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
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
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: South Africa, Travel, Weekend away, Weekends