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Review of Panorama Route

Panorama Route
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Half Day Panorama Tour from Hazyview
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Full-Day Panorama Route Tour from Hazyview
Ranked #1 of 13 things to do in Graskop
Certificate of Excellence
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2013

we loved doing this trip though the weather was bad and required careful driving and it prevented view of 'god's window' and the' 3 rondavels' we loved all of it

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Mukherjee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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West Linn, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Well worth it”
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Fabulous scenery. Definitely worth driving through and stopping at the lookouts and Potholes, God's Window etc. Only downside is the huge, very heavy mining trucks that also use the route for transport. There are no turn-outs or pull-overs, so always get behind one and slows to 20km. Very frustrating. Just get around one (or two) and catch up to another one. Allow more time than the distance would indicate because of this. But still if you have the time to meander, well worth the view.

Visited September 2013
Thank Rebecca H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lexington, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Nice Enough But Not World Class”
Reviewed 7 September 2013

We built two days/ three nights into our South African itinerary so that we could hike and visit what looked like spectacular scenery in the Blyde River Canyon. If you are expecting a green version of the Grand Canyon -- as we were -- you will be disappointed. Blyde River Canyon has none of the vastness, the grandeur, the sheer scope and majesty of the Grand Canyon. It has some nice vistas (Three Roundavels), waterfalls (Berlin Falls, MacMac Falls) and curiosities (Bourke's Luck Potholes) but, in general, we were underwhelmed by the panorama route.

Part of this was due to the winter weather (in July) which was non-stop rain and cold in Graskop. We tried three times to make it to God's Window and the fog and rain were so thick that you could barely see five feet in front of you. We have a family photo in front of God's Window and all you see is a wall of thick, grey fog behind us. So, it may be a very different kind of place when the weather is clear. However bad the weather was in Graskop, the rest of the canyon was clear of rain.

We didn't find much of interest in Pilgrim's Rest, as it did have a very touristy feel to it, with little historical detail. Too bad -- more could be done with this site. However, the aforementioned viewing sites (Three Roundavels, Bourke's Luck Potholes, MacMac Falls, etc.) were excellent places to buy handmade souvenirs by artisans, at the best prices in the country, with mercifully little haggling involved.

You can certainly drive the whole rim of the canyon in one 7 - 8 hour day, stopping along the way at all the major vistas, plus Pilgrim's Rest (if you wish) and Graskop (where you need to have lunch at Harrie's Pancakes). It is a very safe drive for tourists and the entry fees to the viewing areas are small.

Here's what we learned from our stay in the Blyde River Canyon (we stayed in Graskop):

1. If it is raining or foggy in Graskop/God's Window, drive out to the other Blyde River Canyon areas anyway (i.e. Three Roundavels, Bourke's Luck Potholes, waterfalls). Graskop tends to get the worst weather (in winter, at least) and we found it was clear weather in other parts of the canyon. (We got to see all the other areas without fog.)

2. Another place to visit, if the weather is bad in Graskop, is to head towards Hoedspruit to the Moholoholo Wildlilfe Rehabilitation Center. This was the highlight of our stay in Blyde River Canyon and it is well worth a visit to see an amazing array of animals. It is only a 90 minute drive from Graskop, but you need to arrive by 9 am or by 2 pm, as they have only two tours per day.

3. The hike from MacMac Falls to MacMac Pools was not worth doing as it is not particularly scenic or interesting (although it is short, less than 50 minutes each way). There are supposedly gorgeous hikes from Forever Resort that are worth doing, but the weather was not good enough for us to try them.

4. The other highlight of our trip in this area was the Crystal Tour in the Sudwala Caves (near Nelspruit). That is the four hour private tour/hike within the caves that is offered once per month (or they will arrange one for you if you have a group of five or more.) You'll never have as much fun getting dirty and crawling around in caves.

Good luck!

Visited July 2013
5 Thank Alexandrasmom817
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai Region, China
Level 6 Contributor
364 reviews
128 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“Amazing view”
Reviewed 29 August 2013

The drive is very scenic and the viewing sites sell curios cheaper. The viewing sites require fees: Three Rondavels – R10 per person, Bourke’s luck puthole (R20 per person and R40 per car), God’s window was too hazy so we opted not to go. The only problem in winter (not sure how it is in summer) is that the canyon gets covered with clouds as the day progresses, based on my experience. It is better to go early in the morning when the view is still clear. The roads particularly the one that goes to God’s Window gets very hazy too.

If you’re coming from KZN, Dullstroom is also a nice stop.

Visited July 2013
Thank wandering_dive_geek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Casablanca, Morocco
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Breathtaking panorama!”
Reviewed 29 August 2013

I visited the Panorama Route inf February 2013. The panorama is really breathtaking!
God's Window especially shows how strong is Nature.
It was our first contact with South African Nature, and it was unforgeattable.

Visited February 2013
Thank Nesquiky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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