Things to See & Do
 

North of Graskop
   The Pinnacle Rock
   God's Window & Wonder View
   Lisbon Falls
   Berlin Falls
   Bourke's Luck Potholes
   Lowveld View
   Three Rondawels
   Blyde River Canyon
   Echo Caves
   Reptile Park
   Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
   Cheetah Breeding Project

South of Graskop
   Natural Bridge
   Pilgrim's Rest
   Forest Falls
   Mac Mac Falls
   Mac Mac Pools
   Sabie Falls
   Sabie Town
   Bridal Veil Falls
   Horse Shoe Falls
   Lone Creek Falls

East of Graskop
   Graskop Gorge
   Silk Farm
   Coffee Farm
   Shangana Cultural Village
   Kruger National Park

Other Activities
   Bird Watching 
   Hikes & Walks
 

The natural wonders around Graskop are probably the most seen, most photographed, most painted and most cherished scenes in Southern Africa.  There is a good reason for this ........

Not only are these scenes breathtaking, they are all within easy reach along a good network of tarred roads.  Suggested routes to travel are described on our Trips & Tours page.


Regional Map
(click for larger image)
  

 Hint to Photographers

Travel south of Graskop (towards Sabie) in the morning for the best lighting conditions on the waterfalls and other scenic spots.

Travel north of Graskop in the afternoon for the best viewing conditions of God's Window, Pinnacle, Blyde River Canyon, Three Rondawels, etc.

 

 Webmasters Note
Many of the magnificent photographs on this web site were supplied by Chris du Plessis. He produces a whole range of CDs, DVDs and postcards.
More info ....

The Pinnacle Rock
The Pinnacle Rock, a tower-like freestanding quartzite buttress which rises 30 m above the dense indigenous forest, is 6 km north of Graskop on the R534 road (a scenic loop off the R532 road). To the right of the Pinnacle Rock is the first of eight small waterfalls in the Ngwaritsane stream.
Entrance Fee: 
R10/car, R30/combi, R50/bus

Pinnacle Rock

God's Window & Wonder View
God's Window - so called for the panoramic view of the Lowveld (and in the distance the Kruger National Park and Mozambique) more than 900 m below - is 9.2 km north of Graskop on the R534 road.  From the parking area a steep footpath along the edge of the escarpment leads to the actual view site where there is a Wild Nature Reserve.
Entrance Fee: R10/car, R30/combi, R50/bus

Wonder View is about 2 km north of God's Window.  At an altitude of 1,730 m this is the highest viewpoint in the area. No walking necessary as the viewpoint is right next to the road.
Entrance Fee: Free

Choose a clear day to best enjoy the views from both God's Window and Wonder View.

God's Window

Lisbon Falls
Where the R534 rejoins the R532 road, you turn left (back towards Graskop) for 800 m and then right onto a gravel road.  The falls is a further 2.2 km.  At 92 m the Lisbon Falls is the highest waterfall in the area.

Entrance Fee: R10/car, R20/combi, R100/bus

Berlin Falls
From Lisbon Falls you drive back to the tar road (R532) and turn left (north). Drive for 2 km (past the R534 turn-off) and then turn off left.  Drive past the Berlin Sawmill and at 2 km from the main road, turn left and park at the parking area. A short walk takes you to a vantage point overlooking the 45 m high Berlin Falls.

Entrance Fee:
R10/car, R20/combi, R100/bus

 

Berlin Falls
Photo: SA Tourism

Bourke's Luck Potholes
This natural water feature marks the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon.  Through countless eons the swirling whirlpools which occur as the Treur River plunges into the Blyde River caused waterborne sand and rock to grind huge, cylindrical potholes into the bedrock of the river.

The Potholes were named after a gold digger, Tom Burke, who staked a claim nearby.  Although his claim did not produce a single ounce of gold, he correctly predicted that large gold deposits would be found in the area.

The Potholes is located 35km north of Graskop town on the R532 road. The informative visitors centre details some of the interesting natural and socio-historic features and is the starting point of the 700m walk to the potholes.

