I will be travelling to Punda Maria gate KNP next month and would like to know which is the best road to take from Bela Bela?
Bruce, welcome to the forum.
The last time I travelled the road to Punda (also from Bela-Bela) was during 2016 via Louis Trichardt and Thohoyandou. The R524 is okay, but it is a "slow" (because of all the 60 kph speed zones) but scenic road . In 2012 (not towing) we travelled via Giyani without any problems. But when we visited Punda in 2016 there was quite a lot of unrest in the Malamulele area and we were advised by an official of Punda Maria to rather use the R524. In 2006 we slept over at Tshipise and entered the park at Pafuri Gate. The latter is also a good option when option.
A few months ago there has been unrest in the villages just before Punda Gate and visitors were advised to use either Pafuri or Phalaborwa Gates. Seeing that unrest in that area occurs quite frequently, I decided to use Phalaborwa Gate next year. We plan to sleep over at Forever Resorts Phalaborwa (just before the gate) and sleep over one night in Shingwedzi (30 April) before leaving for Punda for 9 nights from 1 May onwards. Then we will start moving south again for a visit of 46 nights in total in the park. We plan to exit via Orpen as our last 5 nights will be in Maroela.
Wow Chris, that sounds terrific, you're going to see the worx!!
Just returned from Tshipisi two weks ago, travel N1 north then turn off in Easterly direction well market R 525 after the last toll gate on the N1 (Boabab Toll Plaza), all road was good littetel to no potholes , just blary hot, and the price of fuel goes up in KNP, so fil up before time
Personally I did not find the diesel prices in Kruger to be that much higher in Kruger than at filling stations outside the park. The petrol price is controlled and they cannot charge whatever they like (every zone has a controlled price). I can give an example of what I paid for diesel last year during May.
In my hometown (Kleinmond) I filled up @ R12.90/litre when we departed.
Laingsburg - R13.08/litre
Three Sisters - R13, 57/litre
Strydenburg - R13.66/litre
Petrusburg - R13.40/litre
Kroonstad - R13.29/litre
The Rose (between Pretoria & Bronkhorstspruit) - R13.40/litre
Schoemanskloof - R13.79/litre
Berg-&-Dal, Lower Sabie & Satara - R13.63/litre
Mopani - R13.83/litre
All the mentioned prices was between 4 May and 3 June 2017. Prices changed on 4 May and 7 June respectively.
My average fuel consumption (Toyota Hilux 2.8 Diesel) is 11.1 km/litre (9 litres/100 km). My fuel cost at home is thus R1.16/km. In the south of Kruger it costed me R1.23/km and in the north R1.25
I believe it is rather a fair price bearing in mind that I live relatively near to a refinery and Kruger is in a more expensive zone regarding delivery cost
Thanks for the info Chirs, the station outside of Tshipisi is now advertised at R16, 55 per liter , and yet in Polokwane I can fill up at R15,55 per liter , so it is probily be"economics of scale", in that the bigger your holding tank is, the cheaper it will be if you can fill in for a return trip as well from the cheap sourch of fuel, the bakkie has only a tank of +/- 45 liters, so it's a bit expensive filling up every 450 km, going inland, going to the coast it works out a bit cheaper, but camping period being "gold time", prefere shorter under 400km trips from Polokwane base