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Vintage Drive, Off R40 to Hazyview, White River, 1240
PO Box 4088, White river, 1240, South Africa
Region: Mpumalanga, South Africa
Physical Address: Vintage Drive, Off R40 to Hazyview, White River, 1240
The Sudwala caves are the oldest known caves in the world.1 hour-long guided tours through these dolomite caves are conducted daily. A five hour-long Crystal tour is available for the more adventurous once a month. Tel: 013 733 4152.
SUDWALA DINOSAUR PARK
Next to the Sudwala Caves. Life sized, scientifically accurate models of dinosaurs greet you as you wonder through a lush sub-tropical forest. Tel: 013 733 3037.
CROC RIVER ENVIRO PARK
It is a largest reptile park in Africa with a large variety of local and exotic species. Live demonstrations daily. The park also houses a touch farm, picnic spots next to the river; kiddies play area, nursery and coffee shop. Groups are taken on guided tours. It is open 7 days a week and situated just outside Nelspruit on the way to White River. Tel: 013 752 5511.
THE JANE GOODALL INSTITUTE CHIMPANZEE EDEN
The sanctuary has been constructed in a forest in the secure heart of the reserve. The area has been fenced and will become anew home to rescued chimpanzees. The JGI has adopted a West African theme to reflect the chimpanzees’ natural habitat. Visitors enjoy a guided tour of the facility, part of which passes around the haven along walkways and
via view points, and access to the informative centre. The Chimpanzee Eden is situated 8 km from nelspruit on Barberton road (R40). Tel: 013 745 7406
LOWVELD BOTANICAL GARDEN
You can explore these magnificent gardens on several hiking trails and view the extensive indigenous tree collection, one of the largest collections of cycads, the African Rain forest and the Two Waterfalls. There is also an abundance of the bird life, beautiful picnic spots, and a restaurant and coffee shop in the gardens. Regular Sunday concerts are held during the winter months. Tel: 013 752 5531
TSAKANI HOUSE OF AFRICAN SILK
Silk shop and showroom near Nelspruit. Turn on Feidenheim Road just next to the Riverside Mall. Tel: 013 755 3213.
ELMSWOOD FURNITURE SHOWROOM
Well-known landmark in the Nelspruit-Sabie Road just 10 minutes away from Nelspruit. Large range Oregon Furniture, tea garden with country breakfasts, lunches and teas. Child friendly with farm animals. Open 7 days a week. Tel: 013 755 1323
The classy casino a Victorian ambiance offers 298 slot machines in a wide variety of denomination as well as 12 gaming tables. There is also a restaurant in the complex. The casino is situated near the Riverside mall, just outside Nelspruit. Tel: 013 757 0021
Nelspruit boasts a large regional shopping centre shopping centre on the White River Road. It has 8 film theatres, restaurants and a games arcade. National tenants such as Woolworths, Pick ‘n-pay, Boardmans and Queenspark are also housed in the centre. For enquiries phone 013. 757 0080
Contact the Lowveld Slope Soaring Club for packages. Five months training courses as well as once off tandem flights available any day of the week. Phone Anton or Rooies on 082 966 2047
Unique music venue between the mountains about 12km out of Nelspruit on the Uitkyk Road. Regular musical Performances are held. Tel: 013 744 9033.
The Graskop Gorge and Panorama Falls is only 1km out of town on the R535 towards Hazyview. The Panorama Falls have a very small catchment area and is often without water, but after heavy rainstorms a number of separate falls can be seen spilling water into the gorge. The gorge offers some breathtaking views of the Lowveld below, framed between the steep, forest-clad sides of the gorge.
THE PINNACLE ROCK
The Pinnacle Rock, a tower-like freestanding quartzite buttress which rises 30m above the dense indigenous forest, is 6km 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.
GOD’S WINDOW & WONDER VIEW
God’s window- so called panoramic view of the Lowveld (and in the distance the Kruger National Park and Mozambique) more than 900 m below-is 9.2km north of Graskop on the R534 road. From the parking area a steep footpath along the of the escarpment leads to the actual view site where there is a wild nature reserve.
