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Panorama Route

The Panorama Route is one of the most beautiful travel sightseeing’s in South Africa. It leads right through the rugged mountain range of the northern Drakensberg in the Mpumalanga province. The view from the Drakensbergen shows a huge, abrupt elevation, which ensures fantastic views of the plains of the Lowveld a thousands of ft below. The panorama route takes you along the Blyde river canyon, Bourke’s Luck potholes and Gods windows. Other highlights are the waterfalls in Graskop and Sabie as well the lovely towns Hazeview, Ohrigstad and Pelgrim’s rest.

Blyde river canyon cuts through the Mpumalanga part of the Drakensberg mountain range, one of the seven major mountain systems in Africa. Blyde river canyon is the third largest canyon in the world and one of the most spectacular sights in Africa. There are magnificent panoramic views over cliffs rising thousands of ft above river bed. The wonders of these views can be witnessed while walking the unforgettable trails laid out on the rocks. The Three Rondavels are huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon. They consist slate under a hood of hard quartz where pine trees grow. They have been named after the traditional cabins from de Xhosa tribe, because they look alike.

The ‘Pinnacle’ is a single quartzite column rising almost 100 ft out of the deep wooded canyon. The Blyde river canyon nature gives home to spectacular wildlife, bird-life and plant-life. Klipspringer and dassies find food and shelter in the rocky areas. The grassland supports grey roebuck, rodents, reptiles, seed-eating birds and plenty of insects.

Bourke’s Luck Potholes are named after gold digger Tom Bourke who found some at this place. He thought that there would be more, but it didn’t make him rich. The potholes where created by the water, at the meeting point of the Blyde River and the Treur River the swirling water carved strange cylindrical sculptures. The smooth red and yellow rocks stand in contrast with the dark pools.

God’s windows is a spectacular viewpoint of canyons, waterfalls and rock formations. God’s Window is a small part of a 155 miles long earthwork of sheer cliffs and extravagant beauty. One can observe the hills and forests as far as the eye can see. There are curio stalls and toilet facilities at the parking area. Wonder view is at 5700 ft, the highest viewpoint along the Panorama route.

Pilgrims Rest is a beautiful and romantic spot in a world where a gold rush took place, it has been declared a National Monument. Near Sabie there are some impressive waterfalls like the “Bridal Veil Falls”, the “Horseshoe Falls” or the 230 ft high “Lone Creek Falls”. Particularly beautiful are the “Mac Mac Falls” between Sabie and Graskop, they are twin waterfalls with a height of 180 ft. Graskop lies above the Kowyn’s Pass, it was founded in 1880 as a settlement for gold diggers like many other villages in this area. It a very nice town , with shops, restaurants and curio stalls. For a wonderful cultural experience visit Shangana Cultural Village in Hazyview. Shangana offers tours during the day, traditional lunches and a festival at night.

Eastgate Airport

Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport (SA) lies just outside Hoedspruit, a little town in South Africa. Its situated in the province Limpopo, at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg. Eastgate Airport is part of the Air Force Base Hoedspruit which is an airbase of the South African Air Force. The base was officially opened on 1th of July 1978. It was designed to be a highly protected wartime base, therefore it has underground hangars close to the runway.

The base gained international media attention in 2000, when it hosted the United States Air Force in order to provide rescue and humanitarian support to areas of Mozambique, devastated by the severe flooding caused by Cyclone Eline. It is also an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle. In the late 1990s an unused portion of the base was converted into a civilian airport which we know as Eastgate Airport. The airport is located within a double fence, with a watch tower at the gate.

Eastgate airport is used for civilian domestic flights. Eastgate can accommodate any sized aircraft from an private aircraft to an Airbus. In 2003 the former premier of Limpopo, Ngoako Ramathlodi, announced his approval of an international license for Eastgate Airport, but nothing has come of it. The tourism and agricultural sectors have been identified economic growth points for the region and international status for Eastgate is crucial for servicing these sectors.

Eastgate Airport service daily scheduled flights from and towards Johannesburg as well Cape town by South African Airways. There are also other domestic carriers who have regular flights to this airport. Eastgate Airport is also ideally suited to the handling of private charter flights. Eastgate Airport services over 65 luxury accommodations, B&B and lodges nearby the airport as well close to the world famous Kruger National Park, the towns Hoedspruit, Tzaneen and Phalaborwa.

