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The routes from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit: two options

So you are going to travel from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit, but are not yet sure about the best route to get there? Read our advice on the two major routes that us and our guests drive regularly.
Routes from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit

Route 1: Johannesburg – Hoedspruit via Belfast/Dullstroom/Leydenburg (435 km)

We start with our personal favourite route from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit since it’s the most scenic option of the two. The route takes you through the beautiful Highlands meander and allows you to take a break in the tourist town named Dullstroom. Pretty much from the moment of leaving Belfast (sorry, it’s just not an appealing town), the natural beauty starts and continues all the way to Hoedspruit

Of course there is a downside to this route and that’s the road conditions. The route is very prone to potholes and is mostly 2 lane. Which means it is difficult to overtake and can cause delays. Especially when the mist hits the Dullstroom area.

Pro tip
  1. Have food in Dullstroom at one of the many great restaurants there.
  2. Make sure to allow enough time to make this a joyable drive, this is not the route when in a hurry.

Route 2: Johannesburg – Hoedspruit via Polokwane/Magoebaskloof/Tzaneen (529 km)

This route from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit is slightly longer in distance but the road conditions are generally speaking a lot better, allowing for a higher average speed. There is a downside to it though; there are more tollbooths to leave some rands, more police speed checks and the scenery (except for the section Magoebaskloof – Hoedspruit) is less inspiring. 

Pro tip
  1. Stop for food in Haenertsburg and enjoy the beautiful area
  2. Make sure you have enough cash or the right card (no foreign debit cards) for the toll booths. 


Alternative transport to Hoedspruit

Not keen to take the drive yourself? There are two other options to get to Hoedspruit. One is making use of a transfer service (Nomads Den will gladly assist with arranging this). A professional driver with take you in a comfortable passenger van. 

The other option is flying. There are multiple flights going to Hoedspruit daily. Both Airlink as CemAir operate. After arrival pick up can be arranged or there ar e multiple rental car agencies in Hoedspruit to assist with your local transport.

Pro tip for car hire in Hoedspruit

When staying mostly around Hoedspruit you don’t need a 4×4. The area and town has good roads and the route to the Nomads Den is excellent, even for low sports vehicles. When venturing further out (like to Kurger), we do recommend looking at slightly higher vehicles for more comfort on gravel roads and better game viewing.

author avatar
Pim van de Leur Travel Expert and Photographer
South Africa, Kruger Park and Hoedspruit Travel expert with many years of experience. Photographer and video creator for the hospitality sector.
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