Limpopo’s capital city, Polokwane, is 197 miles (317 km) from Johannesburg. A number of different travel options are available. The quickest and most efficient method of traveling is an hour-long direct flight between Johannesburg and Polokwane.
Another option is going by road. Opt for a private transfer, which can typically be booked at a set rate regardless of the number of passengers. This gives travelers flexibility for stopping along the way without the added stress of driving. Those comfortable with driving on the left-hand side of the road may choose to rent a car. There is also the option of using the bus or the bus and train, although these are less convenient.
Those driving may be interested in this 12-Day itinerary that combines Kruger National Park and Cape Town.
Duration: 50 minutes
A direct flight from Johannesburg to Polokwane only takes 50 minutes. Travelers can arrange a private transfer from the airport. This can be useful when exploring Limpopo's game reserves and safaris. Those comfortable with driving can also rent a car from the airport. When driving, travelers should be careful of road damage and holes in the road in some areas of the province. The town Ohringstad has particularly bad roads which include the R36 and the R533.
By Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 3.5 to 5 hours
Traveling by car is more time-consuming than a direct flight, but offers travelers a chance to explore more of the country. Using a private transfer will offer travelers the chance to do this without worrying about driving on South African highways. If you choose to drive, you should keep cash or a credit card accessible for pay tolls.
Driving from Johannesburg to Polokwane will take 3.5 hours when traveling on the N1 highway. While this route is the quickest, it can be prone to accidents—an alternate route is traveling along the N12 and N11 highway, which takes closer to 5 hours. Those traveling along the N1 highway may be interested in stopping at Bela Bela for lunch and visiting the famous hot springs. After arriving at Polokwane, travelers hoping to visit Kruger National Park will drive along the R71. This route will take you through the town Tzaneen, famous for its tropical gardens, and the town Phalaborwa which borders the Kruger National Park.
Duration: 5 hours
There are direct bus routes available between Johannesburg and Polokwane. While traveling by bus can be less stressful than driving, it typically takes longer and is less comfortable. Most bus lines will include at least one refreshment stop along the way. The duration of the trip can be made longer due to bus delays.
By Train and Bus
Duration: 5.5 to 6 hours
While this is the least convenient option, it may appeal to those hoping to fully experience public transport in South Africa. The Gautrain route is from Johannesburg to Pretoria and takes 36 minutes. The Gautrain is one of the safest and most comfortable trains in South Africa. From Pretoria, travelers can get a bus to Polokwane in Limpopo. The bus trip takes 4.5 to 5 hours.