From Johannesburg it’s just an 1 hour and 15 minutes flight. Because it’s a short flight, the plane flies lower than usual creating beautiful sightseeing over tropical African landscapes. Tourists can sometimes spot cheetah’s while landing on Eastgate Airport. They have been plotted in the field nearby, to chase away the birds and other animals.

Once the plane has landed safely, passengers proceed walking towards the arrival halls while the luggage is brought by tractor and trailer. The arrival hall is the same area where security screening is taking place which doesn’t go like the usual. No X-Ray machinery to check your carry on luggage. Military will do examination of your bags while staff are casual and friendly checking your passport and paperwork. There’s a restaurant on the airport which serves light meals, as well a curio shop and foreign currency exchange office. Travelers have the ability to rent a car from Avis or choose from one of the many airport taxi’s which can bring you to your next destination.


Arusha is a city located in the north of Tanzania, situated below Mount Meru nearby the Great Rift Valley. The city has a pleasant climate since it’s close to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro. Arusha is being surrounded by some of Africa most famous landscapes and national parks. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 310 thousand people.

Arusha is known by locals as “A Town”, which helps understanding that Arusha is not a particularly attractive city. The city is often used by travelers as a stop over before safaris and sightseeing elsewhere in Tanzania. However, it’s natural charm and ambiance of the Tanzanians locals and the buzz of the fast growing city life makes Arusha having plenty to offer to travelers who are willing to see beyond air conditioned hotel rooms and safari trucks.

Arusha has two airports, the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) which has regular flights from Amsterdam with KLM and other international travel destinations, and the Arusha Municipal Airport (ARK) which is only in use for domestic destinations. Before continuing to your next destination or safari try to enjoy the following sightseeing’s including climbing Mount Meru, such trip can be done in 2 to 4 days. Contact the Tanzania Tourist Board in order to arrange it. Another highlight of the town, besides various markets, malls, and nightlife is the Century Cinema.

It is best to check the official website of Tanzania’s embassy in the United States for the latest information. As of early 2010, Visas-on-arrival are available at Kilimanjaro International Airport for $50, or $100 for U.S. nationals.


Kairouan (القيروان) by locals also known as Kirwan, Al Qayrawan, is the capital city of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia. The city has been founded by the Arabs in the year 670. After its establishment, the city became an important center for Islamic and Quranic studies, which attracted a large number of Muslims from all over the globe, next to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. Kairouan was the Islamic Cultural Capital of the year 2009. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 175 thousand people.

The city of Kairouan offers history and culture, especially on the subject Islam. It’s reputed among Muslims that seven visits to the city, stands even to one in Mecca. The mosques and history has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city can be easily reached from domestic destinations within Tunisian by bus, car or private taxi. City center can be easily explored on foot, where loud noise, many people and markets rule the street sight. Especially when coming closer to the main mosque, The Medina.

You might wonder what kind of sightseeing Kairouan has to offer. The main sightseeing include mosques which are The Great Mosque, The Mosque of the Three Doors, Medressas, Bi’r Barouta which is a holy Well directed linked to the ZamZam Well in Mecca. When the excitement of sightseeing or the streets gets too much, find your way to the Main Gate of the city center to find several traditional Tea Houses in order to enjoy a cup of tea in combination with a Kairouan cuisine specialty called “makrouhd” which is a tasty sticky pastry. If you’re in need of an carpet, Kairouan is the city to buy one. It’s worldwide famous for carpets as many shops are spread out over the city. The carpet price are graded by their fineness, Silk carpets are the most expensive one.

To visit Tunisia, you need a passport valid for at least six months and a ticket proving that you are moving on to your next destination or that you are returning to your home country after a certain period. If you are from the United States, you do not need a visa to stay in Tunisia for up to four months.


Entebbe is a city in Wakiso District of Uganda situated about 23 miles southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The city is home to Entebbe’s International Airport, and sits on the northern shores of Lake Victoria, Africa‘s largest lake. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 75 thousand people.

