Getting Around

The Kruger Lowveld region is easily accessible from within South Africa and from neighbouring countries, by air and by road.

By air

The three principal aerial gateways to the region are Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (also known as KMIA and as Nelspruit Kruger - airport code: MQP); Hoedspruit’s Eastgate Airport (HDS) and Skukuza Airport (SZK) in the Kruger National Park.

  • KMIA hosts several regional routes, including daily flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban; scheduled shuttles to private game lodges as well as to Skukuza. There are regular scheduled flights to Vilancoulos in Mozambique and Livingstone in Zambia.
  • Skukuza offers daily scheduled flights to and from Johannesburg and Cape Town as well as scheduled shuttles to nearby game lodges.
  • From Hoedspruit there are daily flights to and from Johannesburg and Cape Town.

By road

The region offers good road access from all directions. The principle artery is the N4 highway which traverses the region from east to west, linking Nelspruit/Mbombela with Johannesburg and Pretoria/Tshwane and with the Mozambican capital city, Maputo, (via the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post).

All the SA Roads Agency (SANRAL) roads in the region are well maintained and driving conditions are generally outstanding, giving easy access from Phalaborwa, Tzaneen, Polokwane and Zimbabwe in the north; Lydenburg/Mashishing, Dullstroom and Machadodorp/eNtokozweni in the west; and Ermelo, Piet Retief/Mkhondo and Swaziland in the south.

Getting around

Many visitors choose the self-drive option when visiting the region to ensure that they get to see as much as possible.

All the major national and international car hire companies have representation in the Kruger Lowveld region, with depots in the towns of Nelspruit/Mbombela and Hazyview and at the airports – Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (White River), Skukuza Airport (Kruger National Park) and Eastgate Airport (Hoedspruit).

If you decide on a self-drive tour, please remember that distances between towns are significant. Careful planning is vital.

Public transport, as in all of South Africa, is somewhat limited although the adventurous will find that the minibus taxi network and buses work well. Long-distance coaches and minibus transfers are available from Johannesburg, Pretoria/Tshwane and Maputo.

Essential Travel Tips

Game reserves

When travelling inside the Kruger National Park or any other game reserve, make sure that you are aware of the rules and that you abide by them to ensure your own safety and that of the animals.

Do not speed and always remember that the animals have right of way! Many of the animals you’ll come across - particularly lion, hippo, elephant and buffalo - are dangerous. Stay in your car, keep your windows closed and keep a reasonable distance – especially with elephant – in case you need to beat a hasty retreat!

Make sure you read all of the warning signs in the park, don’t feed the animals and don’t throw refuse out of your car window.

Weather and clothing

The seasons in the southern hemisphere are directly opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. For summer months, lightweight cottons and linens and short-sleeved clothes are best, although a light jersey/jumper/sweater might be needed for the cooler evenings. Umbrellas and raincoats are essential for summer and don’t forget to pack your suntan lotion! Warmer clothes are needed in winter

Shopping

Most major shopping centres and malls operate seven days a week (Monday - Saturday 09h00 to 17h00; Sunday 09h00 to 14h00), but you may find in the smaller towns and rural areas that shops could be closed on Sundays and occasionally for lunch between 13h00 and 14h00. Banks close at 15h30 on weekdays and 11h00 on Saturdays, but most have ATMs available 24-hours, which accept most international cards.

Hospitals and medical care

There is a large network of public and private hospitals countrywide, offering excellent service. However, clients must have adequate health insurance to cover the fees that private hospitals charge.

Malaria

Malaria is found occasionally, only in the Lowveld region of the Kruger Lowveld. There is a very low risk of malaria in winter. Although the incidence of malaria is extremely rare, it’s best to take
adequate precautions if you visit these areas. The cheapest, safest and most effective measures against malaria are physical barriers, such as a mosquito net and the use of a good insect repellent. If you decide to take malaria prophylaxis, take the medication in accordance with the directions on the package insert.

