Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger





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  1. #1
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    Default Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Dear Forum member,

    We are planning a trip for 3 1/2 week to Kruger which is already booked (September 2019).

    This time we would like to spend a bit more time and enjoy the magnificent surroundings.
    Therefore, I will drive the last part slowly and sleep over somewhere around Belfast and the last hotel stop just in front of orphen gate to get in early to Satara camp.

    Following route seems the best but if you guys could advise if this is indeed so?

    Thanks for your kind support in advance.
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Hi

    Sleep over in Dullstroom, Belfast is not great. Dullstroom only 30km further.

    Your route to Pelgrims is strange. You shouldn't drive through ohrigstad, you'll see on the map there is a road straight between your route and Pelgrims rest.

    For scenic roads you could also just drive straight to hoedspruit/maruleng. Nice passes and a few sights then down to open.

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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    The first part of you route is fine up until Lydenburg. From there I would head to Sabi via the Long Tom pass, then to Graskop (maybe take a little side trip to God's Window and 3 Rondavels). From Graskop you will have to head through Bushbuck Ridge, which will drive you nuts, but with a lot of patience and care you will be fine. This will bring you out at Acornhoek and the turn-off to Orpen is just past Acornhoek.

    The route via Ohrigstad is boring in my view and not a lot to see.
    As GKE said, forget sleeping in Belfast, the whole place has become a dump, rather overnight in Dulstroom
    Last edited by TonyP; 2019/02/16 at 12:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Agreed with all the above - Dullstroom has some great accommodation options, Belfast not.
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    I also vote for the Dulstroom sleepover and then go Lydenburg, Sabie, Graskop and then the rest of your route.
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    We just returned from a five night holiday in Graskop and had a wonderful time exploring the surrounds. I agree with the others, rather overnight in Dullstroom. A full day between Dullstroom and Secret Hill Lodge is plenty of time to explore many sights. My route advise: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Dull...2d-24.4744!3e0.

    From the R36 north of Lydenburg turn right onto the R533 to Pilgrim's Rest. Explore Pilgrim's Rest, but decline offers by car guards to wash your car (they expect R80 for it!) and do not allow yourselves to get harassed by hawkers and beggars. Pay some dude R10 to watch your car while you explore the town, it's really special. Then go back over the bridge and take the Vaalhoek Road (gravel but ok condition and very beautiful) to Bourke's Luck Potholes. Explore the potholes and drive a little north to the Three Rondawels lookout point over the Blyde River Canyon. Drive south on the R532 and have lunch at Potluck Boskombuis just south of Bourke's Luck; take cash as there is no electricity and all food is prepared on open fires. Good food in a stunning natural setting. Continue south on the R532 and turn left on the R534 (Panorama Route) to Wonderview, God's Window and The Pinnacle. After Graskop on the R533, visit the Graskop Lift Co and take the 51 metre high elevator that puts you down right in the rainforest and take the circular wooden boardwalk trail through the forest past the majestic waterfall. This is a new and extremely pleasant facility! Have a craft beer at the Lift Café afterwards! Continue down Kowyn's Pass (R533) to Secret Hill Lodge. Enjoy!
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    And try to leave Dullstroom before 08:00, otherwise the day will feel rushed.
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Hi jpseekles

    Not sure if your plans are set in stone yet but seeing as your first request was for most beautiful route to KNP my personal suggestion for most beautiful route to KNP would be as follows. I see you are currently in Shanghai and assume that you will fly into ORT.

    Take the N1 North to Polokwane, turn right on the R77 towards Tzaneen (lots of beautiful options to sleep over) drive via Letsitele and Gravelotte to Hoedspruit, spend a night in one of a 100 options in and around Hoedspruit and head into KNP via Orpen Gate on route to Satara.

    Enjoy your holiday.
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Quote Originally Posted by Bush Boy View Post
    Hi jpseekles

    Not sure if your plans are set in stone yet but seeing as your first request was for most beautiful route to KNP my personal suggestion for most beautiful route to KNP would be as follows. I see you are currently in Shanghai and assume that you will fly into ORT.

    Take the N1 North to Polokwane, turn right on the R77 towards Tzaneen (lots of beautiful options to sleep over) drive via Letsitele and Gravelotte to Hoedspruit, spend a night in one of a 100 options in and around Hoedspruit and head into KNP via Orpen Gate on route to Satara.

    Enjoy your holiday.
    Problem with this is, from Jhb to Tzaneen there is nothing to see. From Tzaneen it is beautiful onwards. So 75% of your trip is wasted. Where as the other route you have a scenic route from Belfast onwards. So only 25% is wasted.

    This my opinion, others might not agree.
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Quote Originally Posted by LandyLove View Post
    Problem with this is, from Jhb to Tzaneen there is nothing to see. From Tzaneen it is beautiful onwards. So 75% of your trip is wasted. Where as the other route you have a scenic route from Belfast onwards. So only 25% is wasted.

    This my opinion, others might not agree.
    agree 100%
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  20. #11
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens78 View Post
    We just returned from a five night holiday in Graskop and had a wonderful time exploring the surrounds. I agree with the others, rather overnight in Dullstroom. A full day between Dullstroom and Secret Hill Lodge is plenty of time to explore many sights. My route advise: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Dull...2d-24.4744!3e0.

    From the R36 north of Lydenburg turn right onto the R533 to Pilgrim's Rest. Explore Pilgrim's Rest, but decline offers by car guards to wash your car (they expect R80 for it!) and do not allow yourselves to get harassed by hawkers and beggars. Pay some dude R10 to watch your car while you explore the town, it's really special. Then go back over the bridge and take the Vaalhoek Road (gravel but ok condition and very beautiful) to Bourke's Luck Potholes. Explore the potholes and drive a little north to the Three Rondawels lookout point over the Blyde River Canyon. Drive south on the R532 and have lunch at Potluck Boskombuis just south of Bourke's Luck; take cash as there is no electricity and all food is prepared on open fires. Good food in a stunning natural setting. Continue south on the R532 and turn left on the R534 (Panorama Route) to Wonderview, God's Window and The Pinnacle. After Graskop on the R533, visit the Graskop Lift Co and take the 51 metre high elevator that puts you down right in the rainforest and take the circular wooden boardwalk trail through the forest past the majestic waterfall. This is a new and extremely pleasant facility! Have a craft beer at the Lift Café afterwards! Continue down Kowyn's Pass (R533) to Secret Hill Lodge. Enjoy!

    Hi Once more I would like to thank you for your detailed advice.
    I will follow up your advises on the route as it sounds as the best option for us.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Counter intuitively we do it differently as caravanner's and we camp at Satara a lot. Have done the other routes proposed, nearly lost my brakes towing my Penta down the Graskop route so not doing that again. Also a tough towing route so out for us but it is real pretty.

    We go down the N4 to Nelspruit. Then we head up the outside of the park on the R40, White River, Hazyview, Bushbuckridge. This way you get to see the nice drop off the escarpment from Belfast, down through Waterfal Boven and Onder down to Nelspruit. Or you can take the Schoemanskloof pass road and bypass Waterfal Boven and Onder. The two roads to Nelspruit are equidistant.

    Then you drive up past through all the nice plantations through White River, Hazyview, some nice dams enroute.

    So all routes to Satara (as per Garmin) are;

    The Northern most route is 627km and 8h17m elapsed time.
    The route over Graskop is 543km and 7h40m elapsed time.
    The route down to Nelspuit and up the western side of the Kruger is 556km and 7h00m elapsed time.

    I would chose from the bottom 2. If not towing then try the middle route.

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  23. #13
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    If you've never driven Long Tom pass from Lydenburg to Sabi, it a must. From Sabi to Graskop is also a very pretty drive. That gets you to Graskop where yo can easily take in the other special places like 3 Rondavels and God's Window
    Last edited by TonyP; 2019/06/16 at 11:38 AM.
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  25. #14
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyP View Post
    If you've never driven Long Tom pass from Lydenburg to Sabi, it a must. From Sabi to Graskop is also a very pretty drive. That gets you to Graskop where yo can easily take in the other special places like 3 Rondavels and God's Window

    Hi Tony,

    So you advise this route?

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Dull...2d-24.4744!3e0

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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    That's the one. Your route from Dullstroom to Sabi is spot-on. On the leg from Dullstroom to Lydenburg be on the lookout for potholes, but maybe by Sept they will have completed the repairs.
    Lydenburg to Sabi takes you down the spectacular escarpment over Long Tom pass, named after the famous massive siege gun used during the Boer War. Drive slowly keeping an eye out for the odd roadside lay-bye where you can pull over to take pictures.
    When you get to Sabi you may feel like a coffee, the Woodsman is a reasonable spot.

    From Sabi you have many options.
    I see you would like to take a look at Pilgrims, if you're pushed for time you can give the big loop a miss and go from Sabi straight to Graskop. This will mean you give Pilgrims a miss. From Graskop you can check out God's Window and run up to 3 Rondavels and then back track to Graskop.

    From Graskop your route is spot on again.

    From a timing point of view, the section from Graskop through Bushbuck Ridge can be a bit frustrating with taxis, people and dependent on timing, trucks. So for your own sanity, there's no point in leaving yourself short of time, but if you leave Dullstroom nice and early you can take it all in easily.
    Enjoy and don't forget to post pics of your holiday.
    Last edited by TonyP; 2019/06/18 at 12:31 AM.
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  28. #16
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyP View Post

    From Sabi you have many options.
    I see you would like to take a look at Pilgrims, if you're pushed for time you can give the big loop a miss and go from Sabi straight to Graskop. This will mean you give Pilgrims a miss. From Graskop you can check out God's Window and run up to 3 Rondavels and then back track to Graskop.

    Dont fotget about the berlin and lisbon falls, also mac mac between graskop and sabi. Few waterfalls in sabi as well.

    From Graskop your route is spot on again.

    From a timing point of view, the section from Graskop through Bushbuck Ridge can be a bit frustrating with taxis, people and dependent on timing, trucks. So for your own sanity, there's no point in leaving yourself short of time,

    We returned from Swadini yesterday and the bushbuckridge stretch was a nightmare with the public holiday! Wreckless driving with cars stopping to urinate and discard of bottles all along the route. Usually not a bad route but on holidays and weekends it is certainly worse. Key when using this route is patience and you will be fine.
    Time is what you need. If you pass the orpen turn off, you can take the marieps kop road in Klaserie to go up to marieps kop, an old army radio station. Most spectacular views. But you need about 2-3 hours to do this and take it all in.
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  30. #17
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Instead of trying to do everything en-route to kruger, why dont you do some spots going there and the rest going back? Remember that you need to be in kruger by a certain time. Going back to jhb you have a highway and you can return after dark. I can propose a wonderful circle route if you want to do this. Are you returning from Orpen as well?
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  32. #18
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    The way I understand it, JP will be staying the night just outside Orpen Gate so he has no issues with gate closing times, he will probably be waiting patiently for gate opening time.
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  33. #19
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    Default Re: Advice needed on most beautiful route to kruger

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyP View Post
    The way I understand it, JP will be staying the night just outside Orpen Gate so he has no issues with gate closing times, he will probably be waiting patiently for gate opening time.

    That's correct, thanks for your good advises,

    Cheers,

    johan

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