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Open Africa

Kruger to Canyons Route


Features

   Accommodation

Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Arimagham Guesthouse
Arimagham is situated only five minutes drive from the entrance to the Kruger National Park and they have the following...

Basambilu
This business was built as a response to the identified needs of tourists to be able to not only see, but also interact...

Bed in the Bush
The main house is a welcoming oasis that soon lures you into a relaxing mode amongst the sounds of the African bush. The...

Royal Game Guesthouse
This guesthouse has been awarded a gold accreditation by SATOUR. They were also awarded a 4-star grading from the T...

Africa Silk Farm
Africa Silk Farm offers two options of accommodation: Mulberry Lane: Luxury suites situated in the shadow of God's Wind...

Autumn Breath B&B
Autumn Breath B&B, as well as bistro, is situated in central Graskop. Autumn Breath B&B offers a luxury guestho...

Berlin Peacock Tavern
This Victorian style facility offers accommodation and meals (breakfast, dinner, lunches) within a farm-like environment...

Blue Cottages
Set in remote lowveld bush savanna against the backdrop of the magnificent Drakensberg escarpment, Blue Cottages Country...

Blyde Lodge
Blyde Lodge is centrally located in the beautiful town of Graskop. Your hosts, Bertha and Pierre, have transformed this...

Bothabelo B&B
Bothabelo B&B offers luxurious and peaceful accomoodation only 3km from the Kruger National Park. It is quietly situ...

Elegance Guesthouse
Elegance Guesthouse was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Süllwald and their family. Mr. Süllwald, a German immigr...

Elephant Walk Accommodation and Tours
Elephant Walk is a very popular B&B and backpackers visited by guests from all over the world. It is only two m...

Fleur de Lys Farm Cottages
Fleur de Lys offers accommodation on an estate just outside Hoedspruit, on the Klaserie Road. All rondavels are tasteful...

Flycatcher Castle
Flycatcher Castle has five luxury suites named after famous opera composers, like Mozart (Honeymoon Suite), Verdi, Pucci...

Forever Resorts - Impala Inn
Impala Inn is situated only three minutes from the Hans Merensky Country Club, one of Africa's unique golf courses, wher...

Franka's Lodge
Franka’s Lodge is located on the road that leads to God's Window and offers fully equipped self-catering cottages....

Hans Merensky Hotel and Spa
An oasis of rare tranquillity and beauty. Situated on the border of the world renowned Kruger National Park, the Ha...

Hoed en Berg Guesthouse
Hoed en Berg Guesthouse is a delightful establishment situated in central Hoedspruit. It offers en-suite rooms, with air...

Hippo Pools Resort
Hippo Pools Resort was one of Hoedspruit's first accommodation establishments and it continues to offer affordable accom...

La Lechere Guesthouse
La Lechere Guesthouse offers a luxury and peaceful haven situated only 5km from the Kruger National Park. Quietly situat...

Loerie Guesthouse
Renowned for being the oldest guesthouse in Hoedspruit, this facility is situated in the heart of 'Big 5 Country', and w...

Log Cabin and Settlers Village
Log Cabin and Settlers Village both offer fully equipped, self-contained chalets and cottages, with television, private...

Mac Mac Eco Adventures and Getaways
This centre offers a unique opportunity for quad, two wheeler and 4x4 adventurers. The guest lodges overlook the scenic...

MalaMala Private Game Reserve
MalaMala Private Game Reserve is 13300 hectares of pristine African wilderness sharing 19km of unfenced border with the...

Mariepskop View
Situated in the foothills of the Northern Drakensberg with stunning views of Mariepskop and the Blyde Canyon, these chal...

Maruleng Lodge
This superior lodge is situated in the town of Hoedspruit. It is within walking distance of all the restaurants and shop...

Otters Den River Lodge
Otters Den River Lodge is accessed by crossing the Blyde River suspension bridge. The four chalets can comfortably accom...

Pinnacle Lodge
This lodge is conveniently situated and overlooks the Graskop Gorge Plains. The lodge is ideal for backpackers and offe...

Post Office Inn
Post Office Inn offers homely self-catering accommodation in the original post office building. The Inn has four en-suit...

