The Panorama Route Region, Mpumalanga

One of the country's most scenic self-drives, the Panorama Route, explores the Mpumalanga highlands, or the north-eastern section of the Great Escarpment of the Drakensberg. In these rugged mountains the plateau comes to an abrupt and dramatic halt, falling steeply away into the Lowveld accompanied by incredible views out over the grasslands of Africa.

Did you know? Once you've booked your hotels or Panorama Route accommodation, explore the destination pages below for info on attractions, activities and things to do when you visit the Panorama Route.

To describe the natural attractions with the written word is difficult, but people recount being able to 'touch the clouds' whilst others have called the route the 'most beautiful place in the world'.

The Panorama Route's popularity has much to do with its proximity to the Kruger National Park. It is often part and parcel of any organised trip to the game reserve. But it is also favoured for the access it provides to one of the province's major scenic draw cards, the Blyde River Canyon. The Blyde River Canyon is one of the largest canyons on earth, and increasingly popular with overseas visitors.

Did you know? There are a number of nature reserves and game parks along and near to the Panorama Route. These include the world-famous Kruger Park as well as the Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Mount Sheba Nature Reserve and Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve.

The most popular stretch of the route is the R532 that winds its way from the town of Sabie via a selection of graceful waterfalls - the Sabie Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Mac Mac Falls - to God's Window, the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the three Rondawels.

The famous Lowveld View is not even 5 km north of Bourke's Luck Potholes. This view out over the canyon from a height of 1 219 metres above sea level, the Blyde River cutting its way through the valleys below and the Blydepoort Dam in the distance, is unspeakably beautiful.

To rush the drive would be to miss the enchantment.

There are other road routes that also form part of the Panorama Route that have equally beautiful highlights:

  • The R36 to Matibidi past the Lydenburg Falls, Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve and on to Echo Caves
  • The R37 along Long Tom Pass (arguably one of the most beautiful passes in the province)
  • The R533 between the historical mining village of Pilgrim's Rest and Graskop – both interesting to visit

Hazyview makes a good stop for lunch, or as a launch pad into the Kruger National Park, and Graskop makes a good base if you plan to drive the Panorama Route over a couple of days.

There is also a long list of attractions in amongst the natural highlights – like the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, Tsakani Silk Farm, interaction with elephants, farmstalls, eateries, hiking and MTB trails, a coffee farm and roastery, art galleries and cultural village experiences.

There is far too much to do the route in one day. Best driven: during winter when it is dry, for the wet season brings with it mists and rain that, whilst beautiful, hinder the views. In summer the road sides are awash with wild white and pink lilies.

Find accommodation on the Panorama Route

South Africa Accommodation / Mpumalanga Accommodation / Panorama Route Accommodation

Destinations in the Panorama Route Region

Blyde River Canyon

Overnight? Blyde River Canyon accommodation
The Blyde River Canyon Reserve extends along the Blyde River Canyon's winding path, which at every turn offers more and more impressive views over sheer edges dropping 800m into the riverbed. The fresh mountain scenery and panoramic views over the Klein D...

Graskop

Overnight? Graskop accommodation
The natural wonders of Graskop are probably the most photographed and painted scenes in the world. Situated in the magnificent Mpumalanga Province, Graskop is ideally located in the heart of the tourism region and is the gateway to the Panorama Route. ...

Hazyview

Overnight? Hazyview accommodation
Hazyview is a town in South Africa's Mpumalanga Province which is ideally situated just a few kilometres outside the Kruger National Park. Hazyview derives its name from the summer haze that envelopes the low bush land. This occurs during the heat of ...

Kiepersol

Overnight? Kiepersol accommodation
Kiepersol is a quaint little town found in the beautiful Lowveld in South Africa. Kiepersol is situated close to Hazyview and is very near the Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park. Kiepersol is the name of an indigenous tree, also known as the Cabba...

Ohrigstad

Overnight? Ohrigstad accommodation
Ohrigstad is a quaint village and valley nestled in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, close to the Blyde River Canyon, God's Window and Potholes. It is no surprise then that Ohrigstad is known as the gateway to the Panorama Route. Ohrigstad i...

Pilgrims Rest

Overnight? Pilgrims Rest accommodation
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 ol...

Sabie

Overnight? Sabie accommodation
Sabie is a tranquil and attractive malaria-free town situated in Mpumalanga in South Africa. Sabie lies in the centre of one of the largest man-made forests in the world. The town is named after the Sabie River which is well known for its fearful croc...

White River

Overnight? White River accommodation
Once you've booked your hotel or White River accommodation, peruse the info pages below for attractions and things to do during your visit to White River in Mpumalanga. The little town of White River - an important farming and tourism centre - was foun...

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