Kruger to Panaramic Route to Zululand in 1 day

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Jun 24th, 2013, 09:22 AM
  #1
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Kruger to Panaramic Route to Zululand in 1 day

Hello,
I am planning a 9 day trip to South Africa in August involving a 3 night safari in a private game lodge near Kruger and a 3 night safari in Mkuze Falls private game lodge (not the park). Mkuze Falls is a 2.5hr ride from Richard's Bay, so not super accessible. On the day of checkout from the lodge in Hoedspruit, I was hoping to rent a car to see Blyde River (assume half a day), and then transfer to Mkuze Falls, but I'm not seeing a lot of direct options to travel from the Nelspruit area to Zululand.

Seems like most itineraries, both flying and driving, involve going back through Jberg, in which case it might be a little ambitious to see the Canyon and do the transfer in one day. I'm open to private charter but I don't have a sense of the expense (Mkuze has its own airstrip). I would appreciate any advice on the best way to do this (or if it's impossible). Thanks in advance for the help.
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Jun 24th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Should have mentioned - I'm open to renting a car to drive the route, but would prefer to do a one-way rental as I won't need the car after reaching Mkuze Falls. Also, I've never driven outside of the US before so would like to avoid driving at night if possible.
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Jun 24th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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You do have a nice big map of South Africa, do you not? If not get one, amazon sells them.

(I am not native of SA). On the map I have there are many roads/ways to drive from Nelspruit to Zululand. Which route is best time wise I don't know. How many miles from Nelspruit to where in ZL? Maybe 200 miles? Driving at 30mph, which is as fast as I would plan to, would take most of the day. And you will be driving on other side of road (from USA).

Charter flight, check with Federal Air. But you may have to take small single engine type out of Nelspruit. And my -guess- would be at least $400 (whether one or two passengers).

regards - tom
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Jun 25th, 2013, 09:02 PM
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30mph? People would be going at you with road rage driving at that speed on the open roads!
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Jun 26th, 2013, 02:03 AM
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You mention that you private game lodge is in the Hoedspruit area, so a very long drive down to Mkuze Falls, if you intend including seeing Blyde River Canyon. You would presumably be bypassing Swaziland to get to Zululand and if self-driving overnight at least one night en route. You also say you won't be needing the car after Mkuze Falls does that mean they are transferring to you to Richards Bay for a flight out of there? I would check with Mkuze Falls to ascertain what a car rental company might charge to collect the car from the lodge. If not going through Swaziland you might want to consider overnighting at a property called Dusk To Dawn near the town of Piet Retief - www.dusktodawnbedandbreakfast.com.
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Jun 26th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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3dogs - so your a resident, then how about a helpful answer?

regards - tom
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Jun 26th, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Thanks LR - Hadn't thought about the prospect of a one way car rental. I was planning for Mkuze Falls to provide a land transfer to Durban, but am realizing the best option might be to get a car after all and just keep it while at one/both private reserves. I thought it might be an expensive proposition to just keep a car for many days when only using it for 1-2, but it doesn't look like there are many alternatives. Should I expect to pay a lot more to rent an automatic transmission in SA?

I'm also realizing it's impossible to do this all in one day so we'll most likely opt to see Blyde River on the way into Hoedspruit from Jburg a few days earlier.

Any other suggestions for the trip from Kruger to Mkuze Falls are welcome! Thanks.
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Jun 27th, 2013, 12:23 AM
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I would definitely opt for an automatic rather than a manual vehicle, its worth it!. Good idea doing Blyde River en route to Hoedspruit.You might want to consider going through Swaziland and overnighting at Ematjeni near the town of Mbabane. They will provide Border and Route information to you. www.ematjeni.com.
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