This self-drive journey through Mpumalanga is a must for any visitor and a popular choice for tours and day trips. The Panorama Route lies just west of the Kruger National Park and makes a superb addition to any safari itinerary.
The surrounding region is absolutely loaded with history - in fact Pilgrim's Rest is a National Monument. In this quaint town you will be transported back to the late 1800's for a glimpse into the days of the Gold Rush. There is even an annual gold panning competition among the town's many attractions. The nearby town of Sabie is also a great place to visit with plenty to do and see in the vicinity.
Perhaps the most famous aspect of the Panorama Route is the beautiful Blyde River Canyon. This incredible gorge is the third largest on earth, after the Grand Canyon in the USA and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia. It's called a green canyon because of its lush vegetation which sets it apart from all others. The dry winter months yield the clearest viewing times when cloud cover is less.
The canyon forms part of the northern Drakensberg Mountain range and there are a number of view sites along its length. Starting from the town of Graskop, visual highlights include The Pinnacle, God's Window, Wonder View, Lisbon Falls and Berlin Falls, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels.
This beautiful reserve stretches from the cooler highlands right down to the Blyde Dam located in the warmer Lowveld region. Top activities in the reserve include walks, hikes and trails, hot air ballooning, horse riding, biking, white water rafting, kloofing and abseiling, fly-fishing and boating.
The reserve is home to a range of wildlife such as primates and antelope species with Hippo and Crocodile in the wetlands. Less common inhabitants include the Samango Monkey, Taita Falcon and Verreaux's Eagle. The abundant flora is also exquisite and many species are quite rare.
Nearby nature reserves with accommodation
It is recommended to spend at least a week in this region of Mpumalanga and really make the most of all the activities and attractions.
This Limpopo nature reserve is situated at the bottom of the northern Drakensberg Mountains. It is a sanctuary for wildlife and offers tours of the centre and safari activities. It is well placed for tours of the Blyde River Canyon.
Umhlametsi Private Game Reserve
This Limpopo reserve is located nearer to the Kruger National Park in the Lowveld region. All the traditional safari activities are available as well as Blyde River Canyon activities.
This Mpumalanga reserve is situated nearer to Nelspruit and well placed for touring the Panorama Route. Likweti has a great range of outdoor and safari activities with something to suit every age and interest.