We are going to be on our way to Nhonguane Lodge (Santa Maria, through the Elephant park in Moz) in late December. We have two nights in the Kruger, with 3 nights to kill inbetween before we're booked at Nhonguane.

Is Lebombo much quieter after Christmas? Do anybody know the latest in terms of December waiting times (a 2016 experience would be helpful). This way we would have the 3 nights in the Kruger, because the way I see it, there is not much of interest between the border and our destination. Is Swaziland (e.g. Goba) much quicker? Then we have a quicker border crossing into Moz, and we spend 3 night somewhere nice in Swaziland.

Second option: Since we are going to be in the Kruger prior to our visit anyway, and we have 3 nights to kill in between, we are considering Giriyondo, just for the sake of something different, and though we take (days) longer, at least we don't spend 5 hours at a border post. Possibly overnight in Covane Community Lodge, 2 nights Bilene, and then drive to Nhonguane. Any thoughts about the drive from Bilene to the elephant park gate? I am wondering what the state of the ring road is, are driving through Maputu and the ferry (guessing the bridge won't be completed).

Anybody has the latest on the Giryondo to EN1 route?

Lot's of questions here. Any thoughts and any aspect would be appreciated. My questions are about the routes/borders involved, not so much the destinations:

This would help:

Border crossing perspectives:
Lebombo vs Giriyondo vs Goba in late December.

Road conditions:
Giriyondo to Bilene.
Bilene through/around Maputu to Elephant Reserve gate.
Goba to Ele Reserve gate.

I don't need advice on where in the Kruger. Our current booking is Skukuza but I'll change the last night to further north if we were to exit at Giriyondo.