The History of the Panorama Route

Panorama Route

When choosing Mpumalanga as your holiday destination – the Panorama Route should be your first choice. Mpumalanga, which is positioned farthest east within South Africa – is the first place where the light touches each morning. The word Mpumalanga literally translates to ‘the land of the rising sun’ in Swazi. The Panorama Route is a strategic holiday destination, as it is connected to several cultural and natural points of interest within South Africa.

So what to do on your next trip to Crystal Springs?



Add a bit of historical-flair and culture on your next trip to Crystal Springs, which is located on the Robber’s Pass near Pilgrims Rest. On your Panorama Route road trip, a route that is deeply entrenched within South African history, you will find numerous historical pit-stops.

The Panorama Route played a vital part in many historic events, during the 1800’s. The use of this route dates back to 1871, when parts of the route were used as a transportation road. This was especially used, as an alternative road, between the towns of Lydenburg and Delagoa Bay. This road played an important role during the Transvaal gold rush in the late 1800’s. In his world-famous book – Jock of the Bushveld – Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, a former storekeeper from Pilgrim’s Rest, wrote about the many “fortune seekers” crossing this mountainous landscape, with its rugged gorges, in search of gold. Do yourself a favour and get a copy of this book for a really good read on your next visit to Crystal Springs; read more about Percy and Jock, his faithful dog, and how they traversed this famous route.


Blyde canyon


The route also played a fundamental role during the Anglo Boer War. The late General Louis Botha used this route to flee from the English troops. The route also boasts, “The Long Tom”, one of the oldest and most famous Victorian age canons.

In 1986, the entire town of Pilgrim’s Rest was declared a National Monument. This town, which is one of many beautiful towns in South Africa, shows the rich history of how mining magnates ruled during this era.


Pilgrim’s Rest


Here are a few Bucket List items to visit on your next trip to the Panorama Route:

  1. Visit Pilgrim’s Rest and step back in time to the age of carriages, teatime and old photographs.
  2. Get your heart racing at The Big Swing in Graskop for a unique experience of this gorge.
  3. Visit the White River Gallery, a contemporary gallery, which exhibits both the best of local as well as national artists located at Casterbridge in White River.
  4. Go take a snap of the Berlin – and MacMac Falls, two majestic waterfalls in the region.
  5. Kruger National Park, which is 100km from Crystal Springs, is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. It has a high density of wild animals, which includes the Big 5.


So on your next trip to Crystal Springs – embrace the history of the magical surrounds – and go on a road-trip to the times of yesteryear.