Joburg to Mala - not fly

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Mar 25th, 2006, 11:18 AM
  #1
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Joburg to Mala - not fly

Hi All,
We will most likely fly into Joburg before going to our first camp, MalaMala. To get over jet lag etc. I was wondering if it would be reasonable (fun?) to drive over to Mala. I know it can be done. Make a leisurely journey, stop overnight along the way, etc. The timing of the drive back to Joburg would ok, I think. The way it is now we leave Mala, fly to Lusak, overnight Lusaka, next day fly Lusaka to Mfuwe (Zambia).
Any info about such is appreciated. And open to other suggestions.
regards - tom
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Mar 25th, 2006, 11:57 AM
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It is a five hour drive to the Sabi Sands & a drive that I highly recommend. certainly the first hour and a half as you leave JNB is a bit KANSAS like, however the drop down the escarpment is really sensational. GO for it.

If you hired from AVIS, check if they can't pick your rental up while you are at MM, sometimes they do and it saves you having a car ticking over the $$'s while enjoy your stay. Unelss of course you are planning to drive back to JNb for your onward flight to Lusaka,
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Mar 25th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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mkhonzo,
Many thanks. On the drive to Mala, any place like a large town to stay overnight? Part of my reason to drive is to make a 2 or 3 day journey out of it to recover from flights over to Joburg.
Good idea about Avis picking up car at Mala. I'll have to compare some pricing, car cost both ways vs flying one way etc.
How about hiring a car and driver to drive over to Mala, any ideas? All suggestions appreciated.
Many thanks again - Tom
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Mar 25th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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Well if it's not just a question of getting there, then I do have some ideas on how to turn the five hour drive into something more worthy of the tiitle "Roadtrip".
You have a couple of options, perhaps the most reasonable would be as follows. head out on the n4. When you get to Belfast, turn left (north) towards dullstroom, this is a mounatain town recently popularised for trout fishing, it has spawned a few B&B's and has a couple of lodges, hotels etc. At this point you are just on mid way way to the Sabi Sands, time dependant you could overnight here, should you do that and wish to get into the reserve by 13h00 the next day, rise early and travel north and east to pilgrims rest, weave your way back toward sabi decending into hazeyview and on to the kruger. From Dullstroom to the entrance of the sabi sand is a decent four hour drive, stop and look at the view from graskop, actually great place for traditional african pancakes up there.

How's that sound for starters?
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Mar 25th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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mkhonzo,
Love it, love it, love it. Tell me more. If you'd rather email me (your choice, this way is fine with me), it is-
[email protected] take out the "SSS".
Many thanks.
Regards - Tom
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Mar 25th, 2006, 02:29 PM
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OK, will get to it after I get my kids down for the night.
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Mar 25th, 2006, 05:37 PM
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Tom,
I have been thinking....
Route 1. I described earlier will have you travelling to Pilgrims rest, you could push yourself a little further and aim for Echo Caves, just before the junction of the R36 & R532. After that head south on the R532 to pass through the Blyde River Canyon en-route to Graskop & Sabi.

Route 2. On this route you head past Belfast on the N4 and turn N onto R36 staicking with the R539, which takes you past Old Joe's Khaya. If you haven't read Jock of THe Bushveld, get it out the library and read it now, as these routes that I am suggesting you follow trace the old wagon routes spoken of in the book, while Old Joe and his KHaya are mentioned too, so if you read it spending the night at Old Joes could be a nostalgic experience. From there the next morning you'd drive to Nelspruit and ease off onto R37, which will wind you up to sabi/graskop, eventually putting you onto the R36, then you'd make your way round and south on the R40 to hazeyview and onto the S/sand gate.

Route 3. Is once again avariation on this, but this time you leave the N$ southward on route to Barberton. This is an option if you have some good time on the first day as you'll drive for four hours before you reach a decent set of places to stay for the night, look for B&B's on the outskirts of Nelspruit, perhaps pass through Nelspruit and you will be spoilt for choice on the section of road between Nelspruit and hazeyview/kiepersol.

hope that all helps? Sorry I ahven't recommended specific places to stay, I know quite a few, but really have no idea on what you prefer, budget etc.

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Mar 25th, 2006, 08:50 PM
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mkhonzo,
Many many thanks. I need to get a road map of that area to get pictures in my mind. Have you driven all of these routes? (If so, I'm most impressed!!!) Thanks again and I'm sure I'll have more questions later.
Regards - Tom
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Mar 26th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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Don't be impressed, I am a South African and that area was my playgorund.
I would be ashamed if I hadn't been there.
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Mar 26th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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Tom

We drove back in 99. Arriving at JNB from Vic Falls we picked up a car and headed out to Dullstroom, where we overnighted in some cottages behind the pub - cheap and cheerful, when they actually made the beds up. I think that was about 2 hours drive. The next day we were booked into a hotel (converted farm) near Hazyview. We spent the night there, then drove to MM the next day. On the way back we had 2 nights at the same hotel, so we could drive the sights of the escarpment, then on our final day we drove straight back to JNB. Not going crazy it took about six hours from Hazyview.
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Mar 26th, 2006, 06:10 PM
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Thanks mkhonzo and napamatt,
You've encouraged me to seriously consider doing this. I have ordered a "Rough Guide" tour guide and "Rough Guide" map for South Africa, from Amazon. Expect me to get back to this with questions. Many thanks again.
regards - tom
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