Best picnic spots on the Panorama Route

The Panorama Route is one of South Africa’s most scenic drives that stretches 160km through the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. This popular destination has a variety of view sites and waterfalls that start from the Long Tom Pass, along the Blyde River Canyon, and end at the Echo Caves. Taking a day trip to this area would not be complete without a picnic stop to enjoy these breathtaking views.

The Route

Although the Panorama Route is possible to drive and complete in one day with minimal stops, the most popular section is a shorter drive between Sabie, Graskop, and the Blyde River Canyon, the third-largest canyon in the world. Visitors to the area will discover waterfalls, viewpoints over the Canyon, hiking trails, quaint small towns, and picnic sites to enjoy.

Here is a short summary of the most popular stops along the Panorama Route:

  • Lone Creek Falls
  • Bridal Veil Falls
  • Mac Mac Pools
  • Forest Falls
  • Graskop Town
  • Pinnacle
  • God’s Window
  • Lisbon Falls
  • Berlin Falls
  • Bourke’s Luck Potholes
  • Wonderview
  • Three Rondawels
  • Blyde River Dam (a bit of a detour but a different perspective of the Canyon)

Picnic Spots

Packing a picnic to enjoy at one of the viewpoints or at a waterfall is the best way to experience this route when self-driving. Some of the sites do have picnic spots and braai (barbeque) facilities, but please keep in mind that on weekends and holidays, these spots can get busy and crowded so best to get there early!

Discover these picnic sites along the Panorama Route:

  • Lone Creek Falls: This waterfall has been declared a National Monument and has a few picnic tables and public toilets near the parking area.
  • Mac Mac Pools: A popular spot for locals and visitors alike! Picnics, braai facilities, swimming in rock pools, and a short hike can all be done from this spot which also has public toilets.
  • Forest Falls: A short and easy hike through the forest brings you to this waterfall where you can swim or picnic on the grass on the banks of the river. Bear in mind that there are no tables or facilities at this site, and to please take your trash home with you.
  • God’s Window: Situated 700m high on the edge of the Drakensberg Escarpment, it is clear why this viewpoint is called ‘God’s Window’ as the view stretches over the Lowveld area below and on clear days you can see up till the Mozambique border. take a short hike and pack a small picnic to enjoy on a rock looking over the view.
  • Bourke’s Luck Potholes: This popular stop to view the geological wonders of the pothole formations, has picnic and braai spots to enjoy. Please bear in mind that this is a very popular spot where baboons tend to steal food from picnic tables.

Something Different…

Looking to do something different when you visit? We have a variety of unique and different things to do on the Panorama Route:

  • Secret Waterfall: Discover a secret waterfall in Sabie where you can bring a picnic and swim in the rock pool below. Read more about this trip here.
  • Helicopter Flight over the Blyde River Canyon: The ultimate way to see the Panorama Route when you have limited time or want to have a wow experience! Enjoy a picnic halfway on top of a mountain – the perfect proposal spot! Discover this trip here.
  • Guided Tour: Sit back and relax on a tour of the Panorama Route where a professional guide takes you to the sites and a stop in Graskop Town for lunch. Choose a day tour here.
  • Visit a restaurant: Don’t have time to shop for a picnic basket? Or the weather isn’t in your favour? Visit one of the local restaurants in Sabie or Graskop along the way to enjoy a local meal.
  • Boat Cruise: A detour from the Panorama Route is the Blyde Dam Boat Cruise where you can see the canyon and Three Rondawels from below. bring a picnic to enjoy on this 1.5hour cruise on the dam. Book your boat cruise here.
  • Gorge Lift: Take the glass lift into the forest below, or get your heart racing with the Big Swing and Zipline in the Graskop Gorge. This centre also has a restaurant to enjoy lunch at.

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