You reach the main stretch of the Panorama Route - along the Blyde River Canyon - on- the road R532, north of Graskop. Access from Johannesburg either goes via Nelspruit, White River and Sabie or via Belfast, Dullstroom, Lydenburg and Pilgrim's Rest. The tour Lydenburg - Ohrigstad - Blyde River Canyon is also attractive. There are only few accommodation options along the Blyde River Canyon. However, you find good hotel, lodges and guest houses in the adjacent towns Sabie, Graskop, Hazyview, Ohrigstad, Lydenburg or Pilgrim's Rest. All these places are good starting points for a visit of the central section of the Kruger National Park. The entrance gates turn off the R40. Via Hazyview one quickly gets to the Paul-Kruger-Gate and the main restcamp Skukuza. Via Hoedspruit you reach the the Orpen Gate and the Orpen restcamp.
This picturesque town lies on 1059 metres at the foot of Mount Anderson (2285m), surrounded by forests. Golf at Sabie Country Club. Excellent hiking routes, angling, horse riding and many more sports and activities.
Near Sabie there are some very impressive waterfalls like the "Bridal Veil Falls", the "Horseshoe Falls" or the 68 metre high "Lone Creek Falls". Particularly beautiful are the "Mac Mac Falls" between Sabie and Graskop. They are twin waterfalls with a height of 56 metres. One can go for a wonderful swim in the clear and cold waters of the enchanted "Mac Mac Pools" - 2 km from the falls. Other falls are the Lisbon and the Berlin Falls, some kilometres north of Graskop.
The little village lies above the Kowyn's Pass. It was founded in 1880 as a settlement for gold diggers like many other villages in this area. Here starts the access route to the natural wonders of the Blyde River Canyon. 3 km north one should take the very worthwhile detour to "God's Window", which renders a stunning view of the Lowveld, about 1000 m below.
Blyderiver Hiking Trail
At God's Window the Blyderiverspoort Hiking Trail (also called Blyde River Canyon Hiking Trail) starts, leading over 65 kilometres to the Blydepoort Dam in the north. Further Information and bookings: Mpumalanga Parks Board, Tel 013-7595300 or 013-7595432, Fax 013-7553928.
It is the best known gold digger town in Mpumalanga, a National Monument, a few kilometres west of Graskop on the R 533. In 1873, substantial alluvial gold deposits were found along the "Pilgrim's Creek", which attracted diggers from all over the world. Many of the old digger houses were meticulously restored, and the town is today an open-air museum.
Bourke's Luck Potholes
Here, at the confluence of Treur and Blyde River, starts the spectacular part of the Blyde River Canyon. The remarkable Potholes were washed out of the soft dolomite in pluvial geological eras by swirling waters over millions of years. Bourke's Luck Potholes were discovered around 1870 by the golddigger Tom Bourke. He found small quantities of gold here.
A small circular path leads to the different viewpoints. One can look into the holes from a bridge. The visitors' centre houses a geological museum. At the parking lot a couple of hiking trails start that lead into the park. The 4-day Protea Hiking Trail is 41 kilometres long. It goes in a circle from Bourke's Luck through the montane rainforests. The Yellowwood Trail is similar, but only 25 kilometres long and can be done in 2 days.
A few kilometres north of Bourke's Luck lies the Lowveld Viewpoint, which commands a wonderful view of the Blyde River and the Lowveld in the distance. At the next viewpoint the famous "Three Rondavels" come into sight. The harder rock layers on top eroded slower than the underlying softer layers of stone, which resulted in rock formations which resemble African rondavels.
This is where the 33 km long Blyde River Canyon ends. The lake dams the rivers Blyde and Ohrigstad. There is a holiday resort with campground.