chon der Name verrät: die Panoramaroute bietet einige spektakuläre Ausblicke. As the name suggests, the panoramic route offers some spectacular views. Our last leg in South Africa took us from Kruger National Park via the Panorama Route to Johannesburg. And this last stage on the R532 promised once again a scenic highlight, which is one of the absolute highlights in South Africa and with which you have almost nothing after so many wonderful moments that I have met from Cape Town to here in the north of South Africa more expected. Which highlights you should not miss on the panoramic route, you will find out here.

We leave the Kruger National Park early in the morning. First, the road leads through densely wooded area with coniferous trees on the roadside as far as you can see. If you did not know it, you might think you are traveling somewhere in the wilderness of Canada. Wood vices cross the road and small villages on the side of the road suggest that life here is very tranquil. Along the Panorama Route is the largest forest area in South Africa. And in the past many gold diggers have settled here, who have brought their hope for wealth here, because in the canyons hidden treasures. Such a gold digger town can be found eg in Pilgrims Rest , which is even since 1986 a national monument of South Africa . It's really fun to just ride through the wilderness along the Panorma route and get a sense of space and freedom.

1st stop: God`s Window on the panoramic route

The first stop is at the viewpoint God`s Window. God's Window is located north of Graskop on the northern foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains in the Mpuma>

If you continue, you will eventually come to smaller viewing platforms - the actual God's Window - God's window. Presumably, the viewpoint is like that, because from up here you have the feeling to survey the whole world. On days with good visibility you can see beyond the Kruger National Park to the neighboring Mozambique. The steep cliffs drop 700 meters into a valley called Lowveld.

Is it worth a stop at God`s Window? I think so.

2nd stop: Bourke's Luck Potholes

Already during my travel planning South Africa I saw pictures of Bourke`s Luck Potholes and I knew that I had to come over here. Because these beautiful rock formations that have shaped wind and weather are unique. The strange name they have to thank the gold digger Tom Bourke, who had once found a few gold pieces here - hence the name Bourke`s luck swirl holes. They were created by the confluence of Treur River in the Blyde River. The water has dug its way through the red sandstone rocks for centuries. This is where the famous Blyde River Canyon begins. Unfortunately, there is always a lot of public traffic here. By the way, there is also a small museum here. A quick glance inside can not hurt, admission is free. Here is a little bit about the genesis of the canyon and the flora and fauna vividly illustrated.

3. Stop: Three Rondavels in the Blyde River Canyon

The third stop on the scenic route was taken at the Three Rondavels in the Blyde River Canyon. This stop is also the absolute leader in terms of the top view on the panoramic route. So it's worth the route in this direction, as you will experience a small increase in highlights as far as the views are concerned (many go the other way around: from Johannesburg to the Kruger National Park). Incidentally, the Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world. It measures 26 kilometers in length and 800 meters in depth. Three Rondavels viewpoint is the most beautiful spot in the Blyde River Canyon for me. The name Three Rondavels means three round huts, because the rocky chain looks like typical round huts of the local population. The red sandstone canyon flows through the Blyde River.

How long do you plan for the panoramic route?

I would say 1 day is enough. The three lookout points are top of the rock, so to speak, and surpass everything. You can do it relaxed in one day. If you want to see waterfalls, I recommend the Howick Falls in the central Drakensberg, for example , which I found very impressive and less known.

Exploring the panoramic route in one day - is that possible?

Yes, you can explore the panoramic route in one day. However, if you want to experience the panoramic route in one day, you should limit yourself to these three viewpoints on the panorama route, because they are the absolute highlights and also good and relaxed in one day on the way from Kruger National Park to Johannesburg (or vice versa). , However, you have to plan for the ride already between 6 and 7 hours.

If this is too strenuous for you and you want to see more on the panoramic route, plan 2 days and make a stop with overnight accommodation on the way. There are other interesting sights such as waterfalls, caves and beautiful walks that you can do.

Other interesting viewpoints along the panoramic route

But if you have more time, you can expect more interesting viewpoints along the panoramic route:

  • Mac Mac Falls and Mac Mac Pools between Sabie and Graskop
  • Stone formation Pinnacle at Graskop
  • Gold digger town Pilgrim's rest
  • Lisbon Falls
  • Berlin Falls

Is it worth the panoramic route or why the Panorama Route should not be missed

In my opinion, the panoramic route is absolutely worth it. For me it was the last leg of my three week trip to South Africa but definitely one of the most beautiful! I'll never forget the impressions of this imposing landscape, this third largest canyon in the world and the whirlpools of Bourke's Luck Potholes. I think the Panorama Route should not be missing on any trip to South Africa and it is also strategically located on the way between Johannesburg and Kruger National Park - almost every South African traveler comes by almost automatically!

Worth knowing about the panorama route Panorama route:

  Panoramic route: R 532
Starting point: Sabie, Graskop
Origin: The Panorama Route and the Blyde River Canyon (third largest canyon in the world) were created by erodeo-lesions. The earth rose and fell here and falls on the northern border of the Drakensberg up to 1,000 meters from the Highveld into the Lowveld. The result was a striking edge plateau that drops almost abruptly into the plain (see viewpoint God's Window) and is quite unique. Earth and water movements have created bizarre rock landscapes that are still magical places and attract many tourists.
Opening Hours: Viewpoints often open at sunrise and sunset times between 7:00 and 17:00
At all viewpoints there are parking lots, kiosks and toilets.
  Itinerary: Kruger National Park Numbi Gate - Panoramic Route - Johannesburg | Distance: about 520 Km | Duration: approx. 6 to 7 hours

My travel planning to South Africa

Useful travel tips South Africa

The best travel guides for South Africa travel

The Dumont travel guide South Africa unfortunately only includes South Africa without Swaziland Lesotho. But he is very extensive. Detailed information about nature, landscape, wildlife, history, culture and much more. Also very helpful is the large foldable card to remove. 24.99 euros
DuMont Travel Guide South Africa Travel Guide: with Extra Travel Card *

Lonely Planet Travel Guide South Africa, Lesoto Swaziland (Lonely Planet Travel Guide German) *

Of the Lonely Planet travel guide also includes Lesotho Swaziland.24.99 Euro.

Stefan Loose travel guide South Africa - Lesotho and Swaziland: with travel atlas *

By the way, my route through South Africa is the same as in the movie South Africa, which has been a huge hit in cinemas and which is quite interesting:

South Africa - The Movie *

Have you been to South Africa before? What experiences and experiences did you make? Write it in the comments!

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