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Addo: Getting There

Addo, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra
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jjames04
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Karoo NP to Addo - Best Route

Unread post by jjames04 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:35 am

Hello,

My wife and I are visiting from Canada at the end of September and after spending some time in Cape Town will be spending two nights in Karoo NP. After that we're off to Addo NP for three nights before returning to CT via the Garden Route. Both TomTom and Google Maps offer multiple routes to get from Karoo to Addo with the shortest (time wise) going through Graaf-Reinet. If anyone has any recommendations for routes and anything interesting to see along the way, we would be most appreciative. Thanks!

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Re: Karoo NP to Addo - Best Route

Unread post by canon » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:26 am

Beaufort West to Addo
Last edited by canon on Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Karoo NP to Addo - Best Route

Unread post by canon » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:36 am

This is the route that I would suggest. I lived in the Klipplaat area for many years so know the area quite well. The trip would involve a trip on a ground road from Aberdeen Road to Baroe siding but generally the road is in good condition. Here goes

Beaufort West to Aberdeen R61 153km
Aberdeen to Aberdeen Road R338 39km
Aberdeen Rd to Klipplaat R338 35km
Klipplaat to Baroe R338 34km
Baroe to Wolwefontein R329 27km
Turn right at Wolwefontein R75
Pass through Kleinpoort and Glenconner R75
Turn left to Kirkwood onto R336 R75 47km (do not miss this turn-off)
From turn-off to Kirkwood R336 19km
Kirkwood to Addo via Summerville R 336 31km

Note that when travelling from Kirkwood to Addo you will be meandering up the Sundays River Valley. Just before you reach Addo (town) you will reach a T-Junction. Turn left at this junction onto the R342 and you will reach the Addo National Park after about 12 km (on your right)
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Re: Karoo NP to Addo - Best Route

Unread post by jjames04 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:30 am

Canon,

Thanks for the info! Would there be a good location along this route that you would recommend for lunch? Thanks!

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Re: Karoo NP to Addo - Best Route

Unread post by HoepHoep » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:16 am

Hi and welcome to the Forum.
You will always get good advice here, but sometimes conflicting.

Canon have given you the shortest route and certainly an attractive route. It should be more or less 385km, therefore an leisurely drive for a day. Canon knows the area quite well and really gave you a detail trip suggestion.

My solution is the longer route, about 475km. BWest - Aberdeen - Graaff Reinett - Pearston - Somerset East - Addo Park. This route however takes you through Graaff Reinett and a 1 or 2 hour visit to the Valley of Desolation in the Camdeboo Park is possible. This is one of the most extraordinary places on this planet to visit and an extra 100km is a small price to pay. Even if this means arriving an hour or two later in Addo, I still beleive it to be worth while.

Have a look on the forum for some photo's of this wonder of nature. The vantage point point is only a few kms from the centre of town. Graaff Reinett is known as the jewel of the Karoo, so do allow 30min to leisurely drive through this historic town with its abundance of restored historical buildings.

You will find the rest of the towns between BWest and Addo pretty ordinary and there is not a lot of scenery apart from the vast plains of the Karoo. That is a beauty in itself.

Note that this route will give you access to the Southern Gate of Addo, so you must allow 60min to drive through the Park to the main camp.

Life is all about choices :D
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My latest trip report to Addo during June 2009:
http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=34300

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Re: Karoo NP to Addo - Best Route

Unread post by jjames04 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:14 am

HoepHoep,

Thanks so much for the additional info, now I have some choices to make. About what time would we have to leave Karoo in order to spend a couple of hours in Camdeboo and still make it to Addo before registration closes? This considering I'll be on about day four of getting used to driving on the left side of the road so probably won't be going much over the speed limit at any point on our trip.

The Valley of Desolation definitely looks like an interesting place to see while we're there.....so much to see and do but so little time. Thanks again!

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Re: Karoo NP to Addo - Best Route

Unread post by HoepHoep » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:25 am

Hi

First of all: driving on the "wrong side"
Remember you are on country roads and may not see another car for many kilometers. You will only overtake a slow vehicle every 15 to 30min. Some of the roads that you will travel may not have any curves for 50km or more. Admittedly there is a mountain pass between Cookhouse and Pearson, but nothing to worry about - a beautiful road.

Leave Karoo so that you can leave Beaufort West at 08:00 (It gets light early in September.)

Travel on the R61 to Aberdeen and then on the N9 on to Graaff Reinett. 225km 2,5 hours.

Arrive 10:30. Visit Valley of Desolation and town and lunch: 3 hours. Leave 13:30

Drive on the R63 to Pearston and Somerset East. 136km 1,5 hours.
Arrive and depart Somerset east 15:00.

