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Sabie is the ideal place from which to explore the Panorama Route leading up to the world’s largest Game Reserve – The Kruger National Park. Prepare yourself to be amazed at the sensory overload you will experience taking in the panoramic views.
Not just of forests, sky and majestic mountains – you can experience the impressiveness of the Blyde River Canyon – This is the third largest Canyon in the world, and unlike its rivals expect to see a spans of green housing an abundance of wild life.
A pinnacle point being Gods Window – 800m above the canyon so called for the divine views over the Lowveld and indigenous lush green forest where you will need to stretch your legs and take a walk where you will often feel as if you are walking amongst the clouds.
At The beginning of the Blyde River Canyon lie the Bourke’s Luck Potholes – A must stop and even mentioned on the Frommer’s list of the top 500 places to visit. These potholes have developed over thousands of years by swirling water into their strange cylindrical sculptures that they are today. This historical landmark was named after Tom Burke who staked a gold claim nearby and who was most obviously graced with some luck in his quest for gold.
Pilgrim’s rest a historical gold rush town where you can step back in time to the 1870’s with its museums and historical artefacts. The Town was declared a National Monument in 1986, and today you can try your own luck at gold panning activities in the town.
Another attraction not to be missed on the Panorama route are the Mac Mac Falls a 70m twin plunge waterfall. Do not forget your camera as the views are spectacular, even though for safety reasons the viewing platform is restricted with wire mesh. Although swimming at Mac Mac falls is prohibited, The Mac Mac pools situated just 2km from the Falls offers a picnic area and swimming spots where you can cool off and refresh yourselves. Nearby there are also the Lisbon and Berlin Falls – these are not for those with a fear of heights or vertigo as they have no fencing restrictions.
Lower Sabie Camp is located in the southern part of Kruger National Park, on the banks of a pretty dam on the Sabie River. Because of the large garden and many shady trees, this rest camp is a popular destination in the park. Good grazing conditions and several water holes attract a variety of animals. At a small dam, about 1 km from the rest camp, you can often see crocodiles, hippos and several species of birds. Facilities at this camp include a restaurant, grocery, coin launderette, petrol station and shared kitchen (but without pans, crockery or cutlery).
Drive towards Long Tom Pass and turn left at the junction towards Belfast. Turn right at the signpost and follow the signs to the Sudwala stalactite cave (the oldest stalactite cave in the world) with a cultural village. Join a guided tour that will take you 600 meters into the cave interior and 150 meters deep.
Then drive to Nelspruit and at the sign turn right to the “Lowveld National Botanical Garden”. A self-guided walkway winds its way through this unique natural botanical garden along an inhabited river environment with ponds, rapids and waterfalls surrounded by mostly indigenous flora.
Driving time Kaapse Hoop to the Lowveld National Botanical Garden about 30 minutes. Then head towards the Kaapsehoop and turn left at the signpost for Sabie. If there is enough time, you can also drive back to Sabie through the exotic fruit plantations of Kiepersol.
The small town of Sabie is located at over 1000 m altitude in the district Ehlanzeni and belongs to the political community Thaba Chweu with administrative headquarters in Lydenburg. Thaba Chweu means white mountains in the Bantu language, because the summits of the surrounding mountains of the Highveld can be covered with snow in the short term. Sabie lives primarily from forestry. Growing fast-growing trees such as European pines or eucalyptus. Another commonly seen plant is of unknown origin: the Sabie Lily, scientifically named Lilium formosanum, was reintroduced at the end of the 19th century, has a splendid spread and is often considered a weed outside of Sabie.
Today’s forestry has its cause in 1871. During a hunt a stray bullet hit a rock and released a gold vein. The first mining company was founded here in the same year, and the gold rush began. Large areas of the native forest were cleared, and in 1876 the afforestation started.