Please advise best route from Polokwane to Punda Maria Gate will be towing Gypsey Regal which of the two?
1. N1 via Makhado R 524 or
2. R81 via Giyani
I will take the R81 via Giani but R524 is also driveble whatch for cows and animals.
Graham, Just be aware that both routes run through long stretches of the former Gazankulu and Venda where traffic is a bit of a nightmare and if anything goes wrong, help might not be near. I am not sure where you are going to camp, but an alternative might be to enter at the Phalaborwa gate but if you are going to Punda or Shingwedzi, it is quite a long way through the park at 50k/h.
I noticed yesterday that the road to Punda Maria Gate was closed because of violent protest in one of the nearby villages 8 km from the gate. It was advised that visitors to the park should rather use Pafuri- or Phalaborwa Gates.
We travelled the route between Mooketsi (via Giyani) a number of years ago. We used it a few times as our grandson became ill while in Punda Maria and was hospitalized in Tzaneen. It was quite a decent road but unfortunately a lot of unrest in some of the small villages from time to time during the past few years - especially in the Malamulele area.
Two years ago we travelled via Louis Trichardt and Thohoyandou because of unrest on the other road once again. It is a rather scenic route to take, but quite frustrating with all the 60 kph speed zones and stops and traffic lights (the latter in Thohoyandou). It took quite a long time (3 hours +) to travel the distance between Louis Trichardt and the gate.
On a earlier occasion we slept over at Tshipise and entered the park at Pafuri Gate. This would be my personal option if I am to visit Punda again. Travelling from Phalaborwa @ Kruger Park speed (max 50 kph) means a very long day on the road. And Pafuri is one of the most beautiful areas in the park to see too.
Thanks Guys for your input, only going in August wiil keep an eye on the situation.Graham
Good day. I will be leaving for Kruger Park on 4 Nov 2018. My planned route is via Polokwane and then on the R81 / R524 (Giyani and Malamulele) towards Punda Maria Gate. Does anyone have the latest news regarding road conditions and, important, possible safety conditions (protests / unrest) on this route over the coming weekend? Thanks in advance.