Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga Getaway







Hi everyone! 

As I’m sure everyone is well aware and super excited about, we have a lot of public holidays coming up over the next 6 weeks or so and I thought I’d shed some light on where to take a great mini vacation.  I’m always looking to take advantage of these and head off somewhere I’ve never been before so I thought I’d share one of favourites for this kind of holiday.

Mpumalanga?  People ask me all confused.  Yes, Mpumalanga.  It is one of my favourite places on this earth.  More specifically, Blyde River Canyon and the Panorama Route.  In this particular part of the world you can expect forests, waterfalls and views that your eyes might not believe. 

The Panorama Route comprises of various stops including Bourke’s Potholes, Berlin falls, Lisbon falls, God’s Window and the Pinnacle.  On route there are also two sets of caves; the Sudwala caves and Echo caves that are also worth visiting. 

This route requires you drive the distance between each stop which means you’re doing quite a lot of driving around but the route is circular so it does bring you back to your starting point.  If you don’t feel like doing the driving yourself there are travel shuttles that you can organise through your hotel or information centre that will do the driving for you.  We were driving ourselves so we decided to divide the route into two day trips which worked out perfectly.  For this reason, I’d suggest a three or four night stay.
I’d recommend you take a packed lunch as there isn’t very much in the way of restaurants once you’re out there.  We stopped at Spar in the morning and bought fresh rolls and cheeses and popped them in the cooler bag with a few bottles of water.  This is also so lovely to do because it means you end up picnicking surrounded by the most beautiful views.  On your way back to the hotel, Harrie’s Pancakes is not to be missed!  It is right outside Graskop hotel and it has pancakes like you’ve never tasted them before.  My favourite is the milktart filled pancake – nom nom nom. There is also the most incredible Mozambican restaurant just opposite Graskop hotel and if you can I’d definitely recommend having dinner there, it’s delish

The first time I ventured out here, I stayed at Graskop Hotel which is a very sweet hotel very close to the start of the Panorama Route.  If you don’t mind staying a little further away, I’ve also stayed Casa do Sol, a four star hotel in Hazyview.  This is a very romantic hotel with lovely spacious rooms (the double villas).  Our room rate included breakfast and dinner which were both delicious.  I also enjoyed staying at this hotel because the drive from Hazyview to Graskop takes you through Sappi’s forests which are beautiful.  The hotel also had a wonderful spa and lovely pool area which are both worth visiting on the days you’ve chosen to relax all day.

If you’re planning on road-tripping out here, have a look for specials for Casa do Sol.  I found ours on mtbeds.co.za which was R5000 for 3 nights including breakfast and an incredible dinner.   Graskop Hotel was about R700 a night including breakfast.  Other costs involve small entrance fees into the viewpoints, majority of which are R10 (the Potholes was about R60, but don't skip it!). 

Don’t forget sunscreen and lots of water and I can guarantee you will have an incredible time and make memories for a lifetime.

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Arum Lilea: Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga Getaway

Friday, 14 March 2014

Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga Getaway







Hi everyone! 

As I’m sure everyone is well aware and super excited about, we have a lot of public holidays coming up over the next 6 weeks or so and I thought I’d shed some light on where to take a great mini vacation.  I’m always looking to take advantage of these and head off somewhere I’ve never been before so I thought I’d share one of favourites for this kind of holiday.

Mpumalanga?  People ask me all confused.  Yes, Mpumalanga.  It is one of my favourite places on this earth.  More specifically, Blyde River Canyon and the Panorama Route.  In this particular part of the world you can expect forests, waterfalls and views that your eyes might not believe. 

The Panorama Route comprises of various stops including Bourke’s Potholes, Berlin falls, Lisbon falls, God’s Window and the Pinnacle.  On route there are also two sets of caves; the Sudwala caves and Echo caves that are also worth visiting. 

This route requires you drive the distance between each stop which means you’re doing quite a lot of driving around but the route is circular so it does bring you back to your starting point.  If you don’t feel like doing the driving yourself there are travel shuttles that you can organise through your hotel or information centre that will do the driving for you.  We were driving ourselves so we decided to divide the route into two day trips which worked out perfectly.  For this reason, I’d suggest a three or four night stay.
I’d recommend you take a packed lunch as there isn’t very much in the way of restaurants once you’re out there.  We stopped at Spar in the morning and bought fresh rolls and cheeses and popped them in the cooler bag with a few bottles of water.  This is also so lovely to do because it means you end up picnicking surrounded by the most beautiful views.  On your way back to the hotel, Harrie’s Pancakes is not to be missed!  It is right outside Graskop hotel and it has pancakes like you’ve never tasted them before.  My favourite is the milktart filled pancake – nom nom nom. There is also the most incredible Mozambican restaurant just opposite Graskop hotel and if you can I’d definitely recommend having dinner there, it’s delish

The first time I ventured out here, I stayed at Graskop Hotel which is a very sweet hotel very close to the start of the Panorama Route.  If you don’t mind staying a little further away, I’ve also stayed Casa do Sol, a four star hotel in Hazyview.  This is a very romantic hotel with lovely spacious rooms (the double villas).  Our room rate included breakfast and dinner which were both delicious.  I also enjoyed staying at this hotel because the drive from Hazyview to Graskop takes you through Sappi’s forests which are beautiful.  The hotel also had a wonderful spa and lovely pool area which are both worth visiting on the days you’ve chosen to relax all day.

If you’re planning on road-tripping out here, have a look for specials for Casa do Sol.  I found ours on mtbeds.co.za which was R5000 for 3 nights including breakfast and an incredible dinner.   Graskop Hotel was about R700 a night including breakfast.  Other costs involve small entrance fees into the viewpoints, majority of which are R10 (the Potholes was about R60, but don't skip it!). 

Don’t forget sunscreen and lots of water and I can guarantee you will have an incredible time and make memories for a lifetime.

Labels: , , ,

5 Comments:

At 14 March 2014 at 10:14 , Blogger Megan said...

These are stunning photos! I also love the Panaroma Route, it is one of my favourites in South Africa. I always force people that are with me to take this route when driving from Nelspruit or Hoedspruit. Have you been to Hoedspruit?

Maybe I can twist my husband's arm for a weekend away in Mpumalanga

 
At 14 March 2014 at 11:03 , Blogger Lalannie said...

Wow, thanks for this. My group of friends were also interested in doing this but I wasn't quite sure about it. Love your photos and information - will definately consider doing this route now.

 
At 14 March 2014 at 16:46 , Blogger Erika Dannelly said...

I randomly found your blog a couple weeks ago and I'm so glad I did! I used to live in South Africa (we moved back to the states about 10 years ago), but I love seeing your posts like this. It brings back so many memories. We lived in Pretoria while we were there, but Mpumalanga was one of many favorite vacations my family took during our 4 years in SA. God's window was super cloudy the day we went, so we couldn't see the spectacular views I've seen so many times in pictures... guess that just means I'll have to come back to SA for a visit one day ;) thanks for sharing! XO from the states.

 
At 17 March 2014 at 00:58 , Blogger Hayley-Eszti Szucs said...

Absoloutley stunning photos!!

 
At 17 March 2014 at 14:38 , Blogger Jade Wright said...

Gosh this looks incredible and sounds it too!!!
I must visit here - I loved that it is so close to us as well.. so many amazing wonders in Africa!!

I visited Haartneespoort for the first time this weekend - AMAZING <3

www.bohemianmuses.blogspot.com

 

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