Escape from South Africa, or Nthakeni to roadside north of Mapai

It was a bit of a cool morning. I think I have become to used to having power and turning on the heater in the morning. I thus shamefully started the diesel heater for a while. I got moving a bit after 9am, visited the office for payment and a chat. Then it was off to Pafuri entrance to Kruger National Park. So after paying $A47 for the privilege of driving through 35km of the park to get to the Pafuri border gate, I arrived at the border.

I was very, very nervous. My TIP (temporary import permit) had expired 18 months ago. so I had specially chosen Pafuri because I didn’t think they had customs, who would question me on my expired TIP.

I was right. No problems getting my passport processed, and the Police gave a cursory inspection of Clancy, and I was on my way to Mozambique! At the Moz side I paid 1000 rand for a visa ( Facebook said 550R or 850R but who was I to argue). Then 200R for a TIP, and 100R for some other piece of paper from the Police. Then it was the cursory inspection of Clancy plus the request for soft drinks, to which I provided 3 cans of coke that I had prepared earlier for this very request.

Stopped for lunch along the Limpopo, it was too deep to ford.

Onwards towards Mapai. It is a rough slow road, barely a 4wd track in places. 25kmh most of the time. I was looking for places to stop for the night when I suddenly arrived on the hand operated ferry across the Limpopo. Another chance to be very, very nervous. I asked the guy in charge about shifting the diesel drums of the roof, to lower the centre of gravity, but he thought it unnecessary. So 700R (Facebook said 500R) I gingerly drove Clancy on the boat that did not seem big enough to support the 3+ tonnes of Clancy. However all went well and they poled it across the Limpopo and I reversed off the other side.

Crouched at the front of the boat, trying to not get in the way of the guy poling the boat across the Limpopo


It was getting dark and I was driving down tracks in the growing gloom. I got completely lost and ended up parked by the side of a track between a couple of villages. I would have to figure it out tomorrow in the light.

Almost dark, parked on an uncomfortable slope between a couple of villages – lost
My unsatisfactory camping spot early next morning
This is what it looked like on someone else’s crossing who had a drone.


2 thoughts on “Escape from South Africa, or Nthakeni to roadside north of Mapai”

  1. Wow, Greg
    This looks really scary. Wouldn’t it have been a possibility to stay a few days at that campsite near the border and go in the same way into Kruger. And than do a new TIP at Komatipoort. I did it that way. But I had like a month in between.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *