Food and comfort stops (look fro the large filling stations) along the N1 are much better than anywhere I have experienced in the world (Europe and US included) and are actually fun and the whole driving experience gives a great feel of the South Africa that most South Africans miss.

Camping in Karoo is cheap as well as in Kroonstad.
Fuel consumption varies from vehicle to vehicle but is always cheaper on the open road especially if you drive at about 110km/h.
Mana Pools: 11th - 20th Oct
KNP: 27th Nov - 5 Dec

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Bush Baptist
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Re: DRIVING FROM CAPE TOWN

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:04 pm

Just before you get to Joburg, take the Witbank (I think it is the N10) highway.
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Hugh
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Re: DRIVING FROM CAPE TOWN

Unread post by Hugh » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:33 pm

I go with the Karoo National Park really is a gem and if you stay in the accommodation Breakfast is included.
We hope to do the trip in reverse in September But leaving the Park at Pafuri . then Mpumgubwe then Marakela and the Mokala and then down to the Cape maybe taking in the Karoo again.or go via Augrabies But we have plenty of time !!!
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okie
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Re: DRIVING FROM CAPE TOWN

Unread post by okie » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:50 pm

Driving the N1 to JHB is a very direct route and certainly the quickest .
But it also is the main route for every truck between CT and JHB and from Colesberg it links up with the main route JHB to Port Elizabeth .
If you do that route , keep awake and count the trucks .
My highest score is 1156 between Beaufort West and Bloemfontein - and that was only the ones that were southbound :big_eyes:
Previously, we used to divert at Beaufort West to Aberdeen and sleep over at Graaf Reinet - lots of B&B's - visit the church - arguably the most beautiful one in South Africa .
Then towards Aliwal North and through the eastern Free State, via Ficksburg, Bethlehem -Warden , Standerton , Ermelo, Nelspruit .
This route is fairly quiet , but the roads have become more like 4x4 routes .
Nowadays, from Three Sisters , we take the road to Kimberley , which is very quiet , very little traffic .
You can take a break at Mokala National park ( magic ) or at Kimberley , and then either direct to JHB - Witbank - Nelspruit , or via Pretoria- Witbank- Nelspruit .

Whatever route you take , observe the posted speedlimits .
Just about every town has at least one speed-check all the time, could be on either side of town .
If you drive too fast you will certainly receive a notice in the post very soon :tongue:
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .

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Don Stewart
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Re: DRIVING FROM CAPE TOWN

Unread post by Don Stewart » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:55 pm

:) Camken

"This time we were thinking of braving the long drive in an effort to save some money!!"

Reconsider the flying option:

*CT to KNP is approximately 1900kms
*Return trip approx 3800kms (ignore the distance covered in the park)
*Fuel at (say) 10l/100kms and at average of (say) R8.40 per litre
*Fuel bill = R3200 and that excludes wear and tear/diminution in value etc
*4 night stops (2 each way) = R2400
*Meals etc 4 days = R1200
Total cost so far = R6800 and arrive at KNP tired

1 Time and Kalula are offering deals from CT to JHB at about R389 per person per leg and you can probably get a good price on JHB/Nelspruit return (look like R389 pppl too) - total airfares = R3112
+
car hire at Nelspruit - (say) R300 per day (you don't say how long you are going to be in KNP) but 10 days car hire for a reasonable car will cost you about R3000
Total cost R6112 - arrive and depart KNP fresh and relaxed

The numbers are estimates but I would certainly relook at the fly/drive option, especially if I was looking to save costs.

You will have a wonderful holiday either way.

Enjoy :D
THINK WIN-WIN :)

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Re: DRIVING FROM CAPE TOWN

Unread post by o-dog » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:12 pm

It was a while back but have stayed in Colesburg.
Won't do it again quickly.
More of a trucker area but probably a good guest house around somewhere there as I don't know the town away from N1 too well.
I know my family has stayed on the Gariep Dam which is close to Colesburg. Cape Town - Bloem is an easy days drive if you leave by 7-8am and keep going.
Mana Pools: 11th - 20th Oct
KNP: 27th Nov - 5 Dec


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