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The Panorama Route | Mpumalanga Self Drive | Part 2

Part 2 of our Self Drive through the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, South Africa is where you will really discover how this route got its name. Endless landscapes unique to Mpumalanga provide sightseeing opportunities that will definitely take your breath away!

Lisbon Falls – Berlin Falls – Bourke’s Luck Potholes – Lowveld View – The Three Rondawels

A good place to start Part 2 of our Self Drive Panorama Route would be from Graskop, Mpumalanga.

Graskop Town

After a busy morning at the Graskop Gorge, then get back in your vehicles and head out on the R532 from Graskop for about 6km (or 3.7 Miles)  before turning left onto a dirt road towards Lisbon Falls.

(I would rather go to Part 1 of the Panorama Route)

Lisbon Falls, Mpumalanga

Berlin Falls

At a towering 92 metres high, the Lisbon Falls is the highest waterfall in the Mpumalanga, South Africa. The spectacular scenery that characterizes the Panorama Route is once more on full show here, with three sparkling waterfalls tumbling into the Lisbon River, which flows through a lovely green valley towards a mountainous backdrop. The falls are named after the Capitol City of Portugal

For rates and more info, click HERE

Berlin Falls

Drive back to the tar road and turn left, heading north again. After 2km (just over 1 mile), turn left and drive another 2 kilometres, past the Berlin Sawmill, to find the falls.

Berlin Falls, which forms part of the Blyde River Canyon on the Panorama route, is one of several waterfalls that can be found in the Sabie region

A vantage point overlooks this beautiful 45 metre waterfall which cascades into a dark pool flanked by impressive ochre cliffs.

For rates and more info, click HERE

Bourke’s Luck Potholes

Another 25km north along the R532, Panorama-Routers will turn right to enter the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, where they will find the peculiar but striking natural phenomena that are the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Mpumalanga.

Over millions of years, the churning whirlpools at the juncture between the Treur and Blyde rivers have carved out a fascinating array of large potholes in the bedrock. It’s a popular geological attraction formed by water erosion, with walkways & bridges for visitors.

Sturdy bridges allow visitors to walk right above these unique marvels of nature as the river persistently continues to swirl and grind away at the rock twenty metres below.

The Potholes were named after Tom Bourke, a gold-digger who staked a claim nearby, and signal the start of the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world.

Southwards of the canyon, the reserve follows the escarpment, to include the Devil’s and God’s Window, the latter a popular viewpoint to the Lowveld at the reserve’s southern extremity

A large picnic site and an informative visitor’s centre are also situated here. Watch out for the monkeys as they have been known to jump into cars!

For rates and more info, click HERE

Lowveld View

You will continue driving north, with the scenery now dominated by natural grassland and shrub. The turn-off to the Lowveld View site is situated 5km down the road.

The vantage point is 1219m high and offers a glorious view over the Blyde River Canyon, with its magnificent assortment of rocky peaks and deep valleys filled with dense indigenous forest. The Blyde River can be seen snaking through the canyon until it enters the pristine Blydepoort Dam. This large blue body of water sparkles like a sapphire contrasting against the lush greenery surrounding it.

It will now be late afternoon, so, if the day is clear, soft orange sunlight should make for superb photographic opportunities! Make sure you take in this breathtaking view of gorgeous Mpumalanga, South Africa!

No entrance Fee! (Woop-Woop)

The Three Rondawels

The Three Rondawels

Drive another 4.6km (or 2.5 miles) north to find this well-known attraction on the Panorama Route.

Mother Nature has once again truly outdone herself: the three massive rock edifices standing with silent grandeur in front of the viewing site and the splendor of the Blyde River Canyon spreading out in all directions make for a mesmerizing sight.

They resemble the traditional round or oval rondavels or African homesteads quite closely, which are made with local materials. Sometimes they are also called the Three Sisters, though this may confuse them with a similar threesome visible from the N1 road in the Northern Cape, very far to the south.

For rates and more info, click HERE

You may well be pressed for time at this point, so you should probably call it quits for the day, perhaps settling down for the night at the beautiful Forever Blydepoort Nature Reserve Resort close by or at one of the many lodges or B & B’s around Sabie or Graskop.  Or for those who live in Nelspruit or White River, head all the way home after a thoroughly entertaining day trip.

Too much to do to fit into one day?

The truth is that there is still a healthy abundance of attractions in the area, some of these include:

The Khamai Reptile Park, Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre, The Kruger National Park and the Tsakani Silk Farm (to name but a few) are all in close proximity to The Three Rondawels, so you won’t regret turning your self drive day trip into a thoroughly enjoyable weekend away with family or friends.

This area is truly one of the loveliest regions in the country and no brochure or photograph can do justice to its awe-inspiring beauty:  it has to be seen to be appreciated.

Go back to The Panorama Route | Mpumalanga Self Drive | Part 1

Text by Dale Hes & ShowMe Nelspruit


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