Drive on R63 to Cookhouse and then N10 to Paterson and Colchestor 120 km 1,5 hours. arrive 16:30

This is only 5 minutes from the South Gate.

Both Somerset East and Colchestor have decent shops for stocking up.
Hope this help.
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My latest trip report to Addo during June 2009:
http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=34300

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Re: Karoo NP to Addo - Best Route

Unread post by jjames04 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:43 am

Thanks a bunch for the great directions.....I think we'll try for the Valley of Desolation to add another SANP to our list and see what looks to be a truly magnificent sight. :)

We're so looking forward to this trip as it's something we never thought possible until I had to go to Pretoria this past May for work and realized that an African wildlife trip could be a "do it yourself" trip and not one of those very expensive all inclusive deals where the lodge staff does everything for you but eat and sleep. Definitely not my cup of tea.

Thanks again for the great advice!

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Advice on traveling from Zuurberg to Addo Main Rest Camp

Unread post by salsameisje » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:27 pm

Hello,

I'm planning my trip to South Africa and we will stay at Addo Elephant Back Safari Lodge in Zuurberg and then we would like to stay at Addo Main Rest Camp.

Is it possible to drive through the Addo park starting at Zuurberg and ending at the Main Rest CAmp and also see some animals and stop for lunch?

Please advise on route, driving times and where to stop for drinks or lunch.

Thank you!

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Re: Advice on traveling from Zuurberg to Addo Main Rest Camp

Unread post by Addo Elephant » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:54 pm

Hi salsameisje,

Addo Elephant Back Safari Lodge is not located with the Addo Elephant National Park but is a private business outside of the Park. You will drive from there to Addo main camp on the Zuurberg Pass road (R335) which is a gravel road and this will take you about an hour.

Once you are at Addo main camp, there are plenty of places to stop for lunch - the Park restuarant or the picnic site at main camp or the picnic site in the main game area.
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Best route to Addo from Durbanville, Western Cape

Unread post by hanliemarais » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:29 am

Hi all!!

I was wondering which route to take to Addo. I was planning to leave early the morning, drive as close to the park as possible. Sleep over in a town near to the park, and then the next morning first thing to set off to the park.

Any advise will be much appreciated..

LionWhisperer

Re: Best route to Addo from Durbanville, Western Cape

Unread post by LionWhisperer » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:26 am

Hi there HM
I would say R300 to the N2, then N2 all the way to Addo.

Last year, when I went to Addo (From Bothasig) we left at 06h00, stopped every 2 hours, did some photos in Knysna, and shopping in PE, and made it to Park reception at 16h00. We did not rush at all and we did not speed once during the whole jourey.

I hope this helps.

Regards

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Re: Best route to Addo from Durbanville, Western Cape

Unread post by Henk » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:02 am

Hello Hanlie
LionWhisperer gave you one option, but there is a alternative route.
I live in Bonnievale and also need to decide between N2 via Garden Route or to go inland. I drove both before and I preper the latter. (maybe its because I go to Plettenbergbay often and know the N2 well. Its a beautifull route, but takes ages between George and Plet).

The alternative is to take the N1 to Worcester. The R60 and R62 to Oudtshoorn and then pass De Rust to Willowmore. From there the R329 to Steytlerville and onwards to Kirkwood. This route is about 750 km which is the same as N2 to PE.
Keep in mind that the part between Willowmore and Steytlerville is a single car tar surface and you need to give way with one wheel on gravel if there's a car coming from the front, but there's not lots of cars in the Karoo and this only happens once or twice. :lol:

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Re: Best route to Addo from Durbanville, Western Cape

Unread post by Henk » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:48 am

Hanlie

I was in Stilbay over the weekend and there's roadworks with stop-go between Swellendam and Riversdal on the N2, which can cost you about 30-45 minutes. So check the status of the roadworks at the time you're going.

Regards
Henk

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Re: Karoo NP to Addo - Best Route

Unread post by annabelleh » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:57 am

Hi James,

Great to hear that you're coming to visit our beautiful country. The information you've received thus far has been fantastic, except for one thing. The little towns between Beaufort and Addo are all special in their own way. Although you have the vast plains of the Karoo, Somerset East is like a little green oasis in the midst of this. You may even want to spend the night here (I'm from Somerset East), as we have something really special in the Walter Battiss Art Museum. Feel free to visit the tourism website, www.somerseteasttourism.co.za for more information on our fantastic little town. :thumbs_up:

Even if this is too late for this trip, perhaps you can add it in for your next visit to South Africa.


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