Destination This winter head for the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga
When the Highveld is barren and dry in winter, take refuge in the greenness of the Panorama Route, where you will also find plenty of lovely people. We popped in at Sabie, Pilgrim’s Rest and Graskop.
You will often hear people saying that every part of the country has its own charm, and that’s true. But one can’t deny that some areas are simply more beautiful than others. No matter how impressive the red expanses of the northwestern Free State may be, they can’t lay claim to being more beautiful than Golden Gate or the rolling sandstone hills of the eastern Free State.
Declaring one area the most beautiful of all could spark some trouble, although the Panorama Route around the towns of Sabie, Graskop and Pilgrim’s Rest is a strong candidate for such a beauty contest. Viewing points with names like God’s Window and Wonderview aren’t found behind just any old koppie or ridge. And finding this number of waterfalls, sparkling streams, deep gorges and high mountains in one area is more rare than the existence of a chubby Mr Ironman.
In the mid 19th century, however, people did not come here for the beautiful surrounds. This part of the world was malaria-free and brimming with gold, which attracted many game hunters and transport riders to make this their home base. And people, with pans and sieves in hand, descended from all over the world to find their fortune in the streams of the region. >
In winter, the evergreen man-made forests along the Panorama Route provide a welcome change from the dull landscape of the summer-rainfall areas. This photo was taken north of Graskop, on the R532.