Getting between Johannesburg and Polokwane

by Peter Baxter on August 25, 2009

by Peter Baxter | August 25th, 2009  

Getting around SA

The N1 highway north is one of the main transit routes between South Africa and her northern neighbors. It ends at the Zimbabwean border. It is a busy route that runs through a swathe of largely unattractive territory that offers very little for the road touring enthusiast. Polokwane itself, although capital of Limpopo Province, is one of the less attractive destinations in South Africa, and is important from a travel point of view mainly for its access to the bushveld resorts of the Limpopo Province and the northern gates of Kruger National Park.

Flights

Only South African Airlink offers regular and direct scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Polokwane. Expect to pay between US$90 and US$140 for a one way fare.

Smaller charter flights are available.

Inter-city Coaches

Bearing in mind that Polokwane is on the main route through to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi a frequent and regular service is available from Johannesburg/Pretoria.

  • TransLux
  • InterCape
  • Greyhound
  • City to City (no frills coach booked thru TransLux)
  • SA Roadlink (super luxury coaches)
  • Citiliner
  • The Distance between Johannesburg and Polokwane is about 500km and the coach journey takes about 5 hrs with several stops en route.

    Baz Bus

    Baz Bus does not currently offer a service to or near Polokwane.

    Trains

    Shosholoza Economy Class is currently the only regular passenger train service on the line north to Musina and the Zimbabwe border. The train calls in at Polokwane en route.

    This is currently not an ideal route for tourist traffic

    Contact Shosholoza Meyl direct for schedules and prices.

    Driving

    The route between Johannesburg/Pretoria northwards towards Zimbabwe is a straight, direct toll-road that offers quick and hassle free transit but otherwise is a rather dry and sterile touring experience. This is not a beautiful part of South Africa at best, and the freeway has a typically ‘mass transit’ and industrial feel with some of the country’s least attractive towns and cities en route.

    It is possible to swing off the freeway and slip into some back country touring which is a much more rewarding experience. These options are ‘R’ roads are are sign posted en-route.

    >>take note of the high crime status of this region and avoid stopping or being stopped by anyone that is not clearly a police detail


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    { 3 comments }

    Jim Facey March 16, 2010 at 8:07 am
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    Did’nt like the comments about Polokwane at all!

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    Omar Ramda April 12, 2010 at 11:36 am
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    i need to get to polokwane on the 12th of june from Johannsburg, could you please advise of the best way to travel by coach.
    Many thanks

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    N Archer June 16, 2010 at 5:57 am
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    JHB-Polokwane is 338 kms, not 500km

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