Panorama Day Tour
This magnificent route is best known for its cultural heritage and its dramatic landscapes. Offering a vast array of exciting options for the visitor, the Panorama Route hosts some of the best adrenalin enhancing adventures in the country as well as some more placid pastimes encompassing visits to Bourke’s Luck Potholes were named after prospector Tom Bourke who discovered alluvial gold in there during the late 1880’s. God’s Window, situated on the Drakensberg Escarpment is known to many as Paradise country, the lush region is home to a number of magnificent natural features such as striking rock formations, beautiful waterfalls like Lone Creek, Horse Shoe and Bridal Veil, spectacular endemic flora and fauna and awe inspiring views. Finally, exactly as they sound, the Three Rondawels are three round mountain tops with slightly pointed tops, (very similar to the traditional round or oval African homesteads made with local materials called Rondawels).
On the eastern side of the Drakensberg Escarpment, facing away from the Blyde River Canyon, is the Mariepskop complex, a mountain enclave and centre of endemism of unsurpassed beauty. You can ascend to the top where, at 1,945m above sea level, you can see the Indian Ocean and Maputo on a clear day. Mariepskop is the highest peak in the northern Drakensberg Escarpment with views that are breathtaking. Ironically, its height has led to the presence of the military radar equipment on the top of the mountain that has caused its preservation. Development has been restricted and a natural wilderness has resulted.
Mariepskop Mountain is unique in its floral diversity and contains well over 2,000 plant species, greater than the whole of Kruger Park and far exceeding Table Mountain’s plant diversity. There are over 1,400 floral species, 905 vertebrate species including 58 faunal endemics and 109 faunal red data book species. Unusual local mammals include the Samango monkey and SA Birding recommends a full day’s exploration of the Mariepskop forests, which they describe as “an essential part of a [birding] visit to this area”.