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Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

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carolv
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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 junglebird » Wed May 24, 2017 9:47 am

Hello

We are planning to do the Panorama Route and then visit KNP in Jun'17. We have the option to stay at Olifants, Satara, Lower Sabie and Skukuza. We are flying out of Skukuza so will stay the last day there.

As of now we planned on staying in Hazyview after Panorama Route and enter through Phabeni gate the next day, make a pitstop at Skukuza camp and go onto Olifants...that way turning our journey to Olifants also into a game drive rather than driving from outside the park.

In case for some reason the above is not the best option, kindly suggest which is the most convenient first camp we should visit after the Panorama Route, so we can stay nearer the gate to that particular camp. We are first timers in KNP and maybe driving slower than some regulars till we find our feet in the park. Suggestions for an a good hotel etc near the gate is also appreciated.

Thanks

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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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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by junglebird » Wed May 24, 2017 1:16 pm

Thank you very much Mischief for the warm welcome and your quick reply.

I intended to do only a pit stop at Skukuza and not stay the 1st night there. Was planning on leaving Hazyview early morning to enter the KNP gates at the earliest and make it to Olifants the same day. Will this be too much?

My second option is to go straight to Phalaborwa and stay outside the gate after finishing the Panorama Route and enter from there heading to Olifants.

I am trying to understand which has better road conditions to make for an easier drive from Three Rondavels - towards Hazyview or Phalaborwa...appreciate suggestions.

Thanks again.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Mischief » Wed May 24, 2017 9:30 pm

I would then recommend going in at Paul Kruger Gate if you leave Hazyview early in the morning like at sunrise.This is only about 30 km's from Hazyview so you should be in the Park by 8am.
On your way into Skukuza a stop at Lake a Panic Bird a Hide is a must and then at onwards for a pit stop at Skukuza but then concentrate on sticking to the main tar road from Skukuza to Satara and then onto Olifants.This is going to take the most part of the day but you are in the Park and therein lies the beauty.You will be travelling through bush area well known for many spectacular game sightings but the motto in any game park is surely "in the right place at the right time" .You must also take the opportunity of having a pit stop at Tshokwane Picnic Stop where you might want to have a cup of coffee and something to eat.Lovely lovely picnic spot that was revamped and refurbished in 2016.
There are several waterholes and dams along this route which will normally boast some wildlife from impalas to elephants.Another pit stop at Satara and then off you forge to Olifants...you will have a full day of driving but it will be do worthwhile.

I hope you have booked your accommodation at Olifants by now as June - July are a long school holiday period and the accommodation can be very difficult to obtain as dome people book and secure there reservations at least 10-12 months in advance.Get your accommodation booked and secured first to avoid any disappointment!
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by junglebird » Thu May 25, 2017 11:21 am

Thanks for the detailed reply Mischief.

My plans have changed yet again as I tried to fit in Lower Sabie but it paid off as I finally managed to secure a bungalow there. So now after the Panorama Route, I'll return to Hazyview and head to Lower Sabie instead of Olifants (the dates worked out better this way).

Meanwhile I missed the Olifants availability and have that open yet but tied up everything else.

Thanks again.

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by siska » Mon May 29, 2017 2:30 am

hi! i will stay a night at pretoriouskop on July'17 and the next day will go to graskop.

1. if i start drive from riverside mall about 2pm, which gate is best to take? numbi, or phebani gate? i'm solo female, which route is more safety?

2. if i do morning walk and then go to graskop thru orpen gate, will i catch the time before the gate is closed?or should i pass the morning walk? how long it takes for morning walk?

thanks
siska

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Mon May 29, 2017 4:31 am

A very warm welcome Siska. :gflower:

I often travel alone and the Numbi Gate is very safe if you travel from Hazyview. I also travel on my own for many trip. Safety is not an issue.

It should take you about an hour and a half from the Riverside Mall to Hazyview. I do not like to be rushed, as the traffic is unpredictable. That would leave about 2 hours to drive to the camp. If you make it in good time to Hazyview, there should be no problem with taking Phabeni Gate. That would be my first choice. It gives you a chance to drive the S3 to Pretorius Kop.

There should be absolutely no problem with time and a morning walk. The gates close at 5:30 in July. I think the drive to Graskop would best be done in daylight though. A morning walk can take about 3-4 hours, if you consider the drive to the drop off point.
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by siska » Mon May 29, 2017 5:38 am

thank your advice! [SMILING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]

how long it takes to drive from pkop to orpen gate normaly?

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Mon May 29, 2017 12:12 pm

The distance from Pretoriuskop camp to Orpen Gate, according to the Kruger map book and using tar roads, is 193 km and travelling at an average 25 km/hour (which is realistic allowing for game viewing and stops) would take between 7 and 8 hours.

Graskop is quite a long way from Orpen Gate - where do you plan to spend the night? Graskop can also be easily reached from Hazyview - exit the park at Phabeni gate, go through Hazyview and then up to Graskop. Why do you want to go via Orpen?
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by siska » Mon May 29, 2017 12:20 pm

hi hippotragus! i'd like to have safari tour to spend the day before i go to graskop. because i will arrive a day before at noon and i can do sunset drive only..or do you have another idea for the route?

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by harrys » Mon May 29, 2017 2:23 pm

Hi there

What will be the best route from Boksburg to Orpen please
Say NO to hotels in KNP!!!

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Mon May 29, 2017 3:15 pm

I agree, isinkwe. I wouldn't want to tow a caravan over that pass. Also, if you get stuck behind a big slow truck, it can delay you a lot.

The R40 is not great, but a better bet.

Have a safe trip, harrys.
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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by harrys » Mon May 29, 2017 3:30 pm

Thanks for the advice I however won't be towing. On my gps it shows a road from Belfast to Orpen, is that advised
Say NO to hotels in KNP!!!

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Re: Driving (best route) to/from Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Mon May 29, 2017 3:47 pm

The Belfast-Dullstroom-Lydenburg road usually has potholes (they fix them and then they spring up again). The road goes from Lydenburg to Ohrigstad and then over the Abel Erasmus Pass towards Hoedspruit. Before Hoedspruit you take the R531, signed Orpen Gate, Klaserie. The road is OK - there were roadworks on the Pass, don't know if they are still ongoing. Travelling in daylight and driving carefully, you should be OK.
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