South Africa is a beautiful country from East to West and North to South. Some of the most stunning spots of its nature are concentrated in the famous “Panorama Route” of South Africa. This is a route you can drive along the mountains. The roads are in very good shape, it’s safe and the scenic views will leave you without words. Watch this video to get an idea of what you will see during the Panorama route in South Africa!
How to do the Panorama Route
First of all, we higly recommend renting a car in South Africa. Distances are huge and there’s a lack of public transport. If you don’t want to drive, you have two options: pay for a touristic bus or a package holiday that takes you there. But we would advise to rent the car, it gives you flexibility and it’s very affordable. Average prices are around 20-25€ per day. We went for the most budget option without insourance for just 8€ a day. Amazing! We booked it online with First rental car, and picked it up in Johannesbourg airport. Another reason to rent the car is to do a very affordable self-drive safari in Kruger Park!
Where to start the Panorama Route
The route goes mainly along the road R532, and there’s many places where you can start. Usually Graskop is the town used as start point, but we used it as our endind point instead.
Our accomodation was conveniently located near Burgersfort (see below for more information). We recommend starting early to avoid big groups of tourists. First we drove to the Three Rondavels, and from there all the way until God’s window finishing in Graskop. We only used one day for The Panorama Route but there’s many waterfalls and view points, so it depends how much you want to see.
It’s very well prepared for tourists, and therefore very touristy. It’s good, because at least the infrastructures are good, there’s toilets in a few points, one restaurant along the way (just one though), and safe parking. On the other hand, they definately know how to make profit of this, and most view points have an entrance few (see below).
- Three Rondavels – 30R / 1’8€
- Bourkes Luck Potholes – 63R / 3’9€
- Berlin falls -10R /0’6€
- Lisbon falls – 12R / 0’7€
- God’s window – 17R/ 1€
Please be careful, and don’t go where routes are not marked or there’s no one. Unfortunately South Africa has a very high criminal rate and although touristic areas should always be fine, take care of yourself.
Where to stay in the Panorama Route
We drove from Pretoria (we had been visiting our friends there!), so we had looked for a middle point close to the start of the Panorama route. The place where we stayed was the Gathelane Lodge, near Burgersfort. We absolutely loved it! There were wild animals roaming free, like this Nyala right next to our window or the ostriches around the pool.
If you’re looking for a place in a nice town, try Graskop! It’s a very lively town, lot’s of nice shops and restaurantes, and vey nice pancakes!
The day after, we drove to Nelspruit. This is again a good middle point when heading towards the Kruger Park, because the best part of it is the South. In Nelspruit we stayed at a lovely guest house with a pool and great barbecue place!
Don’t forget to take with you:
- Your binoculars to see the landscape far away, wild animals and majestic birds. These are very affordable and you can get them on amazon with free delivery!
- Take a wind jacket. Even if the weather is nice when you wake up, you will be in the mountains and it gets quite chilly. I love this one, and it gets really small, perfect for travelling!
- Bring your water bottle, as tap water isn’t good in some places. Don’t waste plastic and get your reusable bottle!
Enjoy your drive along the Panorama Route!