Nelspruit and White River are both large towns situated in Mpumalanga Province – about 15 min from each other. Access to either of these destinations can be achieved through a wide variety of routes depending on the original location of departure, the time allowed for the transfer and specific route preferences or requirements.
Both Phalaborwa and Tzaneen will access either of these towns via Bushbuckridge and Hazyview.
Bushbuckridge is a very busy town in the middle of rural settlements and can offer a very good view on modern life in rural Africa. A little further on down the road, one enters Hazyview. Hazyview is a very busy town servicing the surrounding farm, rural, tourism and conservation services. It is also the closest town to the central gates of the Kruger National Park – ie Paul Kruger Gate and the newer Phabeni Gate.
Hoedspruit to Hazyview is a distance of 90km, however, with speed limits varying between 60, 80 and 100 km/h along the way, as well as the many rural obstacles such as goats and cattle in the road and at certain times and areas there can be a very high density of pedestrians along the sides of the road, it is recommended that this route is driven as patiently, carefully and slowly as possible. Thus it would be recommended that an average of 1 hour is expected for this leg of the route.
From Hazyview, the road then opens up to an entirely different scenery as it winds its way up hills and down valleys through extensive banana plantations and commercial forestry areas, allowing one to pick up a bit of speed once more and thus the 55 km trip between Hazyview and White River can comfortably be done in 30 to 40 mins.
Alternatively, should the time be available, the trip to Nelspruit or White River can be combined with an excursion via the Panoramic Route. This would entail leaving the Lowveld region via the JG Strijdom Tunnel and heading along the upper ridge of the escarpment via Graskop and Sabie. The scenic vista’s of the Three Rondavels, The Lowveld Lookout Point, God’s Window and the many different waterfalls can be enjoyed along the way. This trip is a total of 265km and together with the expected stopping times to enjoy the scenery and vistas along the way, in addition to a well earned lunch stop en-route, a total of 4-5 hours needs to be set aside for this trip.