Pilgrim's Rest is located in
close proximity to Nature's most
breathtaking scenic wonders on the
Here, on the Escarpment of the
Drakensberg Mountains, you
can relax in peace and in
in the Surrounding Area
& Wonder View
Bourke's Luck Potholes
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.
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
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.
R10/car, R20/combi, R100/bus
well clear of the edge, as the rocks are extremely
slippery, especially when wet!
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.
R10/car, R20/combi, R100/bus
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
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)
R15/kid under 12 years
R10/learner (group bookings in advance)
Plus: R5/car, R30/combi, R50/bus
Contact: 073 774-3617
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
"Rondawel" is a South African word that
refers to a round hut-like dwelling
(usually with a thatched roof).
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
For even more things to see and
visit the Sabie, Graskop and
"You are never too late
for the Gold Rush!"