Routes to the Greater Kruger Area xx

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The Kruger National Park extends 350km from North to South. This means that the distance of your wildlife adventure from Johannesburg depends entirely on which Camps within the Park you plan to visit.

If you are off to a Camp in the Southern Kruger, then it will take you between 4 hours and 5 hours to get there from Sandton, travelling northwards on the N1 freeway past Pretoria and onto the N4 freeway, or travelling West using the N3 freeway until you reach the N12 freeway which takes you to the N4 at WItbank. On the other hand, a visit to Punda Maria in the North of the Park, will take you about 6 hours to 7 hours, when following the route north of Pretoria on the N1, and then turning off ar R524 to the Punda Maria Gate.

Plan Your Trip

Taking into account that the Park and Camp Gate closing times change throughout the year, this means that your route must be carefully planned before you depart on your holiday. As a general rule of thumb it is worthwhile remembering that it will take you around 3 minutes to travel 1 km inside the Park. This is due to the speed limits of 40 km/h on sand roads and 50 km/h on tarred roads in the Park, and also to the fact that you will, in all likelihood, make several stops to view animals on the way to your Camp.

We provide you below a suggestion for possible routes you could use to reach the Park. The map is only intended as a general guide - for full details, please use an official map of the area to guide you.Please note that we make no recommendations here as to the conditions of the roads along the routes we suggest. We ask you to please make your own enquities as to the state of the roads before embarking on your journey.

By Road from Johannesburg to the Southern Kruger Park

Many people travelling to the Kruger Area, will do so with their own car, a hire car, or a city to city shuttle - this applies especially to the local tourists. However, there are other affordable ways of getting to the Kruger Area by road, so that you are still able to take in the beautiful scenery on your way. 
There are two main routes that you can take to the Greater Kruger Area. If you are going to the Kruger National Park and entering through one of the southern gates, then the quickest way to go is to take the Highlands Meander Route. However, if you are entering the Kruger Park through one of the western gates or you are travelling to one of the private reserves in the Greater Kruger Area, you may take either the Highlands Meander Route or the breath taking Panorama Route (see below). We thoroughly recommend that you stay overnight at accommodation on one of these scenic spots - and take the opportunity to explore the area - you won't regret it.

If you are heading out from Johannesburg towards one of the Gates in the Southern Kruger Park, you need to calculate whether it will be shorter for you to join up with the N4 route to the Park by travelling through Pretoria (N1 to N4 route) or via R512 in the South of Joburg. For this reason, it is difficult to give exact distances, because these, rather obviously, all depend on from which point you started. Because most tourists seem to stay in the more northerly areas of Joburg, we have taken our distances from the Bucchleugh Interchange, 26km from Pretoria, where the N1 and the M1 meet.

Malelane and Crocodile Bridge Gates: Take the N1 from Johannesburg going towards Pretoria, and then around Centurion, until it meets with the N4 to Witbank. Follow the N4 all the way to Nelspruit. To get to Malelane Gate and Crocodile Bridge Gate follow the N4 Eastwards towards Mozambique. After 69km, you will come to the Malelane Gate turnoff, and 44 km later you will arrive at Komatipoort, The Crocodile Bridge Gate is 11km North of Komatipoort.

Numbi, Phabeni, Kruger, Orpen and Phalaborwa Gates: Take the N1 from Johannesburg heading towards Centurion, and then around Pretoria, until it meets with the N4 to Witbank. Follow the N4 all the way to Nelspruit. At Nelspruit turn North along the R40 towards White River. By clicking on the signposts in the above maps, you will see into which road you have to turn off, in order to get to the Gate of your choice.To reach these gates follow the map above.

  • Malelane Gate: 410km - approx 5 hr excluding stops
  • Croc Bridge: 463km - approx 6 hr
  • Numbi: 408km - approx 5 hr excluding stops
  • Phabeni: 404km - approx 5 hr excluding stops
  • Kruger: 437km - approx  5 hr excluding stops
  • Orpen: 496 km  - approx 6 hr excluding stops

By Road from Johannesburg to the Northern Kruger National Park:

The routes to the Northern Kruger Gates are all accessible from the N1 which heads directly North towards Zimbabwe. This means that although the distances are longer, reaching your camp is surprisingly easy. As per the map above, simply travel up the N1 until you reach the indicated turnoff road to your Gate. From there just follow the Road Number until you get to the Gate.

  • Phalaborwa: 493 km - approx 6 hours excluding stops
  • Punda Maria Gate: 518 km - approx 7 hours excluding stops
  • Pafuri Gate: 566 km - approx 7 hours excluding stops

By Air To The Greater Kruger Area

For general information on air transportanion, please go to Getting Around  

To the Southern Kruger Park camps: We recommend that you visit the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport website, to obtain all the necessary details regarding airlines flying into and out from this airport. KMIA is very popular and is used by many tourists who want a short trip to Kruger or the surrounding Private Lodges in the Area.

To the centrally located Kruger Park Camps: The Eastgate Airport in Hoedspruit has easy access to both Phalaborwa and Orpen Gates, and is growing in popularity with many tourists wanting to reach the camps in the middle of the Park.

To the Northern Kruger Park Camps: the Polokwane International Airport is an option for those travelling to the northern areas of the Kruger Park. However, it is around 200km to 250km away from the Punda Maria Gate and the Pafuri Gate, respectively. Because the road to Polokwane is a multi-lane freeway, though, it hardly seems worthwhile flying the first 250km and driving the next 250km !   

How to get to the Greater Kruger Region and the north of the Kruger Park

View Routes To Main Game Parks in a larger map