Travel along the R532, from Westlodge, for about 1km. There is a turn-off to the right, onto the R534, which is a 15.4km loop along the escarpment that re-joins the R532 at a point 8.1km form Graskop.

Gods Window

Gods Window the view onto the escarpment forest is framed by the vertical cliffs of a deep gorge.  From this ‘window’, a paved path leads along the escarpment and includes a fairly stiff walk to Quartzkop and the ‘Rain Forest’ with its natural garden below a canopy of trees and brightly coloured aloes in the winter.  All set off by outcrops of sandstone weathered into haunting prehistoric shapes.

A trail leads through the rain forest to Wonderview gods window.  At 1 750m above sea level, the walk offers magnificent views across the Lowveld, with its afforested area in the foreground, the Kruger National Park beyond that and the Lebombo mountains in the distance which form the natural border with Mozambique.

Gods Window

Lisbon Falls

Named after the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, it marks the provenance of some of the gold miners who flocked to the area after gold was discovered in the late 1800’s.  A treble cascade of water plummets 95m into a pool at the bottom.

Berlin Falls

Named after the farm on which it is situated, a single stream of water falls 45m to a pool at the bottom.  There is a path used by locals to cross the falls at the top with some spectacular views.  This area is typical of the early years (during the latter half of the 19th century) when those seeking their fortunes panned the streams looking for alluvial gold.

From the Berlin Falls the R532 will take you through dense Pine and Eucalyptus plantations.  Some 33km from Graskop, the road links up with the Treur River and the southern reaches of the Blyde river Canyon.  The spectacular and breath-taking rock formations and scattered waterfalls during the summer months are covered with orange and yellow lichen, which are most impressive during the afternoon sunshine.

Bourke’s Luck Potholes

The confluence of the Treur and Blyde rivers in one of the most remarkable geological phenomena in the country.  Through countless millennia, the swirling whirlpools at the confluence of the rivers have caused water-borne sand and rocks to grind deep cylindrical potholes into the bedrock.

Some of the interesting natural and socio-historic features of the reserve are on display at the Visitors Centre. The Potholes also mark the start of the Blyde River Canyon.

Pinnacle Rock

This is a tall column of weathered quartzite, littered with brightly coloured aloes.  It rises 30m above the indigenous forest in the surrounding Driekop Gorge.  This is also the source of the Ngwaritsana River which cascades through the narrow cleft on the right, at the head of the gorge.

Blyde River Canyon

Reputed to be the third largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon (Nevada, USA) and the Fish River Canyon (Northern Cape, SA), it is a scenic spectacle within the 30 000 hectare Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve.  The 57km nature reserve belt begin at Graskop and runs along the escarptment.

Owing to the high-lying southern section that has a high rainfall (about 3 000mm p/annum at God’s Window), extensive grasslands and dense areas of natural rain forests are encountered along the route.

The Lowveld View site

This viewpoint, between Bourke’s Luck Potholes and The Three Rondawels on the R532, offers a panoramic view of the Blyde River Canyon, The Blydepoort Dam and the Lowveld beyond.

The Three Rondawels

Once known as the Three Sisters, these geological formations are one of the many natural highlights along Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route.  Also previously named after three of the many wives of Chief Maripi Mahile.  On the left is Magabolle, 1 354m above sea level.  Mogoladikwe, 1 377m above sea level in the middle and Maseroto, 1 465m above sea level on right.  Today, the name signifies the similarity they present to the traditional beehive-shaped huts built and used over centuries by indigenous people as their homes.

Mariepskop Pass

Situated on the eastern side of the Drakensberg Escarpment, facing away from the Blyde River Canyon, Mariepskop is the highest peak in the northern Drakensberg Escarpment summiting at 1 942m above sea level.  On a clear day you can see as far as the Indian Ocean and Maputo.

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