Five natural wonders on the Panorama Route around Graskop in Mpumalanga, the Place of the Rising Sun. Mpumalanga offers breath-taking natural beauty of which the Panorama Route makes a big part. For billions of years, the forces of nature have moulded this region and created some of the most spectacular natural attractions. Well-known for its overwhelming scenery and astonishing views, the Panorama Route is a must-see for both national and international tourists. Listed here are five of the not-to-be-missed destinations for you.
This is truly an area of awe-inspiring magnificence situated at the Blyde River Canyon Reserve. This famous natural landmark is one of the most scenic viewpoints in South Africa. Just one look down and you will realise why it is called “God’s Window”.
It has a panoramic view of the Lowveld looking over lush indigenous forests. One can observe the hills and forests as far as the eye can see, as well as rock formations and waterfalls. On a clear day and you can see the Kruger National Park, Three Rondavels and Mozambique. You will also see a big part of the length of the 250-kilometre long Drakensberg Escarpment.
A very steep footpath leads to the viewpoints along the edge of the escarpment. There are three viewing sites and some picnic spots along the way. Don’t forget to take a hike to the misty rainforest with moss-covered trees, exotic plants and little streams, all the way to the top.
God’s Window is an unforgettable experience with spectacular views not to be missed when visiting Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route.
The Three Rondavels (also known as the Three Sisters) are three round mountaintops with slightly pointed tops. They are very similar to the traditional beehive-shaped African dwellings made with local materials, usually with thatched roofs called Rondavels.
The majestic formations are explained geographically as the slow erosion of underlying soft stone, leaving the exposed quartzite and gigantic shale pinnacles rising above the Blyde River Canyon. Regardless of their origin, the Three Rondavels are a sure highlight on the Panorama Route.
About 3,5 kilometres south of Graskop you will find another natural wonder created when the glorious Mac Mac River carved a path under rocks to form a natural bridge. This bridge was used more than a century ago by the Voortrekkers and later by transport riders to cross the Mac Mac River. Another must-see when visiting the Panorama Route.
Kadishi Tufa Waterfall
This is one of a few living tufa waterfalls in the world and the second tallest tufa waterfall on earth. It is formed when water running over dolomite rock absorbs calcium and deposits rock formations more rapidly than they erode the surrounding rock.
What is fascinating about the Kadishi waterfall is the similarity its rock face has to a crying face and the water representing tears.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes
This is a magnificent natural attraction located along the Panorama Route. This incredible natural water feature marks the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon.
Basically, these geological wonders are the result of decades of swirling whirls of water, sand and pebbles eroding holes into the riverbed where the Treur and Blyde rivers join.
While driving along the winding R532 with its lush mountain scenery and panoramic views you will find numerous spectacular waterfalls, the pinnacle rock and the renowned Blyde River Canyon, considered one of the three largest canyons on earth and the largest green canyon in the world. If you haven’t been to the Panorama Route yet make sure to add it to your bucket list – you will not regret it! Make sure to visit the Five natural wonders on the Panorama Route around Graskop
Compiled by: Ista van Zyl