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Is this a reasonable plan? - driving from J'burg to Kruger

Calgary, Canada
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Is this a reasonable plan? - driving from J'burg to Kruger

We will be arriving in Johannesburg on a Thursday evening, picking up a rental car at the airport and heading to a hotel in Sandton or Rosebank. We have reservations at Elephant Plains on Monday night.

I was thinking about going to the Rosebank Market on Sunday morning, and then leaving J'burg in the afternoon. We'd drive to Graskop and spend the night there.

On Monday, we'd head up the Panorama route on our way to Elephant Plains.

We'd like to see the Blyde Canyon Overlook and Bourke's Luck Potholes, and won't be going back to J'burg from Kruger.

Port Elizabeth
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1. Re: Is this a reasonable plan? - driving from J'burg to Kruger

Make sure you are at Elephant Plains at their check-in time. The very latest that you want to get there is 3.30pm.

South Africa
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2. Re: Is this a reasonable plan? - driving from J'burg to Kruger

It's doable, but I would recommend getting to Elephant Plains as early as possible to make the most of your time on safari. From rosebank to Graskop is a good 4 hours. I would recommend an early start on the Monday because you can easily spend the whole morning along the Panorama Route, and when you leave Blyde Canyon it's still a good two hours minimum to Elephant Plains. I would aim to arrive there by 1pm, so have enough time for checking in and enjoy lunch before heading out on the afternoon game drive. Personally, I would perhaps give the market a skip and get to Graskop earlier, and spend some of Sunday afternoon exploring the Panorama route, to take pressure off Monday morning. Just a thought.

Onne from Wild Wings Safaris

Cape Town
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3. Re: Is this a reasonable plan? - driving from J'burg to Kruger

If you want to do the Panorama Route (which I would recommend) plus safari is obviously a priority, why spend three days in Joburg? Or do you have friends or family there to visit?

Two days is plenty (some would say less!). Leave Joburg Saturday late morning and you will have plenty of relaxing time to get to EP by early Monday afternoon. No rush at all!

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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4. Re: Is this a reasonable plan? - driving from J'burg to Kruger

As good a diversion as the Rosebank Market is - all of the advice above rings true. To spend 3 nights in Johannesburg just to see it really isn't a good use of your time. Unless you need to be in Johannesburg, I would stay somewhere at or near the airport and hit the road the next morning.

If you want a day in Jo'Burg to visit the Apartheid Museum, maybe Soweto, then that would be good. But then, leave. And print this map to help you get to the Gowrie Gate. One of the other lodges has it on their site, but it's an invaluable tool for the drive to that entry point to Sabi Sand Reserve: chitwa.co.za/Chitwa_Map_and_Directions.pdf

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Is this a reasonable plan? - driving from J'burg to Kruger

We would only have 2 days in Johannesburg under the original plan. Our flight gets in at 9pm on Thursday. The day is already over, and we haven't even cleared customs yet. So we have Friday and Saturday to see Johannesburg and Sunday morning at the market. I have a weakness for international marketplaces, I love seeing the local handiwork, so this is the place I most want to see in Johannesburg.

I am extremely nervous about spending too much time out in the bush. A few years ago, we took a road trip through the SW US; Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, ancient Indian villages, etc, and within a week, my husband said "I am sick of looking at rocks, can we just go to Las Vegas?" We have up to 10 days in game parks and national parks, and I don't want him turning to me at any point and saying "Honey, I've seen enough lions, where's the nearest roller coaster?" He'll enjoy all of it, but I have to ensure there's plenty of variety. I think he'd kill me if I planned 2 days of looking at a canyon, and then I'd miss the safari completely. :-) I had been thinking more of a drive by and stop for a couple of photos here and there. 2 nights seems like way too much for that.

But I realize now I had misunderstood the check-in time for EP. I had read 3pm (13:00, oops), which I took to be like any other hotel, you can't get to your room before 3pm. So I figured as long as we got there by 6pm we were fine. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

6. Re: Is this a reasonable plan? - driving from J'burg to Kruger

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