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Webmaster's Note

Pilgrim's Rest is located in close proximity to Nature's most breathtaking scenic wonders on the Panorama Route.
 
 Here, on the Escarpment of the Drakensberg Mountains, you can relax in peace and in tranquility.
 

 

 
Sightseeing in the Surrounding Area

Robbers Pass
Wild Horses
God's Window & Wonder View
The Pinnacle Rock
Lisbon Falls
Berlin Falls
Bourke's Luck Potholes
Lowveld View
Three Rondawels
Blyde River Canyon

 

 
Cross over the Joubert Bridge in Downtown Pilgrim's and follow the R533 road to the top of Robbers Pass (12 km from Pilgrim's).  This road, now an easy-going tarred highway, follows the same route that the stage coaches and transport wagons traveled to and from Pilgrim's Rest.  Not only does the road to Robbers Pass offer some breathtaking views, it is also steeped in history.

In 1899 two masked and armed highwaymen held up the stage coach and robbed it of £10,000 worth of gold.  They were never brought to justice.  The second robbery (in the exact same spot) happened 13 years later (1912).  The number 13 must have been an unlucky one for the robber (Tommy Dennison), for not only was his horse recognised, he also paid off his debts in town with the looted silver.  Tommy was arrested and sentenced to jail for five years.  He returned to Pilgrim's Rest as a local celebrity to start the Highwayman's Garage.

Be on the lookout for the "Jock of the Bushveld" way mark on the pass.  It testifies to the fact that transport riders like Percy Fitzpatrick and his now famous dog "Jock", used this route.
 


As you drive up Robbers Pass, keep an eye open for a herd of wild horses on the right-hand side of the road on the Morgenzon plantation.  If you do spot them consider yourself very fortunate, as they are seldom seen.

These horses originated from breeding studs near Dullstroom where horses were bred for the stage coaches that serviced Pilgrim's Rest and Natal from Pretoria.  During the Anglo-Boer War these horses were rounded up one day and used by the Boer forces, under Commandant Muller, in a night stampede on the 1st Liverpool Regiment of the British army.  After the stampede the scattered horses, over time, migrated to Kaapsehoop (a village near Nelspruit), and to the Morgenzon area above Pilgrims Rest. 
 

 
God's Window - so called for the panoramic view of the Lowveld (and in the distance the Kruger National Park and Mozambique) more than 900 m below - is 9.2 km north of Graskop on the R534 road.  From the parking area a steep footpath along the edge of the escarpment leads to the actual view site where there is a Wild Nature Reserve.

Wonder View is about 2 km north of God's Window.  At an altitude of 1,730 m this is the highest viewpoint in the area. No walking necessary as the viewpoint is right next to the road.  Choose a clear day to best enjoy the views from both God's Window and Wonder View.
 

 
The Pinnacle Rock, a tower-like freestanding quartzite buttress which rises 30 m above the dense indigenous forest, is 6 km north of Graskop on the R534 road (a scenic loop off the R532 road). To the right of the Pinnacle Rock is the first of eight small waterfalls in the Ngwaritsane stream.
 
 
North of Graskop, where the R534 rejoins the R532 road, you turn left (back towards Graskop) for 800 m and then right onto a gravel road.  The falls is a further 2.2 km.  At 92 m the Lisbon Falls is the highest waterfall in the area.

Entry Fees:
R10/car, R20/combi, R100/bus

Caution: Stay well clear of the edge, as the rocks are extremely slippery, especially when wet!
 


From Lisbon Falls you drive back to the tar road (R532) and turn left (north). Drive for 2 km (past the R534 turnoff) and then turn off left.  Drive past the Berlin Sawmill and at 2 km from the main road, turn left and park at the parking area.  A short walk takes you to a vantage point overlooking the 45 m high Berlin Falls.

Entry Fees:
R10/car, R20/combi, R100/bus
 

 
This natural water feature marks the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon.  Through countless eons the swirling whirlpools which occur as the Treur River plunges into the Blyde River, caused waterborne sand and rock to grind huge, cylindrical potholes into the bedrock of the river.

The Potholes were named after a gold digger, Tom Bourke, who staked a claim nearby.  Although his claim did not produce a single ounce of gold, he correctly predicted that large gold deposits would be found in the area.

The Potholes is located 35km north of Graskop town on the R532 road. The informative visitors centre details some of the interesting natural and socio-historic features and is the starting point of the 700m walk to the potholes.  Picnic facilities available.

Entry Fees: (valid until October 2009)
R25/adult
R15/kid under 12 years
R10/learner (group bookings in advance)

Plus: R5/car, R30/combi, R50/bus

Contact: 073 774-3617
 


This viewpoint, between Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondawels on the R532 north of Graskop, offers stunning views of the Blyde River Canyon, the Blyde Dam and the Lowveld beyond.

 

 

 

Webmaster's Note

"Rondawel" is a South African word that refers to a round hut-like dwelling (usually with a thatched roof).

 

 
Further north along the R532 road, the turnoff to the Three Rondawels viewpoint is 4.6 km from the Lowveld View turnoff (41 km north of Graskop) and the parking area another 2.8 km further.  The three well known gigantic peaks of quartzite and shale with their sheer rock walls tower more than 700 m above the surrounding landscape.  These peaks are named after the three most troublesome wives of Chief Maripi Mashile - they are (from left to right) Magabolle, Mogoladikwe and Maseroto.
 


The 25 km long Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world and was formed by rivers cutting deep into the escarpment and eroding millions of tons of rock which were carried to the Lowveld and beyond to the Indian Ocean.  More than 700 m below the 370 ha Blyde River Dam is visible towards the lower end of the canyon at the confluence of the Blyde and Ohrigstad Rivers.

One of the best viewpoints of the Blyde River Canyon is from the parking lot behind the chalets at the Aventura Blydepoort Nature Reserve Resort, 51 km north of Graskop on the R532 road.
 

 

More Sightseeing ...

Pilgrim's Rest is located close to a number of other towns and tourist hot spots, as well as the Kruger National Park.
 
 For even more things to see and do,
visit the Sabie, Graskop  and Hazyview websites.
 

 
 
"You are never too late for the Gold Rush!"

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