River Lodge
River Lodge offers lovely accommodation with a swimming pool, volleyball court and children's playing area. The lodge b...

Summit Lodge
Situated within the Lowveld surrounded by immense beauty in the form of mountainous waterfalls (Lisbon Falls, Berlin Fal...

Tambotie Guesthouse
Tambotie Guesthouse consists of two spacious double rooms with private bathrooms, air-conditioning and televisions in ea...

Tangala Authentic
Nestled in the heart of Big 5 country adjacent to the Kruger National Park, with a huge diversity of mammal and bird spe...

Thaba Tsweni Lodge and Safaris
This mountain lodge is nestled in the heart of the Blyde River Canyon. Local attractions include the Blyde River Canyon...

Thornybush Game Lodge
Nestled in the heart of Big 5 country adjacent to the Kruger National Park, with a huge diversity of mammal and bird spe...

TSAR Hotels
TSAR Hotels, all Hollywood glamour and style in a sleek and modern setting, is situated in a prime location in the heart...

Uncle Tom's Guesthouse
Uncle Tom's Guesthouse provides safe parking and a lock up gate and also have a swimming pool and braai (barbeque) facil...

Lisbon Hideaway
Lisbon Hideaway has peaceful self-catering accommodation 7km outside Graskop. It is situated within easy reach of Lisbon...

Zur Alten Mine Guest Farm
Zur Alten Mine Guest Farm offers two log chalets with a private veranda, a fireplace and fully equipped kitchen. The cha...

Pezulu Tree House Game Lodge
Pezulu Tree House Game Lodge is an owner built and run facility, situated in the game rich area of the Bohlabela Distric...

Timbavati Safari Lodge
Timbavati Safari Lodge is situated 23km from Orpen Gate, which is the most central gate to the Kruger National Park. Thi...

Sunbird Lodge
The lodge has the following facilities on offer: Swimming pool; Unique African bar; Lapas; Excellent braai (barbeq...

Kaia Tani Guesthouse
Kaia Tani Guesthouse is situated in the heart of Phalaborwa. Lush gardens with abundant birdlife surround this African t...

Loerie Lodge Corporate Guesthouse
Loerie Lodge Corporate Guesthouse is situated on a double property and consists of two types of accommodation. The mixtu...

Masorini Bush Lodge
Masorini Bush Lodge can accommodate 16 guests at a time. They offer either self-catering A-frames with en-suite bat...

Panorama Chalets and Rest Camp
Panorama Chalets and Rest Camp is ideally situated on the Mpumalanga escarpment with a stunning view over the Graskop Go...

Blyde Adventure Camp & Mohlatsi Adventures
The Blyde Adventure Camp companies that specializes in adventure programs and activities for kids and adults. We have a...

Valley View Backpackers
Valley View Backpackers is an easy going and cozy backpacker's lodge with basic clean rooms and provides facilities from...

Sefapane Lodges and Safaris
Sefapane Lodges & Safaris has been providing guests with our brand of Limpopo hospitality for 25 years. Our location...

Reneiwe Guesthouse
Reneiwe means 'a Gift from God' and offers tours and accommodation in the beautiful Panorama and Kruger to Canyons area....

   Activities

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Bonnet Herb Farm
Bonnet Herb Farm offers visitors a 'Touch and Smell Garden', a farm stall with herbal remedies and guided tours. The far...

Jumbo River Safaris
A houseboat like this is ideal for game-viewing as the game concentrates on the river bank to come and drink water. Will...

Nyani Village
Visitors to Nyani Village get an intimate experience of African culture. The village can accommodate a number of guests...

Otters Den Hot Air Ballooning
Balloon flights over the African wilderness and viewing the Lowveld Big Game areas adjoining the Kruger Park provide an...

Otters Den White Water Rafting
Otters Den Rafting offers white water rafting through the rocky and riverine forests of the Lower Blyde, Olifants Gorge,...

Wild Adventures
Wild Adventures specialises in providing listings of 76 safari, adventure tourism and accommodation facilities ranging f...

1 Africa Safaris
1 Africa Safaris is a small local travel agency that promotes Hoedspruit tourism and its surrounding areas. Because the...

Shangana Cultural Village
Midway between the Blyde River Canyon and the southern Kruger National Park, the residents of the traditional villages o...

