Pilgrims Rest, Panorama Route

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.

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.

Travellers' Reviews

7 Reviews from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewfair

I took a group of tourists through tour Pelgrim's Rest. With great expectationsadness! Great disappointment. Most of the businesses not operating. Character of town no more that of a mining town. I visited the quaint town nearly every year over the last 20 years. The worst I have seen it. The little cemetery is kept well maintained. Thanks for the people who do this!

November 2017

A Botha (Johannesburg )

Verified reviewpoor

I was looking forward to the trip all year long and finally one misty October morning I made it to pilgrims rest. It was a complete dissapointment from the little coffee shop to the facilities. No clear signage to optimise where you need to go and you feel obliged to purchase from the vast amount of African curious lined along the route. Service was lacking greatly. I didn't feel safe to visit the old grave with my mom and daughters as the place appeared to have a number of people hanging around. I left the town after 30 minutes and I don't plan to return. It's a pity as I read up on the town bit I didn't find it worthwhile at all from any of the info I read up on.

October 2016

Nas A Warraich (Jhb)

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