5 Best Stops Along The Panorama Route
A trip to Mpumalanga would simply be incomplete without a self-drive along the Panorama Route. Marvel some of earth’s grandest designs and enjoy some man-made wonders all in one winding route. To learn more, read on to find out our 5 Best Stops Along the Panorama Route!
1. Blyde River Canyon
Lauded as one of the largest canyons in the world, Blyde River Canyon is also the second largest on the continent. This awe-inspiring spot can be found at the very top of the Panorama Route and where we suggest starting your journey.
Venture into the nature reserve on one of the many walks available and soak in some incredible scenery. If you’re nervous about heights, we recommend maintaining a safe distance from the cliff edge as it is a hair-raising 800-metre drop down to the riverbed below. As a matter of perspective, this is just 200-metres less than the world-renowned Table Mountain in Cape Town.
Given the sheer magnitude of the Blyde River Canyon, there are no shortage of spectacular viewpoints. If there is only time for one, it must be the Three Rondavels and we recommend you not move on before seeing them.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a clear, mist-free day, other viewpoints to enjoy are God’s Window and The Pinnacle.
2. Bourke's Luck Potholes
Bourke’s Luck Potholes are the result of decades upon decades of erosion by the Treur River (also known as the Blyde River). This natural geographical phenomenon has formed hundreds of cylindrical rock formations that could easily be from Mars.
The Blyderivierespoort Hiking Trail originates from Bourke’s Luck Potholes and extends on two tracks; the longer of which (Protea Trail) takes several days and must be booked in advance.
The Panorama Route is brimming with incredible waterfalls that ate sometimes grouped together and known as the Sabie Waterfall Route. This route consists of eight waterfalls, namely;
- Bridal Veil Falls
- Lone Creek Falls
- Horseshoe Falls
- Mac Mac Falls
- Maria Shires Falls
- Forest Falls
- Lisbon Falls
- Berlin Falls
We recommend visiting at least two waterfalls on your journey so learn more here and decide where you’re going to go before setting off.
4. Pilgrim's Rest
This quaint town has remained largely unchanged since Mpumalanga’s gold rush in the 19th Century. Step back in time as you stroll through the streets, taste local fare, or walk the well-trodden 5-day Prospector’s Trail.
With so much history to offer be sure to visit the museums and stop in for some stellar pancakes at Harrie’s Pancakes – a local institution and popular spot along the Panorama Route.
5. Graskop Glass Lift
Although the town of Graskop has always been noteworthy along the Panorama Route, its recently become increasingly popular due to the new Glass Lift. Descend 51 metres from the top of Graskop Gorge right down to the indigenous forest waiting below. Due to the glass panels in the lift, visitors can enjoy fantastic views across the gorge for the entirety of their descent.
Upon returning to solid ground, meander through the vast forest below and enjoy interactive panels, walkways, bridges, and some outstanding flora and fauna along the way.
If you’re truly an adrenaline junky at heart, we recommend taking a walk or short drive around the corner to the ‘Big Swing’ – the world’s highest cable gorge swing. This is unlike anything you may have tried, including bungee jumping, as you are strapped in an upright position to enjoy the full force of a 70m drop reaching speeds of 140km/h in under 3 seconds ready to enjoy the magnificent views as you start the swing. For guests who feel the Swing may be a bit much, there is also a 130m high-wire zipline option.
The start of your Panorama Route adventure is simple; start by booking your accommodation at Perry’s Bridge Hollow Hotel, hire a car, pack your bags, and join us in Hazyview! Reservations can be made online or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please Note: Almost all of the above attractions have an entrance fee so we recommend carrying cash for this.
Graskop Gorge Lift Company
The Incidental Tourist