The Panorama Route runs along the spectacular Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga and is arguably one of the most
beautiful and popular travel destinations in South Africa.
The Panorama Route is best known for its cultural heritage and its dramatic landscapes. It leads through the rocky mountain range of the northern Drakensberg.
It is here where the inland plateau declines abruptly and steeply and opens up fantastic views of the plains of the Lowveld up to a 1000m below. It is probably the most photographed, painted and admired area in the country.
The Drakensberg mountains of South Africa or uKhahlamba (the Barrier of Spears) is a 200-kilometre-long mountainous wonderland and world heritage site.
The largest proportion of the Drakensberg area falls in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The Zulu people named it 'Ukhahlamba' and the Dutch Voortrekkers 'The Dragon Mountain'. The Drakensberg Mountains, with their awe-inspiring basalt cliffs, snowcapped in winter, tower over riverine bush, lush yellowwood forests and cascading waterfalls, form a massive barrier separating KwaZulu-Natal from the Kingdom of Lesotho. The only road access to the top of the Drakensberg is via Sani Pass, which at the top boasts the highest pub on Africa, 3 000 meters' above sea level.
Combining sheer natural beauty with a wealth of biological diversity, this 243 000 hectare mountainous region known the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park has been preserved and venerated for eons since the San people or Bushmen roamed these slopes. Tens of thousands of paintings depicting their daily life can be found on the rock faces, and in December 2000, the park received international recognition and was declared KwaZulu-Natal's second World Heritage Site.
This is one of the most popular and scenic routes of the south-eastern coast of South Africa. Here mountains crowd close to the shoreline which lay dotted with beaches and bays, and vividly coloured wild flowers delight the eye. The Garden Route runs parallel to a coastline featuring lakes, mountains, tall indigenous forests, amber coloured rivers and golden beaches.
The name comes from the verdant and ecologically diverse vegetation encountered here and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast. It can truly be said “man’s footprints has made little impact on the rugged and sometimes inaccessible coastline”.
The region provides a stirring study in contrasts. On the one side it is graced by a coastal plateau in a fertile area of lush greenery at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains. On the other side of the mountains set in a semi-arid valley, it provides the ideal habitat for ostriches which are farmed in the Oudtshoorn district on a grand scale.
Towns include George, the Garden Routes largest city, and main administrative centre, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay, Plettenberg Bay culminating in the Tsitsikamma Forrest, a fairyland of giant Yellowwood’s, ferns, birds and Nature’s Valley.
What at first glance appears to be a wilderness of semi-desert - arid, dusty plains that stretch before one, dramatic mountains in the background, with little by way of colour or animation - is suddenly transformed, as if by a painter with a manic palette, into a pageant of flowers.
The Namaqualand Flower Route lies roughly between the towns of Garies, Springbok, Kamieskroon and Port Nolloth.
Included in the wild flower route are the Richtersveld National Park, Goegap Nature Reserve and Skilpad Wild Flower Reserve. Alexander Bay and the Orange River mouth can also be included in your itinerary. Wild flowers can be seen all over the Namaqualand, West Coast and Olifants River Valley, and towns such as Citrusdal, Clanwilliam, Lamberts Bay, Nieuwoudtville and Vredendal will not disappoint.
All the above Scenic Tours can also form part of a custom Safari or Tour package.