We are fortunate to be located in one of South Africa's most beautiful regions. On our doorstep we have a number of stunning waterfalls (there are more waterfalls here than in any other part of Southern Africa), as well as many scenic views of the awe-inspiring Blyde River (Motlatse) Canyon. The indicated distances in km are calculated from our guest farm. There are also many other exciting activities to explore around us.
There is a private hiking route available on our grounds. The hike is fairly short, about 2km, and takes you through the indigenous forest on our property, where you can climb up to the top of the nearby hill to take in the stunning views of Graskop and Panorama Route off in the distance. On the hike you can see a variety of wild birds and small mammals (keep an eye out for porcupines!). The forest offers a lush habitat for all the creatures who live in it, so keep your eyes peeled or you might miss them! Our hike takes you past the old mine, for which Zur Alten Mine was originally named, and back down the hill through the forest in a single loop.
A few minutes drive down the road is our local town of Graskop, a popular tourist destination that will provide you with a variety of good restaurants, bars, curio shops, supermarket, liquor store and a petrol station.
Although you cannot drive there, an easy 7km circular walk will take you through fragrant pine forests to the falls and back - the only waterfall in the area that is wider (20 meters) than what it is high.
Pilgrim’s Rest is a small town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa which has been declared a national monument. After it was officially declared a gold field in September 1873, the town suddenly grew to 1,500 inhabitants searching for alluvial gold. Towards the end of the 19th century claims were bought up and underground mining started by the company known as TGME. Mining was closed down in 1971 and the village sold to the government as a national museum. Transvaal Gold Minings Estates, currently part of the listed Simmers and Jack, started gold mining again in 1998. The town’s original architecture remains largely unchanged since then, because the town was declared a National Monument in 1986. More information here...
Although the Mac Mac Falls (65km) are named for the Scottish miners who sought their fortune by panning for gold here during the heady days of the 1870s gold rush, they themselves didn’t come up with the name. Apparently President Thomas Burger was visiting the area in 1873 and was struck by how many of the miners' names began with 'Mac'. On the spot, he named the area Mac Mac – a name that has survived to this day. You'll find the name on many of the nearby tombstones. The viewing platform at the Mac Mac falls is restricted by wire mesh, but you’ll still get a great view of the two cascades.
Mac Mac Pools is truly one of a kind. Situated just 2km from the stunning Mac-Mac Falls, this charming site gets its name from clusters of shallow pools. The pools are crystal clear and ideal for soothing swim after an invigorating day of hiking. Mac Mac Pools is blessed with rich vegetation and the tranquility of this little sanctuary is broken only by the soft melody of fluttering birds and the gentle swirling waters lapping at the banks. The picnic sites in this area are a pleasant addition. Now you can enjoy a day of fun in the sun and opt for a intimate laid back lunch or choose the braai facilities and grill your favourite meat. What better way to relax and unwind than amidst natures finest? The secretary bird nature walk (3 km) also starts here.
God's Window provides a panoramic view of the Lowveld (and the Kruger National Park and Mozambique in the distance) from a 900m high vantage point. There is a footpath along the edge of the escarpment that leads to various viewing sites and a fantastic hike through the natural rain forest.
The Lisbon Falls are just three kilometers to the south of the Berlin Falls on the Lisbon River. The Lisbon River plunges down in a double stream, 90 meters high, over a semicircular rock face. There is a 100-meter footpath leading from the parking area to a vantage point.
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 Bourke, 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 flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is nearly 2 million hectares of natural habitat that is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Apart from the Big 5 (buffalo, lion, rhino, leopard and elephant) there is also a rich history of human interaction from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela. More information here...
The word "Rondavel" 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.
The Sudwala caves are situated at the Drakensburg escarpment. The caves, considered the oldest known on earth, formed about 240million years ago by natural acid in groundwater seeping through faults and joins which gradually dissolved the Precambrian dolomite rockin the cave system. The Sudwala cavern complex is dominated by a spectacular chamber, with a lofty corridor measuring 150 metres to its centre. The chamber is often used as an amphitheater for musical entertainment events including concerts by Chris Chameleon, recitals by the University of Pretoria’s Youth Orchestra, various choirs, distinguished local musicians and regular drumming workshops. The ancient caves offer travellers a number of exciting activities including cave exploring, a fascinating crystal tour that takes you 2000m into the heart of the caves, zip line adventures and a truly special butterfly dome. More information here...
This underground wonderland was stumbled upon in 1923 by the owner of the farm called Klipfonteinhoek when he was searching for a source of water. Great was his surprise when he realised that some of his cattle had already mysteriously disappeared into the cave. After exploring the cave it was soon realised that this dark underworld carried with it the most beautiful gems of nature. After the completion of the Abel Erasmus Pass and the Strijdom Tunnel in 1959 the cave was opened as a tourist attraction. Later the cave was declared a National Monument.. The name Echo was given to the cave, as a certain stalactite formation produces a distinctive echoing sound when tapped on. This echo can still be heard on the outside of the cave today. More information here...