Entrance Fees:
R20/car, R50/combi, R70/bus
Plus R30/adult, R20/child

Contact: 073 774-3617

Bourke's Luck Potholes
Photo: SA Tourism

Lowveld View
This viewpoint, between Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondawels on the R532, offers stunning views of the Blyde River Canyon, the Blyde Dam and the Lowveld beyond.
Entrance Fee: Free


Photo: SA Tourism

Three Rondawels
Further north along the R532 road, the turnoff to the Three Rondawels viewpoint is 4.6 km from the Lowveld View turnoff (41 km from Graskop) and the parking area another 2.8 km further.  The word "Rondawel" is a South African word that refers to a round hut-like dwelling (usually with a thatched roof).  The three well known gigantic peaks of quartzite and shale with their sheer rock walls tower more than 700 m above the surrounding landscape.  These peaks are named after the three most troublesome wives of Chief Maripi Mashile - they are (from left to right) Magabolle, Mogoladikwe and Maseroto.
Entrance Fee:
R10/car, R30/combi, R50/bus
(includes Blyde River Canyon viewpoint)
 

The Three Rondawels
Photo: SA Tourism

Blyde River Canyon
One of the best viewpoints of the Blyde River Canyon is from the parking lot behind the chalets at the Aventura Blydepoort Nature Reserve Resort, 51 km north of Graskop on the R532 road.

The 25 km long Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world and was formed by rivers cutting deep into the escarpment and eroding millions of tons of rock which were carried to the Lowveld and beyond to the Indian Ocean.  More than 700 m below the 370 ha Blyde River Dam is visible towards the lower end of the canyon at the confluence of the Blyde and Ohrigstad Rivers.
Entrance Fee:
R10/car, R30/combi, R50/bus
(includes 3-Rondawels viewpoint)


Photo: Chris du Plessis

Echo Caves
The Echo Caves, located 15km west of the Strydom Tunnel in the Molopong Valley, have sheltered humans since the Middle Stone Age, and continue to protect some of the region's most inspiring ancient San rock engravings. The caves, which boast a chamber 100m long and 40m high, also have dripstone formations that echo eerily when struck.  The 2km guided tour lasts 45min.

Entrance fee:
R60 per adult, R25 per child (under 15)
Times:
08:30 - 16:30. 
 


 

Khamai (Swadini) Reptile Park
In 1984 the Khamai (Swadini) Reptile Park was founded and developed by Donald Strydom a pioneer in the care and rehabilitation of "problem reptiles" in the Hoedspruit region. The Retile Park is now a renowned South African landmark and Strydom has had his work featured on international television networks such as The National Geographic Channel and The Discovery Channel.

The Reptile Park has been collecting data from animals caught in the wild for the past 16 years and has been inspired to initiate a number of research projects through HERP (Help Endangered Reptile Project) dedicated to the conservation of reptiles through education and research.  At present the Reptile Park captures and releases over 300 problem animals each year.  These include snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tortoises, frogs, spiders and scorpions.

Fees:
Day Visitors: R60/adult, R30/child (4 - 12 years)
Interactive Tour: R75/person (min 6, max 20)
Photographic Tour: R500/person (min 3, max 6)
  


An African Rock Python is measured before
being released back into the wild.


Largest Baboon Spider in the World (7cm body length)

Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
The Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (?? north of Graskop on the R531) has become a haven for the rehabilitation and care of sick and injured animals and birds.  Wildlife is brought to the Centre from all corners of South Africa, and once healthy enough are re-introduced into their natural environment.  There are however some species which have been rehabilitated but due to the long term effects of their injuries, still stand no chance of survival in the wild.  These animals and birds are kept on the premises and used in educational tours.

The Centre is open to the public twice a day, Monday to Saturday.  Sunday tours are only held at 15h00, over long weekends or during the school holidays.  The tours start at 09h30 and 15h00 and last approximately 2 hours.   There is also a tea garden at the Centre.
 
Entrance Fees:
6 yrs & under: No charge
7 yrs – 12 yrs: R 50.00 per child
13 yrs – adult: R 110.00 per person
Pensioners: R 80.00 per person

 

Crowned Eagle


Serval Cat
 

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
From the Moholoholo Centre follow the R531 towards Klaserie and turn off left on the R40.  The turnoff to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center is 3 km along the R40 towards Hoedspruit.

The Centre conducts unique research on endangered species such as cheetah (including the king cheetah), African wild dogs and lion.  Tours of the Centre starts every hour (on the hour) with an informative video presentation where interesting background information on the animals, the research being conducted and the progress of the project is presented.

