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HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

London, United...
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HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

Can someone please advise the safest, route to travel from Port elizabeth to east london. We need to catch a flight from East London in the morning, and we are planning to drive after a match in PE which starts at 8,30pm, so I imagine we will not be on the road until midnight.

I am really worried, about getting lost, or running our of fuel. Is it safe to do this drive, and what is the fastest way. Are there speed cameras along the way? Are the roads lit?

We have asked for a GPS from the car hire company and was wondering if addresses in SA have postcodes?

Durban
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1. Re: HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

I'm not too familiar with the area but I can give you some advice in general regarding driving at night. Firstly, the roads are signposted pretty well is SA so you should not get lost too easily.

Fill up you tank before you leave EL, and if you see a big roadside petrol station stop again and refill. Most routes in SA have these roadside stations that are safe to stop at (you can even get some coffee etc). It's a few hours drive but not THAT far.

Regarding speed cameras - they are everywhere. Don't worry about the fine, worry more about the fact that speeding in SA is the no 1 killer. So stick to the speed limit and at night I'd suggest that you reduce your speed. The roads in general are good, but there are always drunken pedestrians, cattle, goats etc so don't speed under any circumstances. The road is most probably not lit so be careful and aware of what's on the road.

Don't stop and ask any random person for help. If you need directions etc then go to a petrol station or something. NEVER stop on the road at ngiht, even just for a leg stretch.

You'll be ok...just be careful. Don't worry too much it's not the wild wild west!

London, United...
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2. Re: HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

Thank you for your promt reply!! Is there a particular route we should take or a main road we should stick to? Is it a 3 hr drive approx?

Pretoria
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3. Re: HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

Hi Jamine

I want to give you the best advice, which will benefit you and those with you.

But this is not the necessarily the advice you want to hear.

I want to strongly advise you not to attempt this drive at night.

Rural areas in South Africa, like the area you want to drive through is very beautiful and highly recommended in day time, but it is a nightmare at night.

In rural areas roads are not signposted well everywhere. The chances of you getting lost is significant.

The drive you are talking about is just under 300 km. At night that means 4 hours minimum. The road you want to take is not a highway all the way, a large part of the route is a relative insignificant road through a rural area. There are many goats, sheep and cattle on the road in rural areas.

I have driven more than 100 000km the last ten years on SA roads, but I would not even contemplate doing this route at night.

Can you not fly from Port Elizabeth to East Londen?

What time is you flight? Can you not leave PE at 06:00?

4. Re: HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

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East London, South...
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5. Re: HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

I live in East London and the only advice I will give you is to drive on the N2 from Port Elizaberth there are so many towns between East London and PE. From Port Elizaberth to East LOndon is about 330 km driving on the N2. There is also R76, but they are busy fixing the road, there are so many stop and go and that can delay you. If you decided to drive in the morning, try to be in East London by 05h30 am

Cape Town
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6. Re: HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

I must say I have to disagree with Navigator on this. The Route you are following is a single road the N2 National Road the whole way. Sure this is only a Motorway level road for the first part of the journey and for the last part into East London. The rest of it is mainly standard South African main Road with two lanes and hard shoulder on each side. With good visibility along the road and few sharp bends. The Road Surface, as this is a Major National Road is well maintained for the whole distance. Away from the cities and towns roads are not lit. The distance is, as Navigator says, 298km from the PE Stadium to the centre of EL (as per both my SatNav and Google Maps).

It is however an absolutely well signposted road with large modern, reflective roadsigns along the whole route – exactly the same signs as in the UK. Follow the signs N2 to GrahamsTown and then N2 to King Williams Town and East London. Nothing else to look for. I have driven this route quite often (although I admit not at night) and I would believe that it is virtually impossible to take a wrong turning. There are only two main towns on the route. Grahamstown is completely bypassed with a modern controlled access road. You go through King William’s Town but the signs would make it pretty difficult to take a wrong turning.

I would however recommend that you had a SatNav to give you peace of mind that you haven’t strayed from the road but also to enable you easily to find wherever you are heading for in EL. The SatNav will also tell you were there are service stations along the route. Many of them on the N2 will be 24 hours.

At night keep your fog-lights on as well as your headlights. This enables you to see better anything, pedestrians or a parked car on the hard shoulder. You may see a couple of guys walking home from watching the match at the local pub. In the areas where the road by-passes villages also keep your eyes out for sheep or goats along the side of the road. Being a National Road it is fenced most of the way and they mostly sleep at night as well. The other thing in your favour is that this road is a busy through route and there will be quite a bit of other traffic – trucks and private cars driving this road all through the night. Although not enough to hold you up. I reckon that you should be able to do this in not much more than 3 hours.

Finally, and importantly, share the driving. You will have had a long day and hopefully and exciting match but, hopefully, NO alcohol. Sharing the driving will keep you both alert.

Personally I would have no problem doing this drive at night.

If you want to get an idea of what this road is like (in daylight) virtually the whole route is now available on Google Street View, in Google Maps. If you haven't seen South African Street View yet just go to http://maps.google.com.

Grab the Map and Pan and Zoom until you get to the area between PE and EL. In Map view you will be able to see the route along the N2. Then grab the Orange Man and put him anywhere the road shows up in blue. Zoom in to be sure you are on the N2. Put the circle on the road, click and bingo you are in Street View and can see exactly what the road is like. You can now rotate and navigate around. Either double-clicking along the stripe on the road or via the map window at the bottom. Then you can look around to get an idea of what the road is like at any point along the route. Hopefully this will give you more confidence of what the drive is like.

Edited: 17 June 2010, 23:20
Cape Town
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7. Re: HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

I'm with Van-de_Caab - this isnt a pleasant route to do at night, but if you need to drive it, then it is do-able. I have done it in the dark - but probably 10 years ago so cant advise on the current quality of road. It is all on the N2 however, and East London will be on the sign posts.

Seeing as you asked about speed cameras, I feel I should advise you to take it slow - it will be very dark and there is a high possibility of farm animals on the road.

8. Re: HELP driving from port elizabeth to east london at night?

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