driving from JNB to Sabi Sands

Mar 18th, 2008, 05:34 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 195
driving from JNB to Sabi Sands

Hi everyone,

I have posted a question about booking a room with MPBeds.com. I will update that thread once I hear back from MTBeds.

Meanwhile, I am wondering if we should drive ourselves from JNB to Sabi Sands (probably Exeter Dulini Lodge). We are considering this because of the difference in price between renting a car and flying. What is your advice, in terms of road conditions and safety? We have driven around Cape Town and Namibia before, if that helps or makes any difference.

Thank you!
ngodeia is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 193
What a waste of a car you are going to pick it up in Johannesburg drive to Exeter and leave it there for 5 days and then drive it back...nah a waste of time and effort.

If you were going to do this I would pick up car, drive and see something on route so overnight and see the Panorama Route, then spend 3 nights at exeter and then drive back and stop en route adn see another part of the area in stead of spending all the time in one place!
Doogle is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 07:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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However to answer the question, it's a fairly easy drive - excellent roads for the most part, although the R40 (past Nelspruit) can be slow in places, with a lot of pedestrians and slow/stopping minivans. I'd allow a good 5 hours from JNB (airport).

As Doogle says, I'd definitely include a spin through Panoramic Route while in the area - some amazing scenery which is extremely accessible if you have a car in that area.
Gardyloo is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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Posts: 195
Thanks for the Panoramic Route tip! I only have six nights in SA and the first night has to be in Jo'burg because of the flight schedule. I already feel that 5 nights on safari is not enough, which is why I am quite hesitant to take any detour. Is it possible to just drive through without overnighting? How will this change the drive time? (As you can probably tell, I know nothing about the Panoramic Route.)
ngodeia is offline  
Mar 18th, 2008, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I certainly wouldn't trade any of my gameviewing days for anything else!

You could do the scenic drive and everything else suggested, but, keep your gameviewing days intact - espeically if those are the only days you plan to be in the bush!

Exeter Dulini - i have been to in August 2006 and had some good predator viewing there - notably lions and Leopards. Also, saw my first Leopard kill one night over there.
HariS is offline  
Mar 19th, 2008, 02:48 AM
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Posts: 993
Hi ngodeia

I am with Hari - I would not be cutting down any gameviewing time!

I did an enforced MalaMala to Nelspruit to Johannesburg in pouring rain for a lot of the way as all flights were cancelled. We left at 6am and got to Jo'burg International at 12.35pm. This was within an hour of our international flight, so we were lucky to make it. So allow plenty of time - especially if you are the drivers!

Kind regards

KayeN is offline  
Mar 19th, 2008, 03:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
You could get a shuttle from Jo'burg to Nelspruit (R280 per person with citybug), then a transfer from there to your lodge.
SA_Guide is offline  
Mar 19th, 2008, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 313
I am doing a tour from Mala Mala to JNB (as arranged by my travel agent) but it is a private tour and I would think Exeter could arrange something similar. Departing after the morning game drive, arriving JNB around 7 pm.

The scenic highlights for the full day tour from MalaMala Game Reserve to Johannesburg International Airport (or vice versa) include a selection of the following depending on the time limit and the weather:
* Godís Window and the Pinnacle
* Graskop
* Blyde River Canyon
* Bourkeís Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels
* Lisbon Falls
* Sabie and Lone Creek Falls
* Pilgrims Rest
* Mac Mac falls and Mac Mac Pools
kak113 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2008, 11:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Where will you be before Jo'burg? If it is Cape Town then you can fly directly from there to Kruger airport and get a transfer from there to your lodge. If you have to travel from Jo'burg then you can fly from there to Kruger airport with one of the commercial airlines and then get a transfer to the lodge. In my opinion you have to ballnce time against cost. Most people travel a long way to get to SA and pay a lot for their flight so if I were you, I would make the most of my time here. My advice would be to take the cheapest method of transport that will get you to the lodge in time for the evening game drive.
SA_Guide is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2008, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 708
If you post your arrival and departure times from JNB, that would help us advise.
tuckeg is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 01:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 195
Thanks for all the replies! I haven't checked this site as frequently recently and must have missed this!

We are definitely trying to balance cost and time. But I think with the folowing schedule, we won't be sacrificing too much.

Our entry point in S.A. is JNB. We arrive 4:15 p.m. I figure we'll have to spend the night at an airport hotel and start driving the next morning. If we leave at 8 a.m., that should give us plenty of time to arrive for the afternoon game drive at Sabi Sands, correct?

On our return, our flight departs JNB at 10:30 p.m. My plan is to leave the lodge after the morning game drive. This should be enough time and we will be driving in daylight.

Thoughts? Thanks!!
ngodeia is offline  
Mar 26th, 2008, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 9
SA_Guide mentioned a shuttle called Citibug.

Has anyone used Citybug to travel from OR Tambo Int'l Airport to a location that like Nelspruit or anywhere else to do a safari?

What are your opinions about this shuttle?
mcdan58 is offline  
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