An experienced guide will then accompany you on a tour of the Centre where the highlights will include the viewing of more than 60 hand-reared cheetahs, the vulture restaurant, wild dogs and the rare Barbary lion.  A walk with Jabulani the elephant is also an optional extra.  After the tour you can enjoy a light meal and refreshments in their tea garden or shop in the curio shop.

Tariffs:
Standard Tours: R130/adult, R60/child (6 - 12y)


Photo: SA Tourism


 

Natural Bridge
This natural wonder is 2.3 km from Graskop on the R532 road to Sabie / Pilgrim's Rest.  Park at the curio stalls and follow the short footpath into a small gorge where the Mac Mac river carved a path under rocks to form a natural bridge.

This bridge was used more than a century ago when it was first used by the Voortrekkers and later by transport riders to cross the Mac Mac river.

Entrance Fee: Free

 


Photo: Willie Jacobs
 

Pilgrim's Rest
This little village, with its colourful history, is probably the most picturesque and charming spot in the the area and is only 23 km from Graskop on the R533 road.  In 1873 Alec Patterson found alluvial gold in the stream that flows through the valley.  The news spread like wildfire and sparked off the biggest gold rush of the time.  Nowhere was gold ever mined in more beautiful and romantic surroundings.  Mining continued until 1972 and today Pilgrim's Rest is a living museum, preserved in the exact architectural style of the gold rush period, boasting various buildings that has remained unchanged externally for more than a century.

For more info see the Pilgrim's Rest web site.
 

Pilgrim's Rest
Photo: SA Tourism

Forest Falls
Forest Falls is 17 km from Graskop on the R532 road towards Sabie, immediately before the railway crossing.  A refreshing walk that takes you through fragrant pine forests to the falls - the only waterfall in the area that is wider than what it is high.

Forest Falls is a delightful place to visit, but you are not allowed to drive there.  You have to park at the picnic spot and walk the 7 km circular route to the falls.  Permits (at R20/person) for this walk is available from the guard at the Picnic spot, or from the Forest Industry Museum in Sabie.

 


Photo: Chris du Plessis

Mac Mac Falls
The Mac Mac Falls is 20 km from Graskop on the R532 road towards Sabie.  The turn-off and parking area is at the curio stalls.  A steep (wheelchair unfriendly) walk along a cement pathway takes you to the viewing platform above the falls.

The 65 m high Mac Mac Falls in the Mac Mac River is a declared National Monument.

This waterfall was originally a single stream, but gold miners blasted it with dynamite to divert the river in an attempt to work the rich gold-bearing reef over which it plunges.

Entrance Fee: R10/car, R20/combi, R100/bus  


 Photo: Chris du Plessis
 

Mac Mac Pools
This fun-for-all picnic spot with naturally formed swimming pools is 22 km from Graskop on the R532 road to Sabie.  There are shady picnic spots and braai facilities set on well kept lawns.  The 3 km circular Secretary Bird hiking trail starts and ends here and pass through open grassveld (with little shade) and pristine forest.

Entrance Fee: R20/person  

 


Photo: Willie Jacobs

Sabie Falls
The Sabie Falls is situated on the R532 on the outskirts of Sabie under the new bridge across the Sabie river.  A short walk brings you to a viewpoint where the waterfall plunges 73m down the Sabie Gorge.  The foundations of an old hydro-electric plant - from where Sabie obtained it's electric power in 1907 - can still be seen at the bottom of the falls.  Ample parking space - also for tour busses.  Negotiable by wheelchair with some assistance.
Entrance Fee: Usually Free, but nominal fee during peak season & long weekends. 


Photo: Chris du Plessis

Sabie Town
The town of Sabie is located 30km south of Graskop on the R532.  Although larger than Graskop, Sabie is still a small Tourist & Forestry village on the banks of the pristine Sabie River.

For more info on Sabie town, as well as things to see and do in and around Sabie, visit the Sabie Web Site.


Photo: Willie Jacobs
 

Bridal Veil Falls
The Bridal Veil Falls - resembling a bridal veil - is 6km from Sabie town.  Turn right at the Loggerhead Restaurant (first street in Sabie) and follow the old Lydenburg tar road for 2km.  Turn right at the GFP Sawmill and follow the gravel (part tar) road across the Sabie river for 3km.  A  challenging 750m walk through an indigenous forest leads to the 70m high waterfall.  Public toilets are available.  Not wheelchair friendly.
Entrance Fee: R5/person, R20/combi, R100/bus  


Photo: Chris du Plessis

Horse Shoe Falls
The aptly named Horseshoe Falls is in the shape of a horseshoe. Turn right at the Loggerhead Restaurant (first street in Sabie) and follow the old Lydenburg tar road for 6.8 km before turning left on the gravel road for a further 3.6 km.  A nominal fee is payable at the entrance gate.  The gravel road can be very dusty when dry and muddy when wet.


Photo: Chris du Plessis

Lone Creek Falls
One of the well known landmarks of the area. Turn right at the Loggerhead Restaurant (first street in Sabie) and follow the old Lydenburg tar road for 9km.

A short (200m) walk through an indigenous forest takes you to the bottom of the falls.  

The 68m high waterfall is a declared National Monument.

Toilet and picnic facilities are available and the falls are easily accessible for tour buses.

Entrance Fee: R10/person, R20/combi, R100/bus  


Photo: SA Tourism

Graskop Gorge
The Graskop Gorge and Panorama Falls is only one km out of town on the R535 towards Hazyview.  The Panorama Falls is fed by a very small catchment area and is often just a trickle of water, but after heavy rainstorms a number of separate falls can be seen spilling water into the Gorge.

The Gorge offer some breathtaking views of the Lowveld below, framed between the steep, forest-clad sides of the Gorge.

Entrance Fee: Free

  

Silk Farm
Visit the Africa Silks Farm for an educational guided tour (from 09:00 to 15:00) on how silk is produced by the cultivated Bombyx mori, better known as the Mulberry Silk Caterpillar. They also process the wild silk of our own, indigenous Mopani caterpillar. The whole process, from eggs, caterpillar, cocoons, pupae, to the extraction of the silk is demonstrated. Situated 23 km east of Graskop, down Kowyn’s Pass on the R533.
Tariffs:
R55/adult, R40/child (under 12 years)
Adult Groups (more than 15 people) = R45/person
School Groups (more than 15 children) = R35/child
Pensioners = R40/person
 

Coffee Farm
An educational guided tour of the Austrian Coffee Estate with an explanation of their planting, pruning and general cultivation practices as well as a visit the plant where the coffee cherry is pulped after picking, fermented to remove the sticky coating that remains after the pulping,  washing and drying, hulling and roasting processes.

Visitors are given the opportunity of tasting coffees from other coffee growing areas and are shown how coffee experts taste and evaluate the characteristics of coffee, similar to the way this is done with wine. Enjoy something light to eat in their coffee shop. Situated about 25km east of Graskop, down Kowyn’s Pass on the R533.
 

Shangana Cultural Village
The residents of the traditional villages of Shangana invite guests to share in the way of life of the Shangaan people. The picturesque villages are set in the shade of ancient trees in a reserve of forest and grassland.

They offer daytime tours (09:00 - 16:00 on the hour), as well as an Evening Festival when the history of the Shangaans is presented by a huge cast of choristers and dancers before dinner is served inside the huts.  Prior bookings for the evening festival is essential.  Located about 52km from Graskop on the R535 towards Hazyview.

Tariffs:
Varies from R120 to R425/person, depending on time of day, as well as lunch & dinner options.


Photo: Chris du Plessis

Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park, renowned for its Big 5, is located east of Graskop along the R535 & R536 roads.  The closest entry gate is Phabeni Gate, only 55km from Graskop, making visits to Kruger a popular day trip from Graskop.
 


Photos: Chris du Plessis

Bird Watching
The Graskop area is truly a birder's paradise with three IBAs (Important Bird Areas) in the area. Not only is there a huge variety of the more common bird species, but a number of globally and nationally threatened species also occur in the area.

For more info about birding in the Graskop area, please see our special Bird Watching page.
 

Knysna Loerie
Photo: SA Tourism

Walks & Hikes
The hiking trails around Graskop range from easy walks of a few hours, to grueling hikes over several days.

For more info about Walks & Hikes, see our Adventure page.


Photo: SA Tourism

  
For more about the wonders of Mother Nature,
see our special Natural Heritage page

 
For more things to See & Do, visit
the website of nearby towns:
Sabie (www.sabie.co.za)
Pilgrim's Rest (www.pilgrims-rest.co.za)

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