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Witwater Safari Lodge

rsa
australia
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780 posts
34 reviews
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Witwater Safari Lodge

Hi, We are planning to spend a few nights in Witwater Safari Lodge, and would like some advice as to the best way to drive from

Blyde River Canyon (or therabouts) to the lodge.Would we have to drive to Mookgophong, and then accross? We are also thinking of the road conditions. Any replies will be very much apprecaited. Thanks RSA

3 replies to this topic
Pretoria, South...
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1,802 posts
18 reviews
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1. Re: Witwater Safari Lodge

Hi RSA once again!

Mmmm, that's a tough question, because those routes are fairly convoluted. I haven't driven many of those roads for many years, and I hope somebody can give more up-to-date info.

I would take the R555 from Ohrigstad to Burgersfort, and then the R37 towards Polokwane. About 110kms out of Burgersfort, you need to turn left onto the R518, and follow that to (and through) Makopane.

My gut feel is to use the Makopane route. About 25-30km beyond Makopane, you pick up a tarmac road to your left (which you take), and then turn right after about 10km onto tar (for a short distance). It's then about 25km of gravel to the lodge. This road was in pretty bad shape the last time I used it, and recent heavy rains may have worsened it (or it may have been repaired). Be prepared for slow driving.

The alternative route is through Mookgophong. I know this route better, but I think it could be slightly longer to detour southwards. It involves approximately the same distance on gravel, and the same road conditions might apply.

It may be best to get detailed directions from the lodge.

In general, the tarmac roads are reasonably good. I drove the R36 yesterday, and there are some huge potholes just north of Ohrigstad (between the R555 turnoff and the Blyde Canyon road). They've got considerably worse in the last two weeks. The roads in that area are not being maintained very well.

Burgersfort has boomed recently, and has become a big mining centre. You can expect many heavy trucks on the road, and worsening road conditions in the area.

I don't think it will be a fast trip, and I think you might run into some slowish heavy traffic, possible roadworks, occasional rainstorms (can be very heavy) and poor roads. The scenery is fairly good though. If you allow at least 5 hours, you should be pretty OK.

Hope this helps.

Edited: 2:21 am, November 23, 2011
rsa
australia
Level Contributor
780 posts
34 reviews
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2. Re: Witwater Safari Lodge

Hello,

Thank you BushkidO for your reply to my Post.Seems like a lot of driving for a 2 night stay.!!! Do you think I should be looking another Lodge which is easier to get to from Blyde River Canyon, taking into consideration that we are looking for a 2 night stay, and then travelling onto Zenzile river lodge,on the Eland river, at Rust De Winter. (2 hours outside Johannesburg )before catching our flight back to Australia. The trouble I have had is looking for a lodge, that is not too expensive(around R 3000,B & B for 2 nights ) that will give us a true African Safari Experience.Like a nice setting, and good animal viewing.Any ideas? Thanks RSA

Pretoria, South...
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1,802 posts
18 reviews
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3. Re: Witwater Safari Lodge

Mmmm, that changes the picture a little. And I'd agree that Witwater is a long drive for two nights. Witwater, although a beautiful lodge and reserve, might not warrant such a detour. I normally recommend the Waterberg area for folk travelling northwards (e.g. Botswana).

I'd forgotten your full routing (I've seen many varied posts - LOL!). You'll possibly find Witwater a little similar to other regions or venues you may have visited.

I suggest that you look around at the Hoedspruit area for some lodges. Many great places to stay in the area. Karongwe reserve, Kapama, Thornybush, Timbavati, Balule, and several others will offer good game viewing.

You could look at Hannah Lodge or Iketla Lodge near Ohrigstad, but I don't think they would really fit your needs. They may do, though.

I'm sure many on this forum can provide more detailed suggestions of lodges. I like the more down-to-earth low-key lodges and there are many to choose from (nThambo, Africa on Foot, Gomo Gomo, Transfrontiers, Shindzela, Kambaku, Umlani, Pondoro, Kapama Buffalo Camp, etc. to mention just a few).

There's also a new reserve opened up north-east of Pretoria called Dinokeng. It might be worth checking out. I haven't yet.

Thanks for sharing Zenzele River Lodge with us. I didn't know of it. What a beautiful looking place (and close by).

Edited: 1:41 pm, November 23, 2011
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