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Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

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Tralee,Ireland
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Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

We are a family of 6 going to the lodge in July. We have a quote for transfers for about R11,000 return to Johannesburg. Would it be ok to drive a minivan in July if we were to self-drive as this seems an excessive cost. We are concerned about the 70km of gravel road to get there via the Derdepoorts Gate entrance. Any advice appreciated.

Berkhamsted, United...
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1. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

I think it's actually the Molatedi gate you want. It's the quickest driving route to Madikwe - we've driven it several times. Happily the gravel road section has reduced in length over the years. It's good quality gravel and can comfortably be undertaken in an ordinary car or minivan, no 4x4 required, especially in July which is long after the main rains.

You DO need to be careful to stick to the speed limits en route as it's not unusual for there to be speed traps. A particularly common place is Mabeskraal where the 60kph limit apples for close to 30km.

Tralee,Ireland
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2. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

Thanks for that. That gives us the confidence to do the self drive.

Miami, Florida
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3. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

Hi. We're potentially interested in flying in as we don't have a lot of time. Which provider did you get the quote from.

Tralee,Ireland
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4. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

The quote was from go2africa but it was for ground transportation. Pick up and return to our hotel in Johannesburg.

London, United...
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5. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

I just recieved a quote from the lodge we are staying at in Madikwe for 3,400 ZAR one way. That seems significantly cheaper than your 11,000 return. We are a party of 5

Colombo
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6. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

One of the best quotes I received online (and they even have online real time assistance to discuss travel distances, vehile types, excess charges etc) was from argus car hire. I found their website based on recommendations by destination experts on this forum

Buenos Aires...
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7. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

Yorkie, I'm travelling to Madikwe in September with my 2 sons and the most expensive quoting I received was precisely from GoAfrica. Seaching a little more in TA I found better alternatives. As a matter of fact, I finally asked the lodge we are staying at, Makanyane, to quote air transfer on arrival and route transfer when leaving to get to know more of the country and because we are staying for a couple of days to Sun City, and they were the cheapest.

Good travel!

Pamela

London, United...
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8. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

We just returned yesterday from SA and our transfer (Walter) was fantastic. He gave us a history of SA politics and culture which rivals any expert talk I have ever had travelling. He is a gem and the vehicle was comfortable and spacious for our family of 5 (children 12, 8,5) and our MIL.

One thing which caught me a bit off guard (even as a Canadian) was how cold it is out on safari at night. Take some warm layers you will need hats and gloves for the little ones and clothes you can take on an off as the sun comes up.

It was one of the best vacations we have had so I hope yours goes as well!

Tralee,Ireland
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9. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

Thanks so much for all responses. We have actually decided to self drive as it seems to be the most cost effective.

Thanks wbesty on the advice for the nighttime safaris. I was wondering just how cold it really was so the hat and gloves will be packed. Could I ask what the temp is during the daytime? Shorts or long pants? Trying to make sure the kiids are well prepared.

London, United...
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10. Re: Transfer from Johannesburg to Madikwe Safari Lodge

You should probably check the temps for your trip time, but I can tell you what it is right now.

We started the safari at 6:30-7am and you need long pants and fleeces at that time. Part way through the safari the sun comes up and we are striping layers. We stopped for coffee hot chocolate around 9ish (and a pee in a safe bush - it is very bouncy). By this time t shirt was enough if the sun is full.

We got back to the lodge at 10:30 or so and could definately be in shorts and t shirt - though pants would not have been uncomfortable either.

At 3:30ish we headed for the evening safari. We had to change from shorts into pants in anticipation of the evening getting colder. So we started each drive in t shirts and long pants and added layers as we went. By 5:30 the sun is going down and it gets cold fast.

** the real thing is that the safari trucks are driving pretty fast in some places and the wind chill is a real factor. So when we would stop for an evening drink it would not seem nearly as chilly as in the vehicle. Our vehicles were completely open with a canvas roof so the wind gets quite strong.

** one more hint is take some blistex or other lip cream and some moisturizer for the kids skin. Mine got wicked wind burn and very chapped lips.

** and you might want to consider a scarf to keep the hats from blowing off. Twice we had to back up to recover lost hats and in some places it would have been too dangerous for the guide to get out and retrive them I bet.

The road from Sun City to Madikwe is a very bumpy dirt road. I grew up in farm country with dirt roads and this one is typical bumpy. So allow some time to get to your destination. Our driver got us from Madikwe to the airport in Jo burg in about 4 hours ..but that was on Sunday and he was a skilled driver.

Also it looks like there is only one petrol station to stop at with a KFC (we stopped there both ways) and one last thing - our driver told us never to pick anyone up no mater how innocent they look or you have a good chance of being car jacked and standing on the side of the road.

All that being said we never had any safety issues at all in SA.

I hope you have a good trip let me know if you have other questions.