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Panorama Advice Please!

Raleigh
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70 posts
3 reviews
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Panorama Advice Please!

We will be renting a car at noon from KMIA and have about 2 days to see this area. Please review my itinerary - advice appreciated!

Day 1: Drive to Graskop and on to Blyde River Canyon, stay overnight

Day 2: Continue to explore canyon, back track or go a different route to Graskop?, stay overnight

Day 3: explore Graskop, Sabie and back to airport by 2pm

Thanks so much for your help,

Nancy

Hazyview, South...
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1. Re: Panorama Advice Please!

Question:

Are you not panning to visit Kruger Park??????

One full day is normally enough for the Blyde River Canyon. Graskop can be done in an hour, you should plan another hour for Pilgrim's Rest and IMHO forget about Sabie itself (sorry to all in Sabie, i said IMHO). You can base yourself in Hazyview (which is slightly closer to KMIA and has got lots to offer, restaurants, activities, reptile park, hot air ballooning, elephant santuary, horse riding, micro light, etc etc etc...)

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

Cape Town
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2. Re: Panorama Advice Please!

Three days is plenty of time to tour the Panorama Route/Blyde River Canyon. In fact in that time you would be able to do a day hike on Day Two down into the canyon.

Are you not going to Kruger or a Game Reserve outside Kruger - or are you possibly returning to KMIA to pick up the car? If the later it would be much better to pick up the car on your first arrival at KMIA and then use it to transfer to your game lodge or drive in Kruger. Three or four day’s extra car hire is very much cheaper than two way arranged transfers for two people from your game lodge. Even if you leave the car doing nothing for a few days!

However then Graskop is about 90 mins drive from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. If you put in stops at the Sabie Falls and the MacMac Falls it will probably take just over two hours. Don't know what sort of places you like staying but we like the Lisbon Hideaway just North of Graskop. Self catering Log cabins on the rolling veld with open views and very good value http://www.lisbonhideaway.co.za/ This is right on the river to the Lisbon Falls. Get up early in the morning and walk along the river to the top of the Falls - about 20 mins. Lots of other Guesthouse and B&B accommodation in and around Graskop and more upmarket places somewhat off your route in Hazyview.

Alternatively, especially if you plan to hike the canyon you could drive another hour or so along the canyon top (R532) and stay at Forever Resorts BRC. This is a great Hiking centre for trails down into the Canyon. There are also Horse Riing trails from the resort stables.

http://www.foreverblydecanyon.co.za/

But if you just drive the Panorama Route and fit in the main viewpoints. Spending 20-30 mins at each to walk around and take photos, you could fit in quite a few after the Lisbon Falls - God's Window, the Berlin Falls, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels. They all have Public Car Parks normally just 2 or 3 mins walk from the viewpoint - at each one there are ten or a dozen stalls selling the same craft work and souveniers!

The other place to fit in would be Pilgrims Rest which is a restored mining village from the mid/late 19th century. This region was where Gold was first mined and panned in South Africa, some time before the Witwatersrand Reef was discovered in Johannesburg. The village is worth an hour or so’s wander aroung visiting the Museum and the many shops selling 19th cent “stuff” – some real most copies.

Graskop and Sabie as towns don’t have a lot to see. Grasskop has the famous Harrie’s Pancake House and associated Art Gallery and shop – but that’s about it! Sabie not much at all - the Falls are a bit out of the town.

How you structure your route in detail depends on exactly where you are coming from – if you are at a Game Lodge nearby and decide to keep the car – and also whether or not you are interested in Hiking this lovely country or just touring and stopping at the view points.

Edited: 5:21 pm, October 25, 2011
Raleigh
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70 posts
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3. Re: Panorama Advice Please!

Thank you Klaus and Van de Caab for the quick replies! I should have clarified our plans better. Actually we will be at a game reserve for 3 nights prior to our self drive trip on the Panorama Route.

Based on your information, I think we may stay in Hazyview or Graskop.

Day 1: Drive from KMIA at noon and see part of the route the first day (God's Window, Lisbon Falls, etc maybe Pilgrim's Rest) adding in Elephant Whisperers Sundowners at 4pm

Day 2: Panorama Route (Blyde Canyon area)and Shangana Cultural Village Festival if available staring at 5pm

Day 3: explore on our way back to KMIA

We enjoying short walks but are not big hikers. Your thoughts?

Thanks!

Nancy

Hazyview, South...
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3,758 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Panorama Advice Please!

I dont think you will make part of the tour on day one when visiting Elephant whisperers at 4pm. It will take you app. 1,5 hours to drive from KMIA to Graskop (you actually drive thru Hazyview). I would rather check in at your accommodation place, maybe visit the reptile park, have a refreshment at Perry's Bridge and then go to Elephant Whisperers.

The shangana evening festival does not take place every day. You should see when arriving for which day a festival is scheduled (or a few days before) and then swap around with the Elephants if neccessary.

There is not a lot to explore on your way back to KMIA, other than maybe the Casterbridge centre in White River with some nice art shops.

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

5. Re: Panorama Advice Please!

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