South Africa's Panorama Route is easily one of the most popular places for travel in South Africa, and by far one of the most scenic on the continent. Winding its way through the Drakensberg craggy mountains of Mpumalanga and the northeastern end of the Great Escarpment, this route has some of the most dramatic landscape in the world, and travellers should easily find suitable Panorama Route hotel accommodation.
The best views are to be had on a clear winter's day when the mist and clouds that mar the view in summer are nowhere in sight. At the edge of the plateau, the land falls away beneath your feet and the vast Lowveld plains spread out about a kilometre below. The rains that come here the rest of the year are largely due to the plateau acting as a cloud barrier and make it difficult to see very far.
Along the Panorama Route, the most famous stretch is the one at the Blyde River Canyon. With dozens of great view points and a bird's eye view of the 33-km gorge marked by the Bourkes Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels, the Blyde River Canyon is quite something.
The potholes of Bourkes Luck are an unusual water feature formed by millions of years of erosion. These whirling water holes have been grated away from the rocky river bed due to the friction between the sands and rocks in the water and the floor of the river.
The Blyde River forms the largest South Africa canyon, also the third largest canyon in the world. The sheer magnitude of the sight and the wonderful vantage points one gets from this escarpment make it a natural wonder in its own right. The cliffs, the distant river bed, the jagged rocks, the whirlpools - you can see nature is at its very best in this canyon and enjoy many Panorama Route tours.
Breathe in the refreshing, cool air at the top of the Long Tom Pass, be enthralled by the reviving spray of the waterfalls as they drop down the edges of the cliffs to the valleys and gorges below, or just delight in the magnificence of the views.
Add a little something extra to the trip by trying hot air ballooning joy rides with a glass of bubbly and someone special by your side. Or explore the culture of the region at Hazyview's Shangana Cultural Village. There are many exciting things to see and do along the Panorama Route, ensuring an action-packed, fun-filled South Africa holiday.
Take a Panorama Route tour and enjoy an enchanting view of the plains stretching out towards Mozambique, the Kruger National Park and the mountains in the distance, head to the walking trails of God's Window.
If a South Africa safari is your thing, then the Big Game Country of Mpumalanga is just the place to find some serious action. With dozens of sanctuaries for animals and birds, there is so much to see and do. The jewel in South Africa's crown is the world famous Kruger park. Nearby are also a number of luxury private reserves and a variety of Panorama Route hotels, as listed on our Panorama Route map. In addition to safaris, the area offers hiking, bird watching, fishing and horseback riding. Streams, which were once centres of the gold rush, are now havens for trout fishermen and hobby anglers.
The Mpumalanga region of South Africa is bursting at the seams with history and fascinating stories. From gold prospectors to hunters, the area has been a great place to come to since the pioneers first arrived here. The best places to see some living history are the gold rush towns near Pilgrims Rest and Barberton. For a feel of local culture and tradition, the Middleveld is hard to beat with its old customs, such as the enigmatic Ndebele brightly decorated homes.
The route to Kruger Park from Mpumalanga is in itself a great attraction. Take a slight detour on the N4 towards Dullstroom village; make your way to the Long Tom Pass for some great views, and then head on to the Lone Creek Falls until you reach Sabie. Sabie is a delightful little town that sustains itself on forestry and that has lush green countryside that is oh-so-easy on the eye. After a stopover at Sabie, head to the Mac Mac falls and splash about in the refreshing waters of the pools below.
Another great break away from the main route at Pilgrims Rest. This historic gold rush town is a fascinating stop on the way to the Blyderivierspoort Nature Reserve. Once at the reserve, gaze out onto the canyon below and indulge in some serious bird watching. The southernmost end of the reserve offers an indescribable view of the Lowveld from Gods Window. After this, you'll be within easy driving distance of the Orpen Gate, your entry point to Kruger park.