Panorama Route Featured, Travel Region
One of South Africa's most scenic areas, The Panorama Route refers to the escarpment in Mpumalanga Province, where the Drakensberg mountains separate the Highveld from the Lowveld to the east. Studded with numerous waterfalls, spectacular viewpoints and geographical phenomena and a breathtaking canyon, it's understandably a popular tourist destination.
* Panorama Route Highlights
- ∞Blyde River Canyon
- ∞Bourke's Luck Potholes
- ∞God's Window
- ∞Three Rondavels
- ∞Mac Mac Falls
- ∞Berlin Falls
- ∞Lisbon Falls
- ∞Historical Pilgrim's Rest
- ∞The Pinnacle
- ∞Graskop Gorge Lift
The Panorama Route encompasses several scenic and picturesque villages, the most central of which is Graskop Village with its landmark Harrie's Pancakes and curio shop. However, it's easily reached from other towns like Sabie, Hazyview, White River, Nelspruit and Hoedspruit.
It's an area with an abundance of attractions, rivers, waterfalls, natural rock formations, viewpoints with endless vistas and the famous Blyde River Canyon.
Although it is possible to get a good 'overview' of the area in a day, you'll be spoilt for choice with a stay of 2 or even 3 days to fully enjoy all the sights and attractions the area has to offer.
Tell us about your preferences and we'll gladly recommend overnight accommodation as well as fully-guided or self-drive options.
These are some of our favourites:
Graskop Gorge Lift
A recent addition to the Panorama Route, the Graskop Gorge Lift is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
A glass-fronted lift takes you some 50 m down a sheer cliff face to the valley floor in the forest below. Once there, you can explore via a network of suspension bridges and walkways along forest trails and across mountain streams.
There are a few shops, craft markets and a restaurant and bar at the top.
Central and well-known, this famous little town is a living museum and dates back to the pioneering days of the Gold Rush of the 19th Century. It's like stepping back in a time machine.
There are numerous museums housed in corrugated iron houses, the infamous Robbers Pass, the ubiquitous Royal Hotel, the authentic recreation of the Digging Site just outside town, the Church Bar, old newspaper offices and an assortment of tea rooms, stores and diners for you to discover.
Blyde River Canyon
This is the world's greenest canyon, third in size only to the Grand Canyon of America and the Fish River Canyon of Namibia.
The best place to view the canyon is the Lowveld View site,1219 m high and offering a breathtaking view over the Blyde River Canyon with its assorted surrounds of rock formations like The Three Rondavels and forested valleys.
Look downwards to see the Blyde River snaking its way across the canyon floor to the wide expanse of the Blydepoort Dam.
Bourke's Luck Potholes
Over millennia, swirling whirlpools between the confluence of the Treur (Sad) and Blyde (Happy) Rivers have carved out a series of fascinating potholes in the underlying rockface.
A popular tourist spot, you can explore the area on foot or via sturdy overhead bridges overlooking the potholes below. There's a good information centre, picnic area and many local crafts on offer.
Probably the most well-known of the viewpoints in the area, it's perched on the edge of the escarpment with endless views out over the Lowveld below. On a clear day, you can see forever. Or, at least, all the way to Mozambique, over 200km away.
A freestanding rock monolith which rises up from the thick surrounding bush like a sentinel. There are two viewpoints, each giving you different aspects of this geographical phenomenon.
Mac Mac Falls
A walkway past local curio stalls leads you to the lookout over these twin waterfalls which plummet 70 metres to the rock pool below. The noise is thunderous and can be heard at some distance.
The Mac Mac Pools are a few km away and ideal for a shady, verdant picnic stop and a refreshing swim in the bracing mountain waters.
Other waterfalls worth a visit include the Lisbon Falls (92 m and the area's highest) and the Berlin Falls (42 m).
The Echo Caves
These are just outside Ohrigstad. Said to be amongst the oldest caves in the world, they are a Historical Monument. It is said that the local people used one of the cave's stalactites as a drum to warn of approaching enemies. The caves extend for about 40 km and the sound travelled surprising distances, hence the name.
Many Others Activities
- Hiking Trails
- MTB Bike trails
- River Rafting & Boat Cruises
- Art Galleries
- Craft Markets
- Farm Stores
- Wine & Craft Beer Shops
- Assorted Restaurants & Dining Options
- Hot air ballooning
- Helicopter Trips
- Long Tom Toboggan
- Shangaan Cultural Village
- Elephant Interactions
- Reptile Parks
- Animal Rehabilitation Centres
Please contact us and we'll gladly suggest an itinerary to suit your time, tastes and budget.