South Africa
 
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Book with peace of mind with Africa A-Z - PROVIDING EXCEPTIONAL AFRICAN SAFARIS AND TOURS SINCE 2004 (Free, no-obligation quotes)  
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South Africa attraction - Just outside of the Kruger National Park is the most beautiful and popular travel destinations in South Africa - The Panorama Route.

 
Blyde River Canyon on the scenic Panorama Route near Kruger National Park
 
The Panorama Route leads through the rugged and dramatic mountain range of the northern Drakensberg. In the north-eastern part of the Great Escarpment, the inland plateau declines abruptly and steeply and opens up fantastic views of the plains of the Lowveld up to a thousand metres below.

The Panorama Route starts at Bourke's Luck Potholes and ends at the Three Rondavels. There are viewpoints all along the route along the edge of the escarpment offering excellent views of the Blyde River Canyon and the river below. The views are usually best (clearer) in the dry winter months.

The Blyde River Canyon is the most spectacular stretch on The Panorama Route. It is the 3rd largest canyon in the world. Unlike the Fish River Canyon in Namibia and the Grand Canyon in America, it is filled with wildlife and lush vegetation. It is the only place where all the primates (5) of Southern Africa can be found, along with many species of antelope and other animals.

Where the Blyde River (River of joy) and Treur River (River of sorrow) meet, grit and rocks have ground out the amazing Bourke's Luck Potholes. These potholes are cylindrical rock formations that were shaped millions of years ago, with the strange swirl holes developing as the river carried away masses of sand and debris.

Just outside the town of Graskop is 'God's Window', a fissure in the mountain side which reveals the rocky escarpment and the Lowveld, with Mozambique and Kruger National Park in the distance. Wonder View is the highest viewpoint on the Panorama Route and is 1.3km's north of God's Window.

At the Three Rondavels viewpoint (also called The Three Sisters) is an unforgettable view of three huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon. 'Rondavel' is a South African word that refers to a round hut-like dwelling, usually with a thatched roof. The tops of the Three Rondavel's resemble native huts.

The Lisbon Falls are the highest waterfall in the area, 92m's. There are many other waterfalls in the area such as Lone Creek Falls, Berlin Falls, Panorama Falls and the Mac Mac Falls. Some of these have naturally formed pools where a refreshing swim after a hot day of sightseeing is a welcome respite.

Other well known sites to see on the Panorama Route include: Echo Caves, Sudwala Caves, Pinnacle Rock, Mac Mac Pools etc.

Towns along the Panorama Route are historic and well worth a visit.

Pilgrims Rest is a picturesque and historic village which is now a National Monument offering visitors a fascinating window into the past and captures the spirit of a bygone era and it's people in their quest for gold. The town has been lovingly restored to the exact architectural style of the gold rush period. There are several museums in town and gold panning tours.

Graskop is a small forestry town which is perched on the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment. It is a great base for exploring the Panorama Route and all the attractions are only a few minutes drive away. The narrow, winding road between Graskop and Pilgrims Rest is incredibly scenic. Graskop's most famous residents were Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his dog, Jock as detailed in the book "Jock of the Bushveld".

There are lots of activities on offer in this amazing area such as White water rafting, kloofing, Abseiling, wilderness Trails and fly fishing.