Panorama Route

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

Mpumalanga Tourist AttractionsThe Panorama Route

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

Where? The Panorama Route, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Overnight? See Panorama Route accommodation, in Mpumalanga

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.

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 towns equally 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.

Popular Towns of the Panorama Route


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

More information and photographs: Graskop Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Hazyview
Hazyview derives its name from the summer haze that envelopes the low bush land. This occurs during the heat of summer season. Hazyview is a small farming town and is renowned for its banana industry. In fact, the area is reputed to have...

More information and photographs: Hazyview Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Kiepersol
Kiepersol is the name of an indigenous tree, also known as the Cabbage Tree. This tree proliferates in the Lowveld area with its unique beauty and unusual shapes. It is also believed that the name 'kiepersol' comes from the Portuguese Quinta...

More information and photographs: Kiepersol Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Ohrigstad
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...

More information and photographs: Ohrigstad Information

Pilgrims Rest

Overnight? Accommodation 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...

More information and photographs: Pilgrims Rest Information


Overnight? Accommodation in Sabie
The town is named after the Sabie River which is well known for its fearful crocodiles as well as harsh currents. Sabie originated as another gold rush town, all due to an accidental discovery during a picnic in 1895. A bottle shooting...

More information and photographs: Sabie Information

White River

Overnight? Accommodation in White River
The little town of White River - an important farming and tourism centre - was founded around 1890. It’s proximity to the Kruger National Park renders it a great base from which to explore the park and other undiscovered gems in the area...

More information and photographs: White River Information

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.

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited. has been assisting travellers with their South African holiday plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. © All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap