South Africa is amazing! From big game to unique landscapes, the country offers something for everyone! When I thought of visiting South Africa, I was thinking of Kruger National Park, wineries and Cape Town and its surroundings. I did not know about the Panorama Route but I am so glad I found out about it and was able to visit. This post covers all the places to see on the Panorama Route along with everything you need to know to plan your visit to this beautiful area of South Africa.
What is the Panorama Route?
The Panorama Route is a scenic route that encompasses some stunning natural wonders and scenery. From rivers to canyons and waterfalls to endless vistas, the Panorama Route is one of the best road trips I have ever taken.
Where is the Panorama Route?
The Panorama Route is located in the Mpumalanga province between Kruger and Johannesburg. You can easily see it if you are driving between Kruger and Johannesburg.
How Long Do You Need on the Panorama Route?
You can visit the Panorama Route in a day if you start early. Most of the attractions are relatively close by each other and some are not too far from the road either.
How to Visit the Panorama Route?
If you rent a car, you can easily drive the Panorama Route. The roads are in good condition and it’s not too difficult to figure out.
If you don’t like to drive, you can join an organized tour like one from below.
If you don’t like the thought of renting a car and driving or joining other people on an organized tour, then you can visit the Panorama Route with a private guide. I highly recommend Dries de Bruyn. We toured Johannesburg, the Panorama Route and Kruger with Dries and I cannot say enough great things about him. In fact, I would have never heard about the Panorama Route if it were not for his recommendation.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him you got his contact details from Malisha.
Where to Stay on the Panorama Route?
As I mentioned before, you can easily drive the Panorama Route in a day. However, it will be a long day if you are aiming to start at Kruger and end at Johannesburg or vice versa. It is totally doable but staying 1 night along the Panorama Route will be a better option. You can either stay in Graskop, Hazyview, or Sabie.
Places to See on the Panorama Route
I have mapped out all the main places to see on the Panorama Route in the map below. As you can see, most places are located relatively close to each other and require short drives. Note however, that even though the map says it takes 1.5 hours and 94 KMs that you need to factor in time to actually visit each site.
The Three Rondavels
Rondavels are round native huts that are seen in Africa. The Three Rondavels are a trio of peaks that are shaped like these huts.
Blyde River Canyon
In my opinion, Blyde River Canyon is one of the top places to see on the Panorama Route and a cannot miss! Blyde River Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world. It is a little different from other large canyons (like the Grand Canyon) as it is green and lush.
Lowveld View offers a panoramic view of the Blyde River Canyon, the Blydepoort Dam the Three Rondavels, all in one single frame.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes
Bourke’s Luck Potholes are round pools of water carved out of rock. Years of erosion have led to this geological phenomena. It is another must see places on the Panorama Route!
I visited Lisbon falls during sunset and it was truly magical. This double waterfall is straight out of a screen saver!
The beautiful waterfalls lies a few kilometers away from Lisbon falls. It cascades 45 meters down a rock face, breaking its fall in a few places on the rock along the way.
Wonder View offers panoramic vistas of the valley down below. The views are similar to God’s Window (below) but is perhaps less famous.
God’s Window is situated at the highest point on the Panorama Route and provides a panoramic view of the verdant valley down below.
It is said God’s Window has inspired many painters and photographers from all over the world!
The Pinnacle Rock
The pinnacle rock is a unique rock formation along the Panorama Route. It rises 30 meters above the ground and is surrounded by lush green vegetation.
Mac Mac Falls
Mac Mac Falls is another stunning waterfall found on the Panorama Route. It’s a double waterfall but the 2nd falls may not be too visible in the dry season. You can view these falls from a viewing platform to the left side of the falls. There is a tall fence but you can still see the falls.
Mac Mac Pools
Mac Mac pools are located about 2 KM from Mac Mac falls. You can actually swim in these rock pools. The area also has a nice picnic site with braai (South African BBQ) and restroom facilities.
Where to Eat
When visiting the Panorama Route, don’t forget to stop at Harrie’s Pancakes. These are an absolute must try when in South Africa. Harrie’s has 4 location, two of which are between Johannesburg and Kruger on the way to or from the Panorama Route. One location is in Graskop and the other is in Dullstroom. They have both sweet and savory filled pancakes and they are delicious. They are between a French crepe and an American pancake.
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