Entebbe is a popular travel destinations for travelers heading to the capital city Kampala, reasoning is that Entebbe International Airport is the main entrance to Uganda from international destinations. Although it’s just an hour drive, it might be a good idea sticking around in Entebbe for a day or two as city is underestimated by a lot of travelers. It’s an medium sized city with easy and fast transportation on Boda boda motorcycle taxi, yet its dangerous and a lot of accidents happen. Hiring a taxi from a trust source such as hotel, friend of company may be wiser. Walking around is possible too, as the streets are safe, and old colonial gardens and parks generate a relaxed ambiance.

When in the city you can visit several sightseeing’s such as museums, art galleries but also shopping malls and nightlife areas. A few sightseeing’s include the extensive National Botanical Gardens, Uganda Wildlife Education Center, Nkumba Univeristy and also the location of the State House which is the official residence of the President of Uganda. As earlier mentioned this city is underestimated and of perfect size for a day or two to learn more about the Uganda history, enjoy a few sightseeing’s and get familiar with the Ugandan people.

The visa policy in Uganda follows the principle of reciprocity, where countries that require visas for Ugandans are also required to present visas to enter Uganda. Those with US passports need an entry visa to visit Uganda. The same applies to naturalized American citizens of Ugandan descent. Single-entry visas will cost around $50 and applications can be processed at the Ugandan embassy or at various entry points.


Samarkand (Самарқанд), also known as Samarqand is the second largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province. The city is favorable for its position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and for being an Islamic study center. The city center is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. As of latest measurement Samarkand has a population of 600 thousand people.

The city of Samarkand was settled about 2000 BC, in old times the city was known by various including Afrosiab and Maracanda. Since 1925 it’s officially capital of the Uzbekistan Samarqand Province which is nowadays the most popular travel destination of modern Uzbekistan. Most of the locals would say “a must see for travelers to Uzbekistan”, and travelers whom been there agree. Samarkand is an easy reach by plane, train or car from Tashkent, the country’s capital city. Once arrived in the city make an opportunity eating it’s most famous product “Samarkand Non” bread at one popular restaurants such as Cafe Nur and Regal Palace Restaurant.

The city center of Samarkand can easily be explored on foot, as there’s a lot to see make sure to bring your camera along. Samarkand is filled with modern, cultural and historical sightseeing including tombs, temples, mosques, museums and many more; Afrosiyob Remains, Registan, Gur-Emir, Shakh-i-Zinda, Bibi-Khonum, Khazrat-Khizr, Tomb of Prophet Daniel, Ulugbek’s Observatory, The Mausoleum of Al Buxori Al Bukhari and Abu Mansoor Al Matrudi Mausoleum.

If you are to visit Uzbekistan from the United States, you will need a valid passport and a business or tourist visa. When applying for visa, you must bring along proof of your hotel reservations and proof purpose of visit.


Bulawayo, also known as “City of Kings” or “Skies” is the second largest city in Zimbabwe, directly after its capital Harare. It’s situated in the province of Bulawayo, 270 miles south-west of Harare. Bulawayo has the reputation for being the business capital of Zimbabwe because of its strategic position close by Botswana and South Africa. As of latest measurement Bulawayo has a population of 890 thousand people.

The city of Bulawayo is a relaxed and elegant city with three lined boulevards and decent sized city center, most travelers agree it’s worth a day or two exploring its shopping facilities like the Bulawayo Centre which has modern and chic clothing stores, internet cafe and cinema and restaurant scenery with fantastic restaurants such as New Orleans Restaurant and Haefelli’s Bakery. Not to mention a handful of interesting museums and cultural sights like the Amakhosi Theatre Company, National Art Gallery, Bulawayo and the Natural History Museum.

As earlier mentioned, a day or two is enough to explore city center. Yet, around the city of Bulawayo there’s many sightseeing left to be seen. Just outside the city are the Matobo National Park which is also known as Matopos and the Khami ruins. Both of these sightseeing require a day trip at minimum. Other popular sightseeing destinations nearby Bulawayo include Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls.

Nationals worldwide require a valid passport and visa to enter Zimbabwe from Harare International Airport. Travelers are advised to look after their belongings and don’t walk alone at night time, petty crime and theft are part of Bulawayo’s daily activities against tourists and locals due to poverty.

Cidade Velha

Cidade Velha, which is Portuguese for “Old City” or simply “Sidadi” in Cape Verdean Creole is a city located about 10 miles from Cape Verde‘s capital city Praia on the island of Santiago. Cidade Velha is the oldest settlement in Cape Verde and used to serve as the capital city. The city was once called Ribeira Grande. As of latest measurement the city of Cidade Velha has a population as little as 2500 people.

