Pilgrims Rest, Panorama Route

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Pilgrims Rest, Panorama Route

Pilgrims Rest
Pilgrims Rest, Mpumalanga

Once you've booked your accommodation in Pilgrims Rest, explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Pilgrims Rest.

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.

Pilgrims Rest, Mpumalanga
Today, Gold Panning is still supported and practiced by people from all races, genders and ages. There is plenty to do and experience here. From exciting curio and craft shops to fascinating historical sights, one can never be bored. Interesting historical sites include old church buildings, namely Sacred Heart Church, St Mary's Church, Methodist Church and Dutch Reformed Church, Dredzen Shop and House Museum, Historic Cemetery, Joubert Bridge, Digging Museum & Gold Panning and the Printing Museum.

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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Featured Attractions in (or near) Pilgrims Rest

Blyde River Canyon

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 Nature Reserve

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

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

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

Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve

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

Kruger National Park Tours

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

Mount Sheba Nature Reserve

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

Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve

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

Pilgrims Rest Golf Course

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

Three Rondavels

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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Things To Do in Pilgrims Rest

Prospector's hiking trail

Where: Pilgrims Rest
How much (per person): Price on request

Start: just outside Pilgrim's Rest at either Morgenzon plantation or Pilgrim's Rest hut Finish: back where you started Du ... more information

Alanglade House Museum

Where: Pilgrims Rest
How much (per person): R1 to R100

Located just north of the village and build in 1915 by Transvaal Gold Mining Estates, Alanglade was the residence of the mine manager until ... more information

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Restaurants in Pilgrims Rest

Pilgrim's Pantry

Where: Pilgrims Rest

Well known for its delicious pancakes, waffles and home-made pies, Pilgrim's Pantry is a welcome stop on a trip through the Panorama Route. Open every day for breakfast and lunch, you will experie ... more information

Scott's Café

Where: Pilgrims Rest

Scotts Cafe, which has been in existence since the Gold Rush days, oozes history from every nook and cranny. Enjoy great food and friendly service and browse through the adjacent shop which sells Afri ... more information

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Also see Things To Do in Panorama Route or check out Things To Do in Mpumalanga to view activities by category, including watersports, sightseeing activities, arts & crafts and many, many more.

On SA-Venues.com you'll find plenty of South Africa accommodation options. We've also listed nearby activities for any town or city in which you plan to stay. And the big bonus is that you deal directly with the venues - no fees involved. With eight world heritage sites, a multitude of game reserves and national parks, over 1350 ha of national botanical gardens, and exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture, South Africa offers the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. Enjoy your stay in Pilgrims Rest!
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