Road trip in northern South Africa
In October me and Maria made our first road trip together on the African continent. This was Marias first visit to Africa and hopefully not the last.
I had built up our own itinerary for the road trip as I wanted to visit a few places that I had heard of.
The focus for the road trip was the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northern South Africa. We also visited the Tuli block in Botswana, but I’ll speak about that later. I wanted to see a variety of habitat and visit places I never had been to before. That surely made our trip a proper adventure.
A late start in Johannesburg
We started the trip in KuneMoya – Blouberg Game Reserve not far from Botswana. Blouberg was a good start as we didn’t rush around this small game reserve. We explored it slowly to introduce Maria to the African bush.
From there we continued to Mapungubwe National Park where the three countries of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe meet. The road trip then continued into Botswana before it headed back to the area of Magoebaskloof, then the panorama route before it ended in Hazyview just outside Kruger National Park.
Graskop was the only place where we slept and didn’t like it. That was mainly due to all the heavy traffic even during the nights. I really liked both Blouberg and Mapungubwe, but sadly we couldn’t really enjoy these two places as we had to solve a problem with a leaking tire.
SupaQuick in Musina fixed it for us, but it also meant we had to spend more time out of Mapungubwe than I would have liked. With that said I feel an urge to go back to Mapungubwe because of the scenery. It was something special, but sadly I wasn’t able to capture it properly.
Back to South Africa
In Magoebaskloof we stayed at Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge. Here we trekked together with one of the knowledgeable bird guides. It was a nice contrast to be up in the mountains without anyone pampering us like they did in Tuli. From here we went to Polokwane to resupply and also test Nguni Grill. We also went to Tzaneen where we tried the restaurant Yum Yum. I really liked this area of South Africa.
On the way to Graskop we went past Hoedspruit and ate at Hat & Creek, sadly it didn’t live up to my last visit even if the food was good.
Graskop was next stop as I wanted to show Maria the Panorama route. The town is situated at one of the best spots if you want easy access to the panorama route. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to stay in Graskop even if I think the town in itself was fine. We ate at both The Glass House and Canimambo, both resonably good. I had planned to get out on Blyde River, but instead we ended up at Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and went back to Hoedspruit to test the lunch at Sleepers
Last stop on the road trip was Blue Jay Lodge in Hazyview. A lodge I can recommend to anyone. From there we made a trip into the Kruger Park as well as a trip to the botanical garden in Nelspruit. We ate at Pioneer’s and Kuka. Pioneer’s was by far the best restaurant we tested during the trip.
A summary of the road trip
There were mostly highs during the road trip, but also a couple of lows with the tire incident being the biggest. I would recommend all the places we stayed at except the one in Graskop, due to the traffic in the town. A stop in Graskop is ok as long as you don’t plan to overnight there.
Overall this was a fun trip and one I easily could redo.
Please enjoy this small gallery from our South African road trip.