Today, Cidade Velha is an Atlantic shipping stop and center for Creole culture. It’s an easy reach from Praia, alugeurs leave multiple times a day from the Sucupira Market located west of the Plateau. You can reach the city at very low costs. Once in town, there’s plenty of cultural and historical sightseeing’s. Still, keep in mind that Cidade Velha is a small town, with visiting all of the sightseeing’s, enjoy your dinner in one of the restaurants around main square, you would have explored the town in under a day. If you wish to stay overnight, please ask the tourist information center for accommodation recommendations.

One of the popular tourist attractions include a walking tour starting at the Fort, above the town. From the fort, you will continue to visiting and view the ruined cathedral at the shores of the sea. Further more it will take you the main square, where executions have taken place, and a beautiful monument is waiting for your camera; Pelourinho ou picoto. After, you will reach Africa‘s oldest European built street, Rua Banana leading towards the Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rośario chapel.

To visit Cape Verde, you need a passport valid for at least six months. You also need to present your return ticket or any proof that you are leaving the African country at a certain date, either to go home or to move on to the next destination. You need to have a visa to cross the border.


Mindelo is a port city on the Cape Verdean island of São Vicente. It’s situated in the northern part of the island. Mindelo is also the seat of the parish of Nossa Senhora da Luz, as well the island’s municipality. Within city limits life over 96% of the entire island’s population. As of latest measurement the city has a population of 80 thousand people.

The city of Mindelo is of decent size, a lot of the sightseeing’s and major attractions are reachable by foot. It’s known as the cultural capital of Cape Verde, anywhere in and around downtown and center areas you will hear traditional music, as well in bars, restaurants and shopping malls. Getting around can be done best by taxi’s as local buses travel limit routes.

When staying in Mindelo there’s several sightseeing tours that can be entertaining as well interesting. For example you can do a walking tour through the town, visiting and viewing some historical and cultural buildings like the CV Telecom building, as well the Alliance Francaise and the eagle monument on the shores named “Rua Libertadores d’Africa“. Further more Praça Independencia, and Torre de Belem should be added to your list. As well the parliament buildings and Mercado Municipal indoor market.

To visit Cape Verde, you need a passport valid for at least six months. You also need to present your return ticket or any proof that you are leaving the African country at a certain date, either to go home or to move on to the next destination. You need to have a visa to cross the border.


Oudtshoorn, also referred to as ostrich capital of the world is the biggest town, in the Klein Karoo area. Situated in the Western Province area South of the large desert land of Karoo, which covers a large part of South Africa. Located just a few hours from Cape Town, it’s an often underestimated as travel destination, but it has a lot to offer. As of latest measurement Oudtshoorn has a population of 80 thousand people.

Situated in the shadow of the Swartberg Mountains, the climate is somewhat different from most of the Western Cape’s warm, rainy average, with occasional snow topping the Swartberg during the winter months, and although the surrounding valleys are very fertile, the area is generally dry.

Oudtshoorn and the Little Karoo have an interesting history and a unique culture. The Khoisan, known upon their encounter with the Afrikaans settlers as Bushmen, were most likely the only humans to have occupied the area. The mountains, hills and caves just outside of Oudtshoorn are home to some of the more famous Iron Age rock paintings, and for a prime insight into Khoisan culture, they are definitely worth experiencing.

Some of the caves to not have paintings, but are still worth visiting, such as the Cango caves, an extensive network of tunnels and passages, estimated at a total of four kilometers, where impressive limestone formations and stone relics can be admired under the auspices of a professional guide.

Another major attraction of Oudtshoorn, and one of the defining features of its economic history, is the abundance of ostrich farms. Ostrich products became very fashionable during the beginning of the twentieth century, and the proceeds from this export have funded many of the historic buildings in the village.

Nowadays, although ostrich feathers are no longer the trend, ostrich meat has become increasingly popular, but some farms have diversified and cater for tourists, such as the Highgate Ostrich Show Farm, where visitors are exposed to the life cycle of the ostrich, with an extended tour of the farm. For the more adventurous type, several open farms allow visitors to ride the massive birds, a truly unique experience.