If you visit Kruger National Park, you must spend at least one day on the famous Panorama Route.
The waterfalls here are much more impressive than we expected, and the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, especially the view of the Blyde River Canyon next to the Three Rondavels.
We were surprised by the kindness of the people selling the entrance tickets to each of the tourist attractions, they certainly made our day.
Where is Panorama Route?
The Panorama Route is about an hour’s drive from Kruger National Park (about Kruger we wrote here) and 4 hours by car from Johannesburg.
The most suitable starting points for the Panorama Route are the cities of Sabie and Graskop, two beautiful and quiet cities where many types of accommodation are available.
We stayed in Hazyview because the city is only a few minutes drive away from Kruger National Park, and there is where we spent most of the days.
After leaving Hazyview, we passed miles of green banana plantations, then went through a beautiful mountain area and arrived in less than an hour at the first waterfall on the Panorama Route.
How you can visit Panorama Route?
The Panorama Route is very easy to visit by car. You will pay the entrance tickets at the gate, no need to get out of the car. The parking lots are located behind the entrance gates.
At each of the sights on the Panorama Route, there are also souvenir markets. We suggest buying from these souvenir markets and support the local producers.
Day trips are organized from nearby cities to visit the main sights on this route.
What you can visit on the Panorama Route?
The Panorama Route can be visited in one day, if you start your visit early in the morning and you manage your time carefully to fit in the program of the sights without missing something important.
We visited the most important sights on the way to Three Rondawels and those that were put on the list as optional, we visited on the way back to Sabie.
Most of the sightseeing are open between 7 AM and 5 PM and entrance tickets cost between 15 Rand and 60 Rand. The total paid by us was 508 Rand/2 persons for all entries.
We traveled the route from south to north (from Lone Creek Falls to Three Rondawels).
Lone Creek Falls:
It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the route, and if you visit it, you will certainly not be disappointed!
This impressive waterfall has a height of 70 meters and it is located just 200 meters from the parking lot, being easily accessible.
Bridal Veil Falls
In order to reach the waterfall, you must hike a very interesting trail of about 20 minutes through the forest, where you can observe different species of birds.
The water flows from a hight of 70 meters into a lake with clear and cold water. It is a very relaxing place where you can spend many minutes admiring the landscape.
Sabie Falls – optional
The Sabie Falls are located inside a park in the town of Sabie. The waterfall is not as spectacular as the others and we recommend that you visit it only if you spend several days in the Panorama Route area.
Mac Mac Pools – optional
There are several natural pools with fresh and cold water. There are barbecue and picnic areas too.
From Mac Mac Pools the 3 km Secretary Bird Day Trail begins where you can see these captivating birds; we only hiked a small part of the trail, but we were not lucky enough to see any Secretary Bird.
Mac Mac Falls
There are 2 waterfalls, but one of them did not have much water when we visit this place. The view from the lookout is impressive, the waterfall flows from a height of 70 meters directly into the gorge below. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the route, and we recommend you not to miss it.
The Pinnacle Rock
There are several lookouts from where you can see the 30-meter-high quartzite pillar towering in the middle of the Driekop Gorge.
It is the longest route we hiked on the Panorama Route. Along the route, you will see different forms of vegetation and once you reach the end of the route, you will have the “world at your feet” and a great view stretching through Kruger to Mozambique.
All the sights on the Panorama Route have souvenir markets, but at God’s Window we saw the most interesting souvenirs.
With a height of 94 meters, the Lisbon waterfall is the highest waterfall in the area. The waterfall is spectacular and well worth a visit.
We visited the Panorama Route in August when it is winter and the dry season in South Africa, which is why the waterfall did not have much water. The waterfall is much more spectacular after the rain or in the rainy season.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes
We had lunch at the restaurant here before we entered the park.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes are located in the Blyde River Canyon Reservation, at the intersection of the Treur and Blyde Rivers and this is a must-see on the Panorama Route.
We were impressed by the natural beauty of this place: the beautiful bridges that cross these interesting geological features, and the height of the rocky walls bordering the river.
Three Rondawels and Blyde River Canyon
From the parking lot at the Three Rondawels, you will have access to both of the lookouts of the famous Three Rondawels and the canyon.
Three Rondawels are 3 grass-covered mountain tops. From the parking lot, you will arrive in a few minutes to the viewpoint that offers a wonderful view of the 3 mountain peaks.
On the left of this platform, there is the lookout with the most spectacular view of the canyon next to the Three Rondawels.
Be careful not to miss this place because the view from here is one of the most spectacular in South Africa.
Blyde River Canyon is the third world’s largest canyon and the largest green canyon in the world and this should be reason enough to convince you that the Panorama Route is worth a visit.
Other sights in the Panorama Route area
Shangana Cultural Village
The traditional village is located 5 km away from Hazyview and can be visited during one of the organized tours that takes place daily between 9 AM and 4 PM. On request, tours with meal and traditional dances can be organized.
The entrance ticket costs 200 Rand/person.
Before entering the village, there is an interesting souvenir market.
From the market, a guide led our group down to the village, where we visited the tribe’s head house (a very charismatic and joking man) and the doctor’s house.
For us, it was interesting to find so many details related to the history, traditions, and customs of these people.
There are other traditional villages in this area that can be visited, such as Nyani Cultural Village (28 km from Hoedspruit).
Flycatcher Castle in Graskop
If you want to have a special experience, you can stay inside the castle, or you can just visit this castle.
The Panorama Route is definitely one of the most spectacular routes in South Africa, a place where, nature seems to have decided to show its beauty at every step, in a spectacular display of color and contrast .