Saturday, 10 March 2012

Beautiful Meander

We left the Kruger park and went on exploring the beautiful lowveld area surrounding the Kruger.

The Panorama Route is one of the most beautiful and popular travel destinations in South Africa. It leads through the rugged mountain range of the northern Drakensberg in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The Panorama Route passes the noth-eastern part of the Great Escarpment, the inland plateau declines abruptly and steeply and opens up fantastic views of the plains of the Lowveld a thousand meters below. The great view is unfortunatelly often impaired by a barrier of clouds coming from the east up the escarpment.

I have been to this area many times and it is only on one or two occations that I manages to sneak a cloudless view of the area. BUT when the clouds do part the view is worth the wait and simply spectacular!

Our first stop along the famed route was the MacMac falls. The Falls is located about 13km outside the town of Sabie on the road towards Graskop. The parking offers a chance to do a bit of shopping and the many curio stalls. A steep walk along a cement pathway takes you to the viewing platform above the falls.

The 65m high MacMac Falls in the Mac Mac River is a declared National Monument. This waterfall was originally a single stream, but gold miners blasted it with dynamite to divert the river in an attempt to work the rich gold-bearing reef over which it plunges.

There are countless waterfalls along the Panorama Route. Including the Berlin and Lisbon falls. You can spend days exploring the area on foot, by boat, by road or on a bycicle. The outdoor activity options in the area is endless.

BUT it is not just the waterfalls that take your breath away, the Blyde River Canyon has a lot more to offer than just water.

After our visit to Mac Mac we headed for Pilgrims Rest.  From Sabi you turn off the main road and head over the ridge to be faced with a steap downward spiraling road leading down the mountain towards the small mining town, not a National Heratage Site. This is a beautifull landscape, but back then it prooved to also be a dangerous one.
The history of the Pilgrim's Rest gold fields date back to ancient times when unknown miners worked the quartz reefs for gold. Evidence of ther diggings can still be found throughout northern and eastern Africa and Zimbabe.

Stiaan and I both love history and especially South African history. We just had to stop and the old dig site on the way to Pilgrim's Rest.

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