The Lowveld is a glorious place to explore and when you are staying at our comfortable, Nelspruit accommodation for your December holidays, exploring is the one thing you have to do!

The absolute best way to take in all of the sights is to embark on the Panorama Route. And in this 2 part blog, we’ll guide you to some of the route’s famous attractions.

The Start of the Panorama Route

Heading out early in the morning on the R40 towards White River, you can choose one of two ways to get to Sabie, one of the first towns on this Route.  You can turn left onto the Brondal road just before you get to Riverside or you can head straight past Riverside to White River.  The Brondal route will take you through beautiful mountains until you get to a T-junction. From there you can go right at the T-junction wind down off the mountain and into picture-perfect Sabie.

Alternatively, you can head straight to White River and just before entering White River turn left onto the Sabie road.  This route will take you through the third largest man-made pine forest before you once again get to a T-junction, turn left and enter into Sabie from the other side of this picture perfect little town.

This entrance to the town will take you past the famous Woodsman Pub and Restaurant.  This character filled restaurant is a huge log cabin with a deck overlooking the hills.    The Woodsman Restaurant is a popular hang-out for breakfast bike runners.  Another highlight of the town is the train diner aptly named The Smokey while the Sabie Brewing Company is also a treat.  Small shops line the streets and there is also a popular must-visit second-hand bookshop. If you want to experience something a little more rustic, you can always enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Sabie river at the Merry Pebbles Resort.

Moving Onward

Head north out of Sabie towards Graskop and to the famous Mac Mac Pools.  This is the next stop on your Panorama Route.  Named by Scottish miners who panned for gold in the gorge, Mac Mac Pools is now an essential stop along the way, where visitors can enjoy a picnic and even take a swim in the chilly waters of the rock pool.

Getting back on the road and turning right you will come to the first of many waterfalls on this route.  The Mac Mac Falls can be heard well before they are seen as you wind your way along the walkway past the locals selling their wares, to the viewpoint of the falls.  At the viewpoint, you will get to see not one but two waterfalls as they fall 70 meters before meeting in a single pool with a terrific crash.

Head north again leaving the Mac Mac Falls past the Jock Of The Bushveld Memorial and the Maria Shrines Waterfall which are both worth a stop off, before heading left to Pilgrims Rest.

The 8 kilometres to Pilgrim’s Rest is well worth the drive.  The road winds through the wilderness until the village comes to view tucked into the mountainside.  Pilgrim’s Rest will make you feel like you have taken a step back into the past.   The town consists of buildings kept as they were a hundred years ago.  Lose yourself in the past as you take a walk through the towns many shops, many filled with items from a by-gone era.  Drop in The Diggings Site and try your hand at panning for gold or take a walk through the historical graveyard.  Be sure to have a drink at the legendary Royal Hotel before having your photo taking is a vintage dress at the Drezden Shop.  If you feeling peckish there are a variety of coffee shops in the town to grab a snack before heading on to your next exciting stop.

This is trip can take around a day or so to complete if you are in a hurry, and in the evening there is more than enough time for you to return to the Nelspruit Lodge. Read part two to find out about the other interesting places you can see.

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