Self-drive: Johannesburg to Kruger National Park

By Focus Online Team on October 31, 2019

Mpumalanga’s Kruger National Park is one of the most popular safari destinations in the world and the crowning jewel of South Africa’s offerings. The park itself is made up of several unique ecosystems, big camping sites and boutique lodges ensuring there is something to suit everyone. So, how will you get there? Unless you fly directly into Nelspruit, the easiest route is a 5-hour self-drive from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park. Without further ado, let’s get driving.

Self-drive Johannesburg to Kruger National Park

The smaller of Johannesburg’s airports, O.R. Thambo is the perfect place to begin your journey. If you aren’t a local, you will need to hire a car – there are several reliable companies from which to do so, just ensure you get the right vehicle. As Kruger is largely dirt roads and a few potholes here and there, a 4×4 or similar car is ideal. Put your bags in the back and hit the road, your next stop awaits!

There are two ways to make your way to Kruger; one is along the beautiful Panorama Route while the other is a more direct, highway approach. As this is more than likely a leisure journey, we recommend stopping to soak in the scenery along the Panorama Route.

Self-drive Johannesburg to Kruger National Park

The Panorama Route

This spectacular route meanders past the town of Sabie and gold-rush town of Pilgrim’s Rest as well as Graskop and its glass lift. The most notable natural sights are Blyde River Canyon and its Three Rondavels – both of which are best seen through God’s Window. Bourke’s Luck Potholes are always well worth a visit.

After a busy day of driving and sightseeing, make your way to Perry’s Bridge Hollow in Hazyview for a delicious dinner and a great night’s sleep.

Hazyview to Kruger National Park

Wake up refreshed and renewed for your next adventure – a day in Kruger National Park. There are 8 gates into Kruger for you to choose from, however, the closest to Perry’s Bridge Hollow is Phabeni a mere 15kms away. The best sightings are typically in the morning and late afternoon so plan a leisurely lunch break before you head out into the bush again.

If you’re happy to be an early bird, take a 40km drive to the busiest gate, Paul Kruger, which leads straight to the Park’s headquarters at Skukuza. If you choose this gate, there are roads to every part of the park from the headquarters meaning less of a drive to find where you want to go.

Kruger National Park Top Tips

Every visitor is required to produce an official identity document and entrance fee. An entrance permit will then be provided – it is important to keep this with you at all times and will be required to exit the park. This is a requirement to keep unauthorised people from accessing the park. From here, Kruger National Park is your oyster! Start your drive and make sure to keep an eye out for the Big 5.

Your guide to a self-drive from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park is now complete. If you plan to put these plans into action, be sure to visit the Perry’s Bridge Hollow website or contact to secure your Hazyview accommodation.

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