Part 1…Five years ago in South Africa…Stunning scenery that didn’t include wildlife…the Panorama Route

Wow! Bourke’s Luck Potholes was definitely our favorite photo of the day on our three-day tour of the Panorama Route and Blyde River Canyon.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Basket the Bully was feeling sad after his right ear was nearly torn off in what must have been as a result of a fight he most likely provoked.  We comforted him with pellets, apples, and carrots before he took his nap in the hay.

Each day, after we upload the new post, Tom reviews the posts of the same date going back over the years reading aloud to me reciting the places we visited and lived during each of the prior years since we began posting in 2012.

The colorful rock formations, coupled with the water from the Blyde and Treur Rivers at Bourke’s Luck Potholes were breathtaking.

Yesterday, when he mentioned we’d done the Panorama Route around this time five years ago, we figured it would be a good new post to review the experiences with our new readers that we’d had in January 2014.

The waterfalls were a highlight at Bourke’s Luck Potholes as well as the interesting rock formations.

The majority of our readers joined us partway into our journey and may have missed the photos from one of the most stunning experiences for visitors to South Africa, the Panorama Route.

The water was so inviting.  Can you imagine the day that Bourke, an unsuccessful gold miner discovered these? Essentially, they are a result of decades of swirling eddies of water where the Treur River meets the Blyde River, the tumult of which has caused extensive water erosion over time. The result is a series of cylindrical rock sculptures that look as though they would be more comfortable on the moon.

From this site, the Panorama Route is described as follows:

“One of the country’s most scenic self-drives, the Panorama Route, explores the Mpumalanga Highlands, or the north-eastern section of the Great Escarpment of the Drakensberg. In these rugged mountains, the plateau comes to an abrupt and dramatic halt, falling steeply away into the Lowveld accompanied by incredible views out over the grasslands of Africa.”
As we made our way out of the Potholes, we were sad to leave. But, we needed to get back on the road in order to make the best use of our time.

To embark upon this route and gain the full depth and beauty of the experience, one must plan for a two to three-day trip with lots of driving and many stops along the way.

The Three Rondavels viewing point was shrouded in haze which prevented a clear shot.  In South Africa, a Rondavel is a traditional beehive-shaped hut built by the indigenous people as their homes.

Weather is a big factor in ensuring the quality of the self-driven tour along with having a full tank of petrol when taking off which we hadn’t done at the time. Since we visited five years ago now there may be more petrol stations along the route.

A lovely couple from South Africa took this photo of us as we did the same for them.

At the time we ended up low on fuel and barely made it to a petrol station before running out. The situation may have put somewhat of a damper on the experience for a few hours until we finally found a petrol station.

The haze had an impact on our view from God’s Window. We could easily imagine its beauty on a totally clear day.  

However, as we stopped at each point of interest along the long route, we forgot about our fuel needs and embraced the magnificence of that which lay before our eyes and the lens of our camera.

 Berlin Falls presented an impressive view.

If you would like to read the post from January 21, 2014, from which we copied these photos please click here.

Another aspect of this three-day road trip was our stay at the exquisite Blyde River Canyon Lodge. The rooms were well-equipped and gorgeously appointed along with the joy of seeing wildlife wandering about the lush property.  

 This was Wonderview.  What appears to be smoke is low-lying clouds on a hazy day.

The owner Vicky went out of her way to ensure we had an exceptional stay as she did for all of her guests. We couldn’t have been more pleased by the choice we’d made in booking this lodge in the Blyde River area.

Lisbon Falls was one of many exquisite waterfalls in the area.

Another part of the tour was a boat ride in the Blyde River Canyon for some of the most gorgeous scenery we’d seen along the way. Sadly, the rain and dark clouds had an impact on our photos which didn’t stop us from having a good time.

The day was cloudy, the air thick was thick with a mist and low clouds obstructed our views of the mountain tops at times.  However, we found the Blyde River Canyon breathtaking for the two full hours we spent on a pontoon with 20 other tourists.

Please click here for more photos of the scenery from our boat ride in the Blyde River Canyon.  

The excitement of the three-day trip didn’t end here.  Tomorrow, we’ll share Part 2 with photos from our visit to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehab Centre with some outrageous photos and experiences we’ll always remember. Please check back for more.

May your day be filled with memories of the wonders you have experienced over the years!

Photo from one year ago today, January 22, 2018:

An adorable little parrot sitting atop a birdbath in Buenos Aires, as we ended our time in the  Palermo district.  For more photos, please click here.

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