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Mpumalanga

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Dublin
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29 posts
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Mpumalanga

My husband and I are flying into Jo'burg in early August and have 7 nights before we catch our onward flight to Cape Town. I'm not sure about driving times so was hoping for some advice. We were going to spend 3 nights in Watervale Onder in Heysbrook Country Lodge and continue on to Jock Safari Lodge for 2 nights. Then from there we would like to stay somewhere around the panorama route, possibly Hazyview, for 2 nights.

I have a few questions:

Will we need a 4x4 to drive to Jock Safari Lodge?

How long should it take us to get from Watervale Onder to Kruger?

How long should it take to get Jo'burg Airport from Hazyview?

What will the weather be like in early August?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Cary, North Carolina
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1. Re: Mpumalanga

I will answer your questions in the same order.

1) No

2) About 1-2 hours

3) About 3-4 hours

4) I assume you are referring to the weather in the Kruger NP. In the Lowveld (low lying area) where the Kruger NP is situated, the days are warm but the nights can be cold. Up on the Drakensberg Escarpment like along the Panorama Route the temperatures can be considerably colder (day and night) because of the high altitude.

Werner

Eko Tracks

Howick, South Africa
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2. Re: Mpumalanga

Before offering advice, have you a reason for choosing Watervaal Onder? (In my opinion it's somehwere to drive through on your way to somehwere else.)

Johannesburg, South...
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3. Re: Mpumalanga

Hi.

From Hazyview to JHB airport takes around 4.5 to 5 hours. (3-4 hours is a bit ambitious.)

---------------------------------------------------

Cambalala - Kruger Park Lodge, Hazyview.

Dublin
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4. Re: Mpumalanga

The reason we were going to stop in Watervale Onder was because we will be doing a lot of travelling on the first part of our trip so we just wanted somewhere to chill for a few days. We were thinking of staying at Heysbrook Country Lodge. Is this a nice place? We were hoping for some warm weather so maybe there is a better place to stop off? Any suggestions?

Pretoria, South...
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5. Re: Mpumalanga

Hello Jinsky,

My 2 cents worth ...

Confirming you don't need a 4X4 (a standard sedan will do the trick).

Waterval Onder should take you about 2 hours to Malalane gate (about 160km I think), and about 2.5 hours to Numbi gate (about 200km). You can use either route to Jocks. You'll be travelling through some densely densely popoulated areas, and also some urban areas with lots of traffic lights.

Once you're in the park, I'd allow another 2 hours or so to get to the lodge (work on an average speed of 20 to 25km/hr, or even less if you're going to get the most out of it).

Allow at least 8 hours for your journey from Hazyview to Jhb airport. It can be done in 5 hours of hard driving, but you don't want to be driving too hard to meet a flight. Rather allow more time and take it easy (and allow for roadworks along the way).

The weather should be crisp to cold in the mornings, and warm during the day (low to mid 20's). Rain is very unlikely. It's the depths of winter.

I'm surprised about your choice of Heysbrook in Waterval Onder. It's a beautiful area, but not a popular stop over place. Not that that's a problem. There's not a lot to do except relax. It's very chilled, in more ways than one (LOL). Waterval Onder will be cooler than Kruger - it sits right at the bottom of the escarpment in a type of gorge (not quite, but almost). Expect sub-zero at night. However, that's no reason not to love the place. Paul Kruger himself did - it was his last home before he went into exile more than 100 years ago.

Pretoria, South...
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6. Re: Mpumalanga

By the way, Heysbrook itself is great.

And you can use Waterval Onder as a base to explore other places in the area.

Dublin
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7. Re: Mpumalanga

Thanks a million for all the input. We may just stop over in Heysbrook to break up our journey and spend more time where the weather is a bit warmer. I'm sure we'll be craving some sunshine after another cold, wet summer in Dublin!

Paris, France
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8. Re: Mpumalanga

Just a thought if you were hoping for some warmth in August (winter time in south africa) then staying in the lowveld would be much better than Watervale Onder (it is in the highveld so has cooler temperatures that time of year) I also agree it is only a place to drive through not to stay. A suggestion would be to drive to somewhere like Buhala Game Lodge www.buhala.co.za which is on the Crocodile River near Crocodile Bridge entrance to the Kruger (only 4 hours drive from the airport on good dual carriageway) You could then easily self drive through the Kruger Park for half a day on route to Jock Safari Lodge. It is also very near the Swaziland or Mozambique borders if you wanted a day trip. When we come to SA we always go straight to Buhala from the airport for 3 days and can highly recommend it. I love arriving from a cold europe each february to sit on their terrace for dinner listening to all the african night sounds which again cannot be experienced up in W O.

Pretoria, South...
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9. Re: Mpumalanga

WOW Frenchpoodle,

I like your description. I can almost taste that air and hear the night sounds ... I'm looking for a new advertising agent ...

But I've just read my own post again, and I'm blushing terribly ... I never realised my spelling could be so bad. And as for the stutter ... LOL!

Paris, France
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10. Re: Mpumalanga

bushkido - thanks for the job offer - if the job comes along with dinner every night on a stoep listening to lions roar in the background, elephants rustling , hippos snorting in a river, a dozen mysterious eyes looking at me when I shine my torch, that magical sounds of crickets - all under the milky way and and that very special african night sky I will accept - but I think sadly not possible in Pretoria so I must decline!!!