Africa Unlimited Tours
Africa Unlimited’s expeditions, safaris and tours are for travellers who want to experience true African bush, bea...

   Arts & Crafts

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Bavaria Fairtrade Trust & Gorutha Toy Library
Bavaria Fairtrade Trust produces glass objects mainly from recycled glass. The sewing project provides the farm and pack...

Kingdom Africa Silks Weavery and Showroom
In this weavery visitors can witness the entire process of silk making - from cocoon processing, spinning, hand and mach...

Maele Community Sewing Projects
Maele Community Sewing Projects offers dresses, uniforms and comforts for sale. 

Maruleng Pottery
Maruleng Pottery is situated at The Oak Village in Hoedspruit. They sell a variety of pottery items. Pottery on sale:...

Njombo Community Project
The Njombo Community Project started off with 15 unemployed women that do sewing and embroidery. They received trai...

Welcome Cafe Tswenyane
Welcome Café Tswenyane is a ‘must stop’ for travellers using the Abel Erasmus Pass - especially visit...

Maruleng Weaving Centre
This business started after the Roman Catholic Missionaries handed over the weaving to the women whom they trained. ...

Afrikania Pottery
Afrikania is a pottery business based in Phalaborwa. The products they make are unique to the area as they only make use...

   Environment

Below is a list of environmental attractions on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a unique project that conducts essential research on endangered species and...

Palabora Foundation
The Palabora Foundation was established in 1986 and has been operating in local communities since then. The foundation i...

Global White Lion Protection Trust
White Lions were first sited by Europeans in 1938, although legends of their appearance in the Timbavati Region existed...

Southern African Wildlife College
The Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) forms part of a contractual National Park within the Kruger National Park w...

Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
The Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is a home for many of South Africa's abandoned, injured and poisoned wildl...

   Food & Drink

Below is a list of restaurants and other food and beverage outlets on this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Canimambo Portuguese Restaurant
Canimambo is a family run restaurant, where you can meet Carla, the Mozambican/Portuguese owner, husband Lance, sons Sea...

Graskop Pancakes
Graskop Pancakes is a restaurant situated on the road as you enter Graskop from Sabie/Pilgrim’s Rest. The restaura...

Loco Pub and Coachman Grill
This facility, renowned as Graskop’s favourite family restaurant, has a full bar and restaurant with an al-a-carte...

Madelein's Coffee and Catering
Situated 2km outside Graskop overlooking the Lowveld, Madelein’s Coffee offers buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinn...

Tasties Take-Aways
Tasties Take-Aways is a shop located on the corner of Pilgrim’s Road and Main Road. Here take-away foods, from piz...

Amarula Lapa
The Amarula Lapa is situated approximately 10km outside Phalaborwa in Limpopo Province and is on the same premises as th...

   Services

Below is a list of services on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Leka Gape Shelter
As a non-profit organisation, Leka Gape mostly cares about socially disadvantaged people in one of the poorest regions o...

Bollanoto Tourism Centre
This centre is able to provide tourists with information on a range of activities in and around Phalaborwa.

East Gate Airport
Eastgate Airport, near Hoedspruit, is situated within the Airforce Base and makes use of their runways and control tower...

Graskop Information and Reservation Centre
An information office that provides tourists with information about the area.

Kamogelo Tourism Centre
‘Kamogelo’ is a Sotho word meaning ‘welcome’. The Hoedspruit mayor opened the centre in January...

Mabakane Graphics and Printing
Mabakane Graphics and Printing is situated in Lorraine Village in Limpopo on the premises of Moloisheng Trading Store....

MJ's Photographic
Suppliers of a variety of services to local people and tourists, e.g. photographic, video, digital etc. They also supply...

Namakgale Tourism Information Centre and Tour Operator
Namakgale Tourism Information Centre and Tour Operators came into being after Clive was inspired by the African Dream Pr...

Panorama Info and Reservations
Panorama Info and Reservations is centrally located in Graskop, providing information on activities, accommodation and m...

Sure Turn Key Travel
Sure Turn Key Travel offers the following services: Airline reservations; Accommodation; Car hire; Tours; Destina...