Wonderview is about 2km north of God’s window. At an altitude of 1.730m this is the highest viewpoint in the area. No walking necessary as the viewpoint is next to the road. NB: Choose a clear day to best enjoy the view from the God’s Window and wonder view.
Where the R532road, you turn left (back towards Graskop) for 800 m and then right on to a gravel road. The falls is a further 2.2 km. at 92 m the Lisbon Falls is the highest waterfall in the area. The is no entry fee to visit this waterfall.
From Lisbon falls you drive back to the tar road (R532) and turn left (north). Drive for 2km (past the R534turnoff) and then 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. There is no entry fee to visit this waterfall.
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 in to the Blyde River caused waterborne sand and rock to grind huge, cylindrical potholes in to the bedrock of the river.
The portholes 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 portholes are 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 starting point of the 700 m walk to the portholes. Entry fee to the portholes areR20.00 Adults, R10.00 kids.
This view, between Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels on the R532, offer stunning views of the Blyde River Canyon, the Blyde Dam and the Lowveld beyond.
Further north along the R532 road, the turnoff to the three rondawels viewpoint is 4.6km from the Lowveld view turnoff (41 km from Graskop) and the parking area another 2.8km further.
BLYDE RIVER CANYON
One of the best view points of the Blyde River Canyon is from the parking lot behind the chalets at the Aventura Blyde Poort Nature Reserve Resort, 51km north of the Graskop on the road. The 25km long Blyde River Canyon is the 3rd largest canyon in the world.
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.
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.
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 for this walk is available from the Mac Mac Forest Retreat a few kilometres beyond the railway crossing or from the Forest Industry Museum in Sabie.
MAC MAC FALLS
The Mac Mac Falls is 20 km from Graskop on the R532 road towards Sabie. The turnoff and parking area is at the curio stalls and a nominal entrance fee is charged. 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.
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. A nominal fee is payable at the access gate.
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.
ARTS, CRAFTS & CURIOS
In 1984 the 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 Swadini 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 Swadini 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 Swadini Reptile Park captures and releases over 300 problem animals each year. These include snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tortoises, frogs, spiders and scorpions.
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 reintroduced 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. Tel: 015 795 5236.
CHEETAH BREEDING PROJECT
From the Moholoholo Centre follow the R531 towards Klaserie and turn off left on the R40. The turnoff to the Hoedspruit Research and Breeding Center for Endangered Species 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 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. TEL: 015 793 1633
SABIE: For More info. Tel :( 013) 764 8580
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.
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. An entrance fee of R5/car is charged.
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.
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 nominal entrance fee is charged at the boom gate. 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 busses.
HAZYVIEW : For More info. Tel: (013) 737 6661
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 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 are essential. Located about 52km from Graskop on the R535 towards Hazyview.
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
The Kruger National Park, renowned for its Big 5, is located Near Malelane, Hazyview and other different Towns; the nearest gates in the south of Kruger Park are Crocodile Bridge gate, Malelane gate, Numbi gate, Phabeni gate, Paul Kruger gate. For Bookings you can call: 013 755 1988 or 021 552 0008
PILGRIM’S REST: For More info. Tel: (013) 768 1060
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.
FRIENDS OF THE PILGRIM’S REST MUSEUM SHOP
The Friends of the Pilgrim’s Rest Museum is a voluntary, non-profit organization run by locals to help manage museum matters, man the various museums after office hours, and train guides. They also man a small shop in the Information Centre where they sell a number of historic books and pamphlets on Pilgrim’s Rest and the region. Hours: Monday to Sunday 09:00 – 16:00
The oldest church building in Pilgrim’s Rest still in existence and built in 1884. View the original copper and lead glass window which was fully restored in 1919. The organ in the church is over 100 years old.
The Police Station was build it 1902 and is, from an architectural point of view a magnificent building, built from local dolomite rock. It is still used as the regional police station to this day. It is located in Uptown Pilgrim’s in a side street turning up at the Royal Hotel.