Pilgrims Rest, Panorama Route
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Pilgrim's Rest is situated on the magnificent Panorama Route on the eastern Escarpment region of the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The entire town of Pilgrim’s rest has been declared a national monument. Here, visitors can relive the days of the old Transvaal gold rush.
The history of this quaint and delightful village dates back to 1873 when a miner, Alex Patterson, discovered alluvial gold on the farm named Ponieskrantz. Though the discovery was kept as a secret, once a second prospector named William Trafford also discovered gold close by, the inevitable happened. Soon after, optimistic panners and prospectors from all over the country and the World came to the area.
On 22nd September 1873 Pilgrim's Rest was officially proclaimed a gold field and the scatter of tents and elementary shacks soon grew into a flourishing little village complete with sturdy brick houses, shops, churches, canteens, a newspaper and the well-known Royal Hotel. Within a year there were 21 stores, 18 canteens, 3 bakeries and all sorts of other interesting establishments. Interestingly, the diggers called it Pilgrim's Rest because here, at long last, after so many failed dreams they had truly found their home.
There is an abundance of gorgeous arts and crafts shops where one can purchase pottery, stained glass, weaving, hot glass and even custom crockery. Other exciting activities include horse riding, bird watching, hiking, mountain biking and golfing. The Mount Sheba Nature Reserve boasts a series of outstanding walks offering spectacular scenery.
There never was a more beautiful or romantic spot to have a gold rush than Pilgrim’s Rest. This spectacular area is richly imbued with a diversity of natural, cultural and historic gems. The uniqueness of this historic village is vividly evident in its museums and historic sites. The beauty here is unsurpassed. Pilgrims Rest offers all visitors a fascinating look into the past and captures the spirit of a former era and its people in their quest for gold. It is definitely well worth a visit.
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Pilgrims Rest Reviews
"I read Roger James' review and was quite shocked that he felt this way! I have very recently visited Pilgrims Rest once again and feel completely the opposite! ..." - Kyla , Johannesburg
Featured Attractions in (or near) Pilgrims Rest
The fresh mountain scenery and panoramic views over the Klein Drakensberg escarpment are quite spectacular and give the area its name of 'Panorama Route'. Viewpoints are named for the spectacle they offer, and God's Window and Wonder View hint at the magnitude of the scenery. The 'Pinnacle' is a ... more information
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve stretches for some 60km, its southerly reaches extending from just beyond the town of Graskop all the way north to the Abel Erasmus pass. The reserve's remarkable biodiversity includes one of the last remaining montane grassland areas in the province ... more information
Bourke's Luck Potholes are without doubt a major icon, but when thrown in together with the likes of the Three Rondawels, God's Window, the Blyde River Canyon and numerous magnificent waterfalls, one can become immune after a while. If you can, begin your wander around Mpumalanga with Bourke's ... more information
Fort Merensky was built to protect Botshabelo (place of refuge), a mission station established just 5 km north west of Middelburg, in the 1860s by Alexander Merensky and Heinrich Grutzner of the German Missionary Society. Amongst other things the fort provided a refuge for black Christian ... more information
This has to be one of the most beautiful locations in the world. The reserve is 2200 hectares and the Klipgatspruit cuts the mountainous area into a deep valley. The main habitats include thornveld and bushveld on the low-lying areas, and montane grassland on hillsides and plateaus with protea ... more information
Guided day trips to the Kruger National Park: The largest game reserve in South Africa, the Kruger National Park is nearly 2 million hectares of land that stretch for 20 000 square kilometres, given over to an almost indescribable wildlife experience. Certainly it ranks with the best in Africa and is a flagship ... more information
Beautiful Mount Sheba Nature Reserve is extremely popular amongst bird lovers and is regarded as one of Mpumalanga’s premier forest-birding destinations. The reserve is privately owned, but is open to the public - many of whom use the particularly good series of walking trails to set their sights ... more information
Lying between the town of Ohrigstad and the historical village of Pilgrim’s Rest in Mpumalanga, Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve is situated on the edge of the Greater Drakensberg Escarpment, 2 500 hectares of beautiful mountain scenery that surrounds the Ohrigstad dam and makes for a tranquil and almost ... more information
This hidden gem outside the national monument town of Pilgrim’s Rest is a tranquil and forested nine hole, eighteen tee course. With its undulating fairways, and challenging layout, this will be more than just a stroll in the park. Tricky, well forested and surrounded by mountains, the course boasts an historic clubhouse built with ... more information
Exactly as they sound, the Three Rondavels are three round mountain tops with slightly pointed tops, very similar to the traditional round or oval African homesteads made with local materials called rondavels. They are sometimes also called the Three Sisters (although this confuses them with a similar ... more information
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