 

Overview
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History
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The route stretches from the Kruger National Park past the Olifants River and its canyon to the magnificence of the Blyde River Canyon, the world’s third-deepest canyon. The Kruger to Canyons Route showcases Africa’s diversity in landscape. Here pioneers have left their footprints in the form of names, stories and towns. The position of the area brought about many defining activities in and around settlements, such as trade-centres and the rush for gold, bringing together different groups of people.

The Kruger to Canyons Route is situated in the Limpopo province but also extends into Mpumalanga. The route meanders from Phalaborwa, through Hoedspruit before connecting with Graskop. Between the main attractions many natural and cultural treasures can be found, as well as a range of activities. 

Due to the size of the route, it is divided into smaller regions. The regions consist of Phalaborwa at the northern point, Hoedspruit and surrounds and Graskop. The route is situated in a malaria area.

Reasons to visit:

The Kruger to Canyons Route’s richness in diversity of landscape extends to its diversity in activities. The Kruger National Park offers some of South Africa’s best game viewing, but the area also offers excellent private reserves and game lodges. In addition, the area offers a number of outdoor trails and varied adventure activities like rock climbing, white water rafting and hot-air-ballooning. The area also boasts a rich birdlife.

Apart from the natural attractions and landscapes, interesting attractions include the Khamai Reptile Park and the Bombyx Mori Silk Farm, which is one of only two commercial silkworm farms in South Africa. 

Accommodation ranges from luxurious lodges and safari camps to beautiful B&B's and even backpackers, catering for every pocket.

Mabalingwe Lion Man:

When:  11 July 2015

Where:  Bela Bela, Waterberg, Capricorn, Vhembe, Mopani & Sekhukhune

Tel:  +27 14 736 9000

The Bela Bela Lion Man Mountain Bike Race will take you through the rolling hills of the Big 5, Mabalingwe Game Reserve. Choose between the 40km race (recommended for younger cyclists and families) or the 80km race or 115km Ultra Marathon for more experienced cyclists.The Bela Bela Lion Man Mountain Bike Race is the only race of its kind where the full race takes place within the boundaries of a Big 5 Reserve.Bring your whole family, we will keep them entertained while you are out enjoying the race.

Magoebaskloof Mountain Bike Classic

When:  7 November, 2015

Where:  Stanford Lake College, Waterberg, Capricorn, Vhembe, Mopani & Sekhukhune

Contact Person(s):  Steve Willson - Senior Adventure Facilitator

Tel:  +27 15 276 6130

Cell:  +27 82 637 3651

The Magoesbaskloof Mountain Bike Challenge came about after Gray Braadvedt and Rudi Viljoen sparked the brilliant idea of hosting a mountain biking event in the beautiful surrounding of the Limpopo province, an area spectacular with immaculate scenery and some of the most perfect bike trails within the country. Drawing in the community and opening up gateways to the local tourism and creating helpful benefits to local charities, the first event kicked off with great success. This year the event brings you that same fun and thrill seeking adventure that will lift your spirits in the wind and have you enjoying the sport that you love!

Miss Limpopo 2015 - Beauty Pagent 

When:  12 December, 2015

Where:  Meropa Casino, Waterberg, Capricorn, Vhembe, Mopani & Sekhukhune

Contact Person(s):  Matlakala Bopape - Miss Limpopo Trust Chair

Tel:  +27 15 291 4836

Spring Festival:

When:  19 - 27 September 2015

Where:  Haenertsburg Village, Cheerio Gardens & Magoebaskloof Hotel - Waterberg, Capricorn, Vhembe, Mopani & Sekhukhune

Contact Person(s):  Anne-Marie Brook / Linda Miller 

Cell:  +27 82 883 4449 (Anne-Marie) / +27 82 575 5738 (Linda)

Join us for our annual Spring Festival in Haenertsburg Village, Cheerio Gardens and the Magoebaskloof Hotel. A glorious experience in one of South Africa’s best kept secrets – Haenertsburg / Magoebaskloof.

*Information correct at the time of publication - prospective event participants are advised to contact the organisers for any possible updates.

