Panorama Route – Johannesburg
In the morning we depart from the magnificent Kruger National Park and make our way back into Johannesburg via the incredible Panorama Route. The beautiful Blyde River Canyon is the third biggest canyon in the world, with remarkable views of structures like God’s Window and the Three Rondavels. We also spot the Bourke’s Luck Potholes which have been shaped by the Treur River over the years. Our tour winds to an end upon our arrival in Johannesburg. This ‘City of Gold’ boasts various marvellous restaurants in which our group typically spends one final night of dining together, celebrating our adventure.
The Panoramic Route found in Mpumalanga follows the rim of the Blyde River Canyon and encompasses some awe-inspiring views of the majestic Three Rondavels, Bourke’s Luck Pothole and the Pinnacle. Blyde River Canyon is the third biggest canyon in the world and acquired its name in 1840, with ‘blyde’ meaning ‘joyful’, from the Voortrekkers who passed through en route to Lorenzo Marques, which is now famously known as Mozambique. It is one of the most magnificent canyons in all of Africa, with cliffs towering up to 800 metres high. Perhaps the finest view in the entirety of the Blyde River Canyon is that of the Three Rondavels – three enormous rock spirals jutting out of the distant wall of the canyon. Their summits look like the rounded roofs of huts, which is where they got their name. They are each individually named too, one after each of the Swazi Chief Maripi’s wives. From lowest to highest, they are named Magabolle, Mogoladikwe and Maserote.
Where the Blyde and Treur Rivers join, water erosion has created one of the most incredible geological spectacles in the country, known as Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Over many, many years, bizarre cylindrical granite sculptures that have been formed by swirling water have created a sequence of dark pools which contrast dramatically with the streaked white and yellow lichen-covered rocks. Continuing along the road and following the Treur River south, we will pass more viewpoints, including Wonder View, the awesome God’s Window and the Pinnacle.
Johannesburg, or the City of Gold, is the biggest and most populated South African city and is the second biggest city in all of Africa (after Cairo). Gold was discovered in the mineral-rich Witwaterstrand in 1886 by George Harrison, an Australian prospector. This find began a massive gold rush as fortune-hunters flocked to the region from all parts of the world. A large labour force of contract workers quickly sprung to work in the mines, and within the span of just three years, Johannesburg transformed into South Africa’s biggest settlement. This city is the now the economic and financial centre of the country and though mining no longer takes place within the bounds of the city, the headquarters of the majority of mining businesses can be located here. Johannesburg is also renowned as the world’s biggest man-made forest, with more than ten million trees planted throughout the massive city.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Own Arrangements/post-tour accommodation can be booked through us
Route: Kruger National Park Area to Johannesburg +/- 600 kms
Travel Time: +/-9-10 hours
Included Tour Highlights: Panorama Route, including God’s Window, Blyde River Canyon & Bourke’s Luck Potholes
Optional Activities: Morning game walk with SANP, dinner in a local restaurant
Your tour will end at Garden Court O.R. Tambo International Airport. We suggest you book accommodation here for this evening through us. If you choose to stay elsewhere, you will need to arrange a transfer. Garden Court O.R. Tambo International is about a 10 minute drive from O.R. Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport. If you are flying out the following evening we highly recommend the day tour of Johannesburg city and Soweto as an informative and enjoyable way to spend the day.