In June 2014, John and I went to South Africa to explore Kruger National Park and the Panorama Route.
We drove through Kruger National Park from sunup to sundown one day:
You can read all about that adventure HERE.
The Panorama Route is a scenic drive in the Mpumalanga province and home to the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world.
For an idea of the route, here is a map from Kwa Thabeng Bush Lodge’s website:
After looking at the area, we decided to position ourselves in Hazyview because of its close proximity to the town of Graskop, the official gateway of The Panorama Route.
Ashbourne Country Escape is a beautiful home away from home and perfectly located for exploring both Kruger Park and the Panorama Route.
We knew we wouldn’t have enough time to see everything along the Panorama Route, but Ashbourne Guesthouse is near the sights we wanted to explore the most.
God’s Window was our first stop.
The cliff is 2953 feet above the ravine and offers a stunning panoramic view of the Lowveld.
For reference, I am in the photo above. Can you see me?
We followed the path pointing to the rainforest:
That path led to another spectacular view!
It was so peaceful up there.
Our next stop was the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, named after a gold digger, Tom Burke.
This geological feature is situated at the confluence of the Treur and Blyde Rivers.
They’re the result of decades of swirling water.
It’s difficult to capture the actual size of these giant cylindrical potholes.
And the whole area surrounding the potholes is massive, too.
I just couldn’t get enough of the smooth, sculptured rock.
This is Nature’s art that was created over hundreds and hundreds of years.
And it is a work in progress.
Our host, Rob, recommended we stop at Potluck Boskombuis for lunch.
At first you’ll wonder if you made a wrong turn:
Just keep following the signs:
This traditional South African restaurant is located on R532 and is a must when exploring the Panorama Route.
The view is of the crystal clear Treur River:
And more colorful art from Mother Nature.
The ladies in the kitchen prepared an amazing South African meal for us.
I recommend the Boerewors, South African sausage:
Potluck Boskombuis offers delicious traditional food in a gorgeous location.
It was perfect.
Our next stop was Lowveld View Point.
This is a great place to view the rugged peaks of the Blyde Canyon:
And the Blyde River flowing far below.
Be sure to stop at the various guard-railed viewing platforms.
The east is the view of the Lowveld between two peaks (Mapjaneng on the left and Hebronberg on the right) which gives this viewpoint its name.
But to be honest, it doesn’t matter which direction you look:
There is beauty everywhere.
About 4.5 kilometers from the Lowveld View Point is the Three Rondawels.
A “Rondawel” refers to a round beehive-shaped hut, usually with a thatched roof.
So you can see how these three huge pinnacles of rock got their name.
Our last stop of the day was Lisbon Falls.
The Lisbon Falls are 308 feet high, the highest waterfalls in Mpumalanga.
If you are heading to the Mpumalanga province, don’t think twice about renting a car and exploring all on your own.
We use the TomTom app on our phone for navigation and most guesthouses and lodges will offer you a local map of the area.
Of course, there are several places you won’t find on a tourist map. Don’t be afraid to explore those places, too.
Rob, our guesthouse host, took us on a little adventure one afternoon.
He found this waterfall one day while flying arounds on his ultralight.
It is a hidden gem and we were so excited that he chose to share it with us.
We had a wonderful day exploring some of the Panorama Route’s scenic sights.
Maybe one day our travels will take us back to the Mpumalanga province so we can explore the rest of this picturesque area.
Until then, Sien jou later Suid Afrika!
If you’re planning a trip to Kruger Park and the Panorama Route, I highly recommend Ashbourne Country Escape in Hazyview for lodging. For more information, click HERE.
You can read all about our day in Kruger National Park HERE.
And for more on South Africa, click HERE.