Palala River Cottages are very easily accessed being only 3 hours by road north of Johannesburg. International visitors usually arrive at Johannesburg airport and are met and transported by road or air up to Palala River Cottages. Guests can also choose to self-drive.

By Road

Journey time: Approx 3 hours from Johannesburg
Self-driving: Please note that there are 3 toll gates on the way to Palala River Cottages and so some cash will be needed for these.

Driving Directions from Johannesburg

  • Take the N1 highway North towards Pietersburg / Polokwane.
  • Turn off at the Kranskop toll gate (third toll gate) to Nylstroom/Modimolle.
  • Go through Nylstroom/Modimolle to Vaalwater (± 60km).
  • In Vaalwater turn right at the stop street towards Melkriver.
  • Go ± 42 km and turn left onto a gravel road marked Melkriver School/Lapalala.
  • After 6km turn right (there is an old Cape Dutch farm house on the right hand side).
  • Follow this road for about 4km, the main entrance to Jembisa Lodge will be on your right.
  • If you are driving to Kingfisher Cottage, continue past the main entrance to Jembisa. After 1km the road bends to the left. At the bottom of the hill, the Kingfisher gate will be on your right. Kingfisher entrance is before the Palala river bridge.
  • If you are driving to the Podica chalets, continue past the main entrance to Jembisa. After 1km the road bends to the left, go over the Palala River Bridge and through the electric gate. Drive another 1km and keep to the right of the fork and follow the Podica signs.
  • If you are driving to River Cottage, do not take the Lapalala turn, but stay on the Melkrivier Road from Vaalwater until you reach a T-Junction. Turn left at the T, and approximately 2 kms on the left handside you will see a farm gate. This is just before you cross the Palala River. Someone will greet you at the gate.

By Air

Journey time: Approx ½ hour from Johannesburg Air charters can be arranged to a local air strip.
GPS co-ordinates lodge: GPS: S23° 57.596 | E28° 24.045


"Third trip and the best ever! Saw most game and took a drive to the ‘River Crossing’ for the most awesome view!! Sunset drinks on the dunes – watching the hippos was a different experience. Thanks for another bush & bundu bashing two days."
–  Ernie & Barbara

"Just the right amount of everything. No TV, no cellphone reception, lots of silence, the sound of running water and a nice outdoor shower. Thank you for the wine and the card."
–  Wouter & Sandra

"The family came for a wedding. Wow. The 2 days we spent here have been wonderful. We certainly didn't want to go home (Johannesburg). Mother nature together with your friendly, helpful staff, (they must be hand-picked) made the wedding and our stay unforgettable. Compliments to all the staff."
–  Colin & Desiree

"Thank you for the excellent accommodation! We really appreciated the complimentary bottle of wine, and the personalised card was a nice touch. The peace and quiet was just what the doctor ordered. We will definitely be back."
–  Hercules, Candice & Hailey

"Dankie vir die stil verblyf. Die natuurskoon is wonderlik. Wonderlik om te kan ontspan en die stilte te kan ervaar."
–  Danie

"Thanks for a very memorable evening. The massage down by the river is great. Will definitely be back."
–  Franswa & Corrie

"Another magical, restorative stay at Podica (no.3 WOW!) Wonderful Eland & Giraffe sightings & we found the Iron Age site…. At last! Thank you for everything, take care of yourselves & we’ll see you soon. "
–  Leo, Dominique & Cassey

"Thank you for a most enjoyable and peaceful stay. All the staff we met were friendly and very helpful and we loved driving and walking in your most beautiful bush. We look forward to coming back again. "
–  Charles & Joan

"Thank you for the great weekend away. We really enjoyed being one with nature and the relaxing environment. We did a self drive game drive and saw lots of beautiful animals which was one of our highlights. We also really loved showering outside. Thanks again for the card and the wine (nice touch). "
–  Xolani & Pusho

"The birding has been awesome and the animals, special as always."
–  Philip and Caroline

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