I had been living in Mpumalanga for almost three years but never took time out to explore – silly me! I had no idea of the hidden gems in this province. There is so much to see so I will definitely continue the exploration to experience the rest. I really encourage you to plan a weekend away to Eastern Mpumlanga to check it out for yourself.
Choose Graskop as your starting point
Graskop town was the starting point at 10am. I advise getting some snacks and drinks for the day from the Spar grocery store in town before you start your adventure. Another thing you should consider is having breakfast in Graskop town because – pancakes! You can go to Graskop and ignore the pancakes but you shouldn’t. Graskop is known for it’s pancakes with Harrie’s pancakes being one of the best spots. It’s so hard to choose which pancake to buy from their list of sweet and savoury options. I went with the seasonal fruit pancake served with ice cream.
Use a map to plan your stops
I did not know where to begin, so I went old school and used a map! Print it out and take it with when you go, it really helped. You need to have a car to get from one location to the next. It takes about 20minutes to get from one location to the next.
Visit God’s Window
First stop was God’s Window which is a view point of the lowveld. It’s only R10 per person to enter. You park your car at the base and walk up a paved walkway through the greenery.
There are a number of view points as you walk up and a thick green rain forest which reminded me of the type of forest seen on King Kong. I had to stop and have a photo with the lush natural back drop.
I also had a Lion King moment with the views.
Stop to see a waterfall or two or three
The next stop was Lisbon Falls which is one of many waterfalls in the area. The others include Mac Mac Falls, Berlin Falls, Lonecreek Falls, Horeshoe Falls, Forest Falls and my jaw falls at the length of this list. It costs R5 per person to access Lisbon Falls which is some of the best value for money I have come across lately. I can’t think of much else I could do with R5 that compares to Lisbon Falls.
See Bourke’s Luck Potholes for yourself
The third stop was to Bourke’s Luck Potholes. I was very excited about this stop after hearing about it from one of my friends. Look at this place! The wonder of the fact that these are naturally formed rock pools blew my mind.
End off at Blyde River Canyon
The final stop was Blyde River Canyon,. We got there at 17:45 which is 15 minutes before it closed so I ran like crazy to first find The Three Rondavels and then sprinted to find the view point I had seen advertised of the canyon. It was so worth it!
I could sit there all day. There is a peace that comes over you in that untouched, grand, natural space. It’s silent and still. The sunset backdrop made it even more magical.
Warning: there is no barrier so you just have to be obedient and not walk past the signs for your safety.
Some quick tips for your trip:
- Check the weather forecast! Clear skies are obviously preferable for the best views
- Make sure to check your tyre pressure and have a spare tyre – there are a number of potholes on the roads
- Have cash for entry to each stop
- Wear comfortable shoes, sunglasses, sunblock and a hat
- Have a killer playlist for all of the driving in between
- Don’t spend too long at each stop so that you can fit in a lot in a day
- Support local and buy some of the handcrafted artworks by the talented locals
- Dress brightly for great photos
- Stay in Graskop town – it’s a great centralized location