Cultural and Historic
Natural landmarks (The panorama route)
Central to panorama tourist route is the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world. It ranks as one of the most spectacular sights in Africa. This great escarpment is the kind of place where brochures and guide books run out of original adjectives to describe the fresh mountain scenery and magnificent panoramic views over cliffs rising 600m-800m from the river bed. The entire canyon extends over twenty kilometers in length.
Located only 4km from Graskop, this 30m high quartzite “needle” rises dramatically out of the fern clad ravine, created by the Ngwaritsane River, over countless millennia. To the right, and below, the viewing plateau from which can be seen only the topmost of eight waterfalls which take the river down approximately 450m in a series of alternating falls and cascades.
Dramatic views to the South and East from various strategically placed viewpoints overlooking the almost sheer 300m drop into indigenous forest clad ravine. Being 250m higher than the pinnacle viewpoint, the total drop to the lands below is approx 750m.
The Three Rondavels (Three sisters)
Opening from South to North the majesty of the third largest and only green canyon in the world opens up for your delight. The Canyon is located in the Blyderiver Canyon Nature Reserve which covers an area of 22 664 hectares. Of interest is the fact that the viewpoint is around 1380m above sea level whilst the level of the dam when full is 665m above sea level.
Mac Mac Falls
The twin 56m drop, the second highest in the region, was originally a single fall, but in their eagerness to get to gold, some miners tried to divert the falls below. An over enthusiastic application of dynamite created the second fall, but whether it helped to find more quantities of gold was not recorded.
This national monument is 45m high and came into being when, over many eons, the soft sandstone rock was eroded.
At 92m the Lisbon Falls are the highest in the area. The river separates into three streams as it plunges into the pool below.
Mac Mac Pools
These are naturally formed swimming pools and also a very popular picnic spot. The secretary bird hiking trail also starts from this point, which stretches from 1 – 2 hours, ranging from pristine forest to grasslands.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes
This natural wonder marks the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon. Through countless years, the swirling whirlpools which occur as the Treur and Blyde rivers meet, caused waterborne sand and rock to grind cylindrical potholes into the bedrock of the river. The informative Visitors Center details some of the interesting natural and socio-historic features and is the starting point of the 700m walk to the potholes.
Sabie and its waterfalls
The town of Sabie boasts 4 waterfalls, these being Lone Creek Falls, Sabie Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. There is also a variety of activities, including a golf course to occupy one’s time.
Sudwala caves (including the dinosaur park)
The Sudwala Caves are gouged deep into the Mankelekele mountains. Visitors may explore 600 metres into the complex, which is thought to extend some 30 km into the mountainside. Nearby is the Dinosaur Park with its lifesize models of prehistoric dinosaurs.
Other unmissable tourist attractions nearby include…
Kruger National Park
This world renowned wildlife sanctuary is virtually on your doorstep and offers one the ideal
opportunity to view the Big 5 and other fascinating animals in their natural environment.
White Lion Project
The first one of its kind, this project breeds what is known at the Timbavati White Lions, which are indigenous only to this region. Here one will have the opportunity to view these majestic cats in a controlled environment.
Breeding Center for Endangered Species
Previously known as the Cheetah breeding center, the sanctuary has broadened its wings to house most of the endangered species in our country. These include White Rhino, Wild Dogs, African Wild Cat and the Ground Hornbill. Here one will learn more about these fascinating animals and their environment.