Discover and explore the Panorama Route in the Kruger Lowveld 

The Panorama Route in the Kruger Lowveld is one of South Africa’s most visited and most loved tourist routes. This route is jam –packed with incredible natural wonders and iconic landmarks. It straddles all along the Long Tom Pass spreading tentacles all along the escarpment and the Lowveld. The highest point of the pass is 2150 metres above sea level!

South Africa is globally renowned for its phenomenal game viewing and sound conservation ethics. Nowhere is it more apparent that in the iconic Kruger National Park. The nearest gate to the Kruger Park is 90 Minutes from De Ark Guest House in Lydenburg in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Things you Must SEE

  • Visit the 2 200-ha Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve at the bottom of the Long Tom Pass. Thorn and Bushveld habitats on the lower slopes with grasslands further up a mix with Protea woodland.
  • There are 320 recorder bird species in the Gustav Klingbiel reserve including some very rare species such as the jackal buzzard, the amur falcon and the malachite sunbird
  • Game viewing on one of the several hiking trails where you might see the bushbuck, kudu, impala, zebra, eland, grey rhebok, and steenbok. Look out for the giraffes and warthogs.
  • Go hiking on the short ( 5km) Pedi Route which leads to archaeological site, the Crane Route ( 9km, with good birding opportunities , which visits the dam wall and the Protea Route (12km) which, besides showing hikers the Protea also takes in some British Battle Fortifications known as Paardeplaats Post and dating back to the Anglo –Boer War.
  • The Lydenburg Museum is worth a visit when your interest is culture and history. They focus on the area’s cultural-historical, archaeological history especially the Pedi people.
  • While at the museum you can view Lydenburg’s most famous exhibits of early habitation, the Lydenburg Heads. These artefacts first came to light in 1957 when they were discovered by a schoolboy playing in the veld. Speculation has it that they may have been used during some initiation ceremony.
  • Do a historical town walk in Lydenburg with its many national monuments, such as the original Voortrekker School ( 1851) and the Voortrekker Church (1852). Both buildings were restored for old pen-and-ink sketches drawn in 1867.
  • The Gunpowder Magazine which was used during the Sekhukhune Wars and the First Anglo-Boer War was declared a national monument.
  • Worth a visit is the Burgher Monument, unveiled in 1918, is a ZAR Post-Box dating to 1895 and Ox-Wagon Trek Monument which was erected in 1938.

Easy day VISITS from De Ark Guest House

  • God’s Window, is one of the prime spots from which to capture scenic shots of the Lowveld. On a clear day, you can see Kruger Park and even Mozambique.
  • Wonder View is the highest point accessible by car and opens up with views just as spectacular!
  • Visit The Pinnacle outside Graskop
  • Bourke’s Luck Potholes is a natural phenomenon so named after a lucky strike by a rich miner in this gold-rich area
  • Marvel in the scenic beauty of the Blyde River Canyon, nature’s own masterpiece. It is the third largest canyon in the world and guarantees to immerse any visitor in a complete state of serenity. The fresh smell of fynbos vegetation, colourful birds in flight and awesome panoramic views makes Blyde River Canyon a must-visit icon.
  • The three so–called Three Rondavels consists of three rounded mountain tops which greatly resemble the traditional African thatch-roofed round dwellings known as Rondavels. It is also known by locals as the chief and his three wives.
  • History buffs should wander through the old gold-mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest, marvelling at the restored buildings, many of which were built in the late 1800s. Start your walk at the information centre for an interesting display on the geology, photographs, maps and other artefacts depicting the history of the town. Then book a ghost tour and get acquainted the old folk miners of 

    Pilgrim’s Rest.
  • Drive along the Long Tom Pass, 22km from Sabie and 34 km from Lydenburg, so named after the Long Tom Cannon a huge field gun operated by the Boers in the Anglo-Boer War and feared by British generals and their brigades
  • The Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo
  • The Little 5 – ant lion, leopard tortoise, elephant shrew, rhinoceros beetle and buffalo weaver
  • The Ugly 5 – hyena, marabou stork, vulture, warthog and wildebeest
  • Take a photo of the Jock of the Bushveld statue in Barberton or visit the Jock of the Bushveld Memorial after the Mac-Mac Pools 18km outside Sabie. Ceramic tiles on the memorial indicate the rivers and routes used by coaches and transport riders during the times ofSir Percy Fitzpatrick and Jock.
  • Look down at the twin-chute Mac-Mac Pools are one of the region’s most well-known sites and declared a National Monument.
  • Visit the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Hoedspruit who has achieved ground-breaking with the bateleur eagle, just one of the many species they care for. Time specific tours.
  • The Khamai Reptile Park is an important refuge centre for endangered reptiles and contains a selection of frogs, snakes, crocodile, turtles and chameleons.
  • Take a tour of the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre works to conserve endangered species through acclaimed research and breeding program focusing on a cheetah, African wild dog, black-footed cat and blue crane. 

A few things you Must DO when in the area

Hiking Trails

Hiking in Paardeplaats Nature Retreat

Hiking and mountain biking for both the serious and not so serious is a popular pass-time on Paardeplaats.

You have a choice of seven different routes totalling about 25 kilometres
The views on all the routes are absolutely spectacular!
Enjoy the explosion of sub-alpine flowers and plants in summer and the wonderful birding and small selection of game through all seasons.

No guides are needed and time is of no importance on your trail of exploration to a nearby derelict gold mine (10 – 15 minutes).
Alternatively, you can follow the river to the top of the waterfall (20-30 minutes).
Pack a picnic basket for the longer hikes which are well suited for families. Don’t forget to bring binoculars and a birding book.!

Mountain biking is allowed on the Jafrie Ramble Route