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Advice please on best route Johannesburg, Graskop, Oliphants

Kent, UK
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Advice please on best route Johannesburg, Graskop, Oliphants

We are arriving in J'burg at about 07.00 on a Friday in early Sept, going to Graskop for the first night and then onto Oliphants. I would really appreciate any views on the best route, taking in the best of the Panorama route on the way. The two options I was thinking of were (1) going straight to Graskop (Day 1) and then up past the Three Rondavels on Day 2 and into the Phalaborwa Gate... or (2) doing the bulk of the Panorama route on Day 1 (possibly by going up the R36?? and then down the R532 to Graskop, and then enter Kruger on Day 2 via the Orpen Gate. I would much appreciate some feedback from locals about these possibilities. Many thanks. Stuart

Whitley Bay, United...
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1. Re: Advice please on best route Johannesburg, Graskop, Oliphants

Hi we drove that route just last year. Personally i would say if you want to fully appreciate the Panorama Route you will want to spend the best part of a day exploring the area which wont give you much time to drive to Oliphants on day 2. Try Joburg to Graskop day 1, day 2 explore the Panorama Route and possibly visit Blyde River Dam and Mohololo Animal Rehabilitation centre and overnight around the Hoedspruit area. I would recommend Blyde River Wilderness Lodge we stayed there 2 nights last year it was lovely. Day 3 enter Kruger through Orpen early morning and enjoy a leisurely game drive up to Oliphants which is stunning by the way. The viewing deck is la lovely place to relax with a sundowner or two.

We are doing a self drive again in 3 weeks time entering Kruger through Malalene Gate and staying in 5 different Restcamps over a 15 night stay we cannot wait.

Enjoy

Johannesburg, South...
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2. Re: Advice please on best route Johannesburg, Graskop, Oliphants

It is quite an easy drive to Graskop on Day 1 and you can already visit some of the panorama route sights that day.

So lets say you get out of JHB at around 10am after clearing customs, picking up rental etc. Get onto the N12 east, then onto N4. Take the turnoff at Belfast to Dullstroom. You should arrive here at around 12:30/13:00, have a quick lunch. Dullstroom is a quaint little town with lots of gift shops, cafe's etc. Leave at 14h00, drive to Sabie via Lydensburg and the LongTom Pass. You can stop on the pass at Mauchberg (highest point) or at one of the view points next to the road. This is a really beautiful pass. You should arrive in Sabie at around 15:30. From here graskop is only 30km so you have another 2 hours before it starts getting dark. Don't know what you plan on visiting on the Panorama route but you could include the Mac Mac falls as well as quick visits to God's window and Wonderview, if you don't have time for both skip God's window and visit wonderview which is the highest point and right next to the road. Pinnacle rock is also on this road.

The next day you'll have to make an early start. You need to allow yourself atleast 3-4hours from Orpen gate to Oliphants camp. So I'd leave Graskop at 07:30 and head straight for Burke's luck potholes, then the viewpoint of the Blyde river canyon before making a last stop three rondavals (latest 11am). From here you have a few options.

1. Head back to Graskop and drive to Orpen gate via Bushbuckridge

2. Head on to Hoedspruit, quick lunch enter at Orpen at latest 14:00 which gives you 4 hours to Olifants

3. Head on to Hoedspruit, then Phalaborwa and enter Kruger at latest 15:00 which gives you 3hours to Olifants

I'd opt for option 3 as it will save about an hours drive in the park, You can probably work in a quick lunch then at either Hoedspruit or Phalaborwa.

Kent, UK
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3. Re: Advice please on best route Johannesburg, Graskop, Oliphants

Many thanks, that's really helpful....We already have our accommodation booked, so it sounds as if Miki121's Option 3 will be the best bet. We have got to get some shopping as well....so we could get that at Graskop or Phalaborwa on the way in.. Thanks again Stuart

Hazyview, South...
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4. Re: Advice please on best route Johannesburg, Graskop, Oliphants

I definitely would suggest Phalaborwa for your shopping. Much better variety!

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

Kent, UK
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5. Re: Advice please on best route Johannesburg, Graskop, Oliphants

Many thanks Klaus.. Phalaborwa route plus shopping is now in the itinerary (and thanks also for all your other really helpful contributions in the Kruger forum!)

6. Re: Advice please on best route Johannesburg, Graskop, Oliphants

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