If you have followed this blog from the first, you’ll already know all about the exciting places you can see during just a day on the road. In the second part of our blog, we’ll be highlighting the rest of the route.
Back on the road
After you’ve experienced all that Pilgrim’s Rest has to offer it is time to hit the road and head back in the direction you came and carry on past the natural bridge till you get to Graskop. Not quite in the same class as Sabie or Pilgrim’s Rest, Graskop does have its own charm. A look around the small shops in town will reveal several novelties to purchase. A popular place to grab a snack will surely be at Harrie’s Pancakes which is situated on the main street. Very reasonably priced, sweet, savoury or even veggie filled pancakes can be purchased at this pancake restaurant.
Take the road north out of Graskop and you are in for a sight-seeing adventure. Do turn onto the R534 loop to have a stunning view from three different viewpoints of the amazing Mpumalanga Drakensberg Escarpment. The Pinnacle is the first, a beautiful buttress of free-standing rock rising out of the indigenous forest. The natural wonder can be viewed from two different viewing decks.
Next on the list of must-see attractions is God’s Window. Truly living up to its name, God’s Window can be viewed once you have traversed a steep footpath of about 900m to the very edge of the escarpment. From this vantage point, the whole of the Lowveld and even Mozambique can be viewed.
Wonder View is next on this extraordinary route. At 1730m above sea level, Wonder View is the highest viewpoint on the Panorama Route. This is the last viewpoint on the loop, but a sensational one not to be missed.
The Final Leg
Head out of Graskop and straight to the Lisbon Falls. Lisbon Falls is the highest waterfall in the region and tumbles a staggering 92 meters. Get back on the tar road and head north past the Berlin Sawmills to the Berlin Falls. This waterfall is spectacular not because of its height, but because of the cliffs behind the waterfall and the deep pool that it cascades into.
A visit to this area will not be complete unless you stop in at the famous Bourke’s Luck Potholes. An easy 25km north of the Berlin Falls, turn right into the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve and get ready to be impressed by this natural wonder. Millions of years of whirlpools have carved huge potholes into the bedrock. Today we have the privilege of being able to walk right over this marvel of nature by means of bridges set safely 20 meters above. This is a good place to have a picnic and pay a visit to the visitor’s centre for information.
Heading north once more, about 5km down the road is the Lowveld View. This 1219 meter high vantage point offers a view of the Blyde River Canyon and this area goes from stunning rocky peaks to valleys that are filled with dense forest. From here you can also see the Blyde River as it eases itself through the canyon en route to the Blydepoort Dam.
The last but not to be missed attraction is another 4.6 km north. The aptly named Three Rondawels showcase nature at her very best. Three huge rock edifices stand out proudly in plain view sight with the Blyde River Canyon as a splendid backdrop.