 

 

 

 

 

The history of Louis Trichardt and Andries Hendrik Potgieter and The Voortrekker Monument:

Louis Trichardt’s trek ended in tragedy. After crossing the Lowveld the company’s oxen started dying from Nagana disease caused by the Tsetse fly, while fever caused by the malaria mosquito also plagued the Voortrekkers themselves. They were determined to reach Delgoa Bay before losing all to the wilderness and so pushed on and finally reached Delagoa Bay on April 13 1838, but their suffering continued and 27 died, including Louis Trichardt.

Years later the Voortrekkers made another attempt under the leadership of Andries Potgieter to open this route. Blocked by the Drakensberg mountain range, one of the party members, Kasper Kruger (father of Paul Kruger), found an alternative route that is still known as Kasper's Nek (Neck). Subsequently they reached the escarpment and outspanned near the present day Graskop. Since the road ahead was a challenging descent to the Lowveld, Potgieter decided to leave their wagons and families behind, with the agreement that those left behind would return home without them should they not return after a predetermined period. When this date came and the explorers had not yet returned, those left behind assumed the worst and named the river where they camped ‘Treur’ (meaning sorrow).

A few days later, having successfully made the journey to Delagoa Bay and signed a trade agreement with the Portuguese. Potgieter caught up with the group; they were so full of joy were that they named the river Blyde (meaning joy). 

Tribal history:

In 1864 one of the local chiefs of the Mapulana clan (from the Lowveld), Maripi Mashile, chose to help the Bapedi. So he gathered his army and also persuaded other leaders and their tribes to join him with their impis. He then led them to the top of the mountain opposite Swadini and bombarded the Swazis with large boulders. This battle became known as Moholoholo, the great, great battle.

During the battle, mist started to settle on the mountain. To the Bapedi this was an important sign, especially since they could still see their enemy below, and they contrived to defeat the Swazis. Subsequently the peak from where they overwhelmed the Swazis was named Maripi, in honour of the chief who assisted the Bapedi. Today it is known as Mariepskop (for more information, see interest points under Hoedspruit).

In further tribute to Maripi the Three Rondavels were named after Maripi’s three principal wives, Magabolle, Mogalidikwe and Maseroto.

The history of The Blyde River Canyon:

The history of man in the Blyde River Canyon can be traced back to from 150 000 to 30 000 years ago. During the Stone Age era, man lived entirely off the land and nomadically followed the movement of game over a large area. Rock art paintings containing only one colour tell us that the earliest Bushmen lived in the Canyons.

The Bushmen were gradually forced out by the early Black immigrants. These immigrants were escaping the slave traffic and were also attracted by the almost uninhabited land to the south. These virtually inaccessible valleys and gorges of the Drakensberg Escarpment provided good security for the Stone and Iron Age peoples during periods of unrest. The Tsetse fly, which causes sleeping sickness in man and animals, and other ecological factors, like malaria and the harshness of the Lowveld area, could also have contributed to short-term migrations into the mountains. 

During the Iron Age occupations in the Blyde River Canyon area were relatively brief, since groups would migrate back to the Lowveld as soon as conditions were favourable again for their domesticated animals. Many pottery articles found tell stories about the Iron Age groups, also identifying different groups. European occupation took place almost immediately after the Late Iron Age, estimated to have lasted until the mid-19th century.

The Voortrekkers, under the leadership of Andries Potgieter, moved through the area with the ideal of establishing trade contact with the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay (known as Maputo today). They settled in Ohrigstad in 1845.

In 1873 gold was discovered to the east of Geelhoutboom and soon hundreds of prospectors rushed into this area, resulting in the establishment of Pilgrim’s Rest and indirectly Graskop.

Arrival of the settlers and opening of the mines increased demand for wood, giving rise to what became and still is a flourishing forestry industry. In time what had been a wilderness region experienced serious environmental challenges, resulting in the establishment of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, which today covers more than30 000ha and it is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

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Open Africa Routes

A route is a cluster of travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and restaurants. It brings people together from all levels of community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a route and create your own itinerary.

Subroutes

Graskop Route
Hoedspruit Route
Vuyani Kaya Route

South Africa - Limpopo

South Africa - Limpopo

Located in the Kruger to Canyon Biosphere, this route includes the towns of Graskop, Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa. It aims to contribute to the conservation of the biosphere.

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Tags

wildlife blyde-river-canyon graskop bush limpopo mountains adventure birding

 

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