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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.

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