Personal safety

For tourists, the Kruger Lowveld region is as safe as any other destination in the world. While the region boasts a vast array of cultures, communities and attractions, most parts of the region can be safely visited by tourists provided they take basic common-sense precautions (for example, not walking alone in deserted areas at night and being circumspect about how much photographic equipment or flashy jewellery they carry).

Food and water

As a rule, tap water in the Kruger Lowveld region is safe to drink as it is treated and free of harmful micro-organisms. In hotels, restaurants and nightspots, the standards of hygiene and food preparation are top-notch. It is safe to eat fresh fruit and salads and to put as much ice as you like in your drinks.

Road safety

Our transport infrastructure is excellent and our roads are generally in good condition. However, the distances between towns are significant. If you’re planning to self-drive, it is a good idea to plan your itinerary to ensure you don’t drive long distances as fatigue is a major cause of road accidents. In some of the more remote rural areas, the roads are not fenced so there may be stray animals on the road. Speed limits are 120km/h on the open road, 100km/h on smaller roads and between 60 and 80km/h in towns.

Traffic infringements

Regretfully, some traffic officials in the Kruger Lowveld region are known for their corrupt activities. If you are pulled over for a traffic law infringement (real or fictitious), please note that it is strictly illegal to pay cash to a traffic officer or to any other official on the roadside. Traffic officials must issue you with an official fine, which states the date, time and nature of the offence.
Traffic fines must be paid at a police station or magistrate’s court only, where a receipt must be issued. Pay your fine at the police station or magistrate’s court in the specific town where the fine was issued. You can also pay your car rental company to pay the fine for you, at an additional fee. Road tolls, where applicable, must be paid at official toll plazas only.

People with disabilities

An increasing number of accommodation establishments have wheelchair ramps and bathroom facilities for the disabled. Almost every national park has at least one accessible chalet and many accommodation establishments have one or two wheelchair-friendly rooms. Most of our sports stadiums have accessible suites, stands or areas for wheelchairs, near accessible parking, and special toilet facilities. Most public buildings also cater for wheelchair access.

Tipping

Most restaurants do not add a service charge to bills, thus it is customary to leave a 10-15% tip. Parking and petrol station attendants should be given whatever small change you have available, up to about R5.

How can we help?

Kruger Lowveld Tourism, the tourism division of the Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism, represents the interests of the majority of tourism and leisure operators in the region. It is also the custodian of the Kruger Lowveld destination brand.   

Kruger Lowveld Tourism operates a small network of own information offices and is associated with many other privately-owned booking offices in the region. Through Kruger Lowveld Tourism information offices, you can access travel information and booking services, including for all SanParks properties, the flagship of which is the Kruger National Park.

  List of Kruger Lowveld Information Offices: Where Telephone
  Kruger Lowveld Tourism Head Office  Nelspruit/Mbombela 013 755 1988
  Kruger Lowveld Tourism Cape Town Century City, Cape Town 021 552 0008
  Kruger Lowveld Tourism Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre, White River 013 750 1073
  Other Information Offices:    
  Barberton Tourist Information Barberton 013 712 2880
  Graskop Information Graskop 013 767 1833
  Panorama Information Graskop 013 767 1377
  Tours & Tickets  Graskop 013 767 1573 / 082 579 5845
  Trips SA Graskop 013 767 1886
  Tours & Tickets  Hazyview 013 737 8191 / 082 574 2345
  Pilgrim’s Rest Information Pilgrim’s Rest 013 768 1060
  Sabie Information Sabie 013 590 5452
  Trips SA Sabie 013 764 1177
  Kamogelo Centre Hoedspruit 083 795 0299
  Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, White River 013 750 2136

VISITORSGUIDE

Vivtors Guide Booklet

klcbt

Kruger Lowveld Head Office

Crossing Shopping Centre

Nelspruit

+27 (0)13 755 1988