Panorama Route with kids

Best travel time Panorama Route with kids

The best travel time to drive the Panorama Route with kids is from April through September. Most days it rains in northern South Africa are in the months of October through March. So it’s still pretty hot and then it can’t be super pleasant to ride and watch this route in the heat.

In April and May, the temperature is around 24 degrees and it rains a lot less. Needless to say, that’s a much nicer temperature to go see the sights of the Panorama Route.

The summer months of June, July and August are the busiest months of the year in South Africa in terms of tourists and, of course, the prices of hotels, for example, are also the highest. However, it is dry then, but the temperature is somewhat lower. That’s because summer and winter in South Africa are the exact opposite of summer and winter in Europe. Therefore, it can be chilly in the summer.

By September, the high season will be over and temperatures will also start to rise again. We drove the Panaroma Route in the summer months and then the weather was very nice. The temperature was around 25 degrees those days and we had no rain. In terms of crowds of tourists, we didn’t think it was too bad.

Panorama Route with kids

Transportation for the Panorama Route

Panorama Route with kids

General information Panorama Route

We drove ourselves from north to south and back again, but that was because we had friends living in Phalaborwa and we stayed with these friends for several days. Therefore, we drove the route back and forth, which is actually redundant. We list below the different sights you can all visit during this beautiful route through South Africa.

Sightseeing Panorama Route

#1 Three Rondavels (Blyde River Canyon)

Blyde River Canyon is perhaps the most beautiful sight on this route and it is one of the largest canyons in the world. We start our drive at the Three Rondavels, where you have a beautiful view of the Blyde River Canyon. We have the misfortune that it is still a bit foggy, which sometimes makes the view a little less. You have to have a little luck with this. Especially in the morning, you can suffer from fog here. From the parking lot it’s just a short walk to the viewpoint, so it’s also great to do with small kids.

Panorama Route with kids

The Three Rondavels are three rocks about 750 meters high that stand out clearly above the landscape. You pay at admission a few euros per person. You can take a boat ride on the Blyde River that flows through the canyon, but that requires almost a 2-hour detour, so we didn’t do that.

By the way, it is also possible to visit a free viewpoint in this area, where you can see the canyon and the Three Rondavels. This is at Lowveld View and it is a little further drive from the official viewpoint of the Three Rondavels.

Panorama Route with kids

#2 Bourkes Pothole

We spend about half an hour at the Three Rondavels and then drive 15 minutes further south for another highlight of the route: Bourkes Pothole. Here, two rivers coming together have punched all kinds of holes (potholes) in the rock, which is beautiful to see. You can visit this area and you have several viewpoints.

Through the area you also have all kinds of bridges and can climb and scramble everywhere here. You can bring swimwear for kids so they can cool off in some of the holes in the water, if necessary. There is also an information center here, where you can find some more information on how the holes in the rock came to be. Again, admission is a few euros per person.

#3 Pilgrims rest

Pilgrims rest is a small mining town located on the route. We ourselves had old photos taken in this place in clothes from the past, but for kids it is fun to visit the Diggings museum here. Children can find out all about the prospectors who were active in this town at this museum, and kids can also search for gold themselves with a sieve. Our daughter always loves to do that.

#4 God’s Window

This is another viewpoint on the Panaroma Route that you can visit. In addition to viewing the viewpoint, you can also continue on to Rainforest and then you will arrive at an even more beautiful viewpoint via the rainforest. You walk from the parking lot to the viewpoint in about 5 minutes, so this is also doable with smaller kids.

So then you can continue walking to the Rainforest and this walk takes about 10 minutes. You walk along a nice path here and the view is very nice. So it depends a bit on whether you walk at God’s Window only to the first point or all the way through, but you will need about an hour for this sight.

Panorama Route with kids

#5 Waterfalls at Sabi

You can also visit several waterfalls during the Panorama Route with kids. These waterfalls are best explored from the town of Graskop. The following falls are the most famous waterfalls on this route.

Lisbon Falls: this waterfall is a whopping 90 meters high and you also have several vantage points here to view this waterfall. The further you walk, the better the view of the waterfall becomes. You pay a small entrance fee to view the waterfall.

Berlin Falls: this waterfall is located near Lisbon Falls. This waterfall is 80 meters high and again you pay a small entrance fee. At the entrance you can also go to the restroom. You walk to the viewpoint, look at the waterfall and in half an hour you will have seen the waterfall as well.

Waterfalls Panorama Route South Africa with kids

Mac Mac Falls: this waterfall is about 60 meters high and you have a viewpoint here, from where you can see the waterfall. You can hike down to the waterfall, but it’s too hard with small kids. At these falls you also have the Mac Mac pools where you can go swimming with kids. So bring your swimming gear when you go here.

Lonecreek Falls: this waterfall is about 70 meters high and you can walk up to it from the parking lot. You walk along a short trail here through a kind of jungle. You can get very close to the waterfall and it is possible to picnic here, as there are facilities for picnicking and barbecuing. The route to the waterfall by car is just a little less with lots of potholes in the road.

Waterfalls Panorama Route South Africa with kids

#6 Graskop Gorge Lift

Graskop is the ideal place to stay overnight and to visit the waterfalls from there as well. The town has fine hotels and good restaurants, and the nice thing is that you can do some activities with kids in Graskop itself. In fact, you have a 50-meter high glass elevator here (Graskop Gorge Lift), which you can use to go down towards the tropical rainforest.

You can walk a route here with kids with several suspension bridges and this route is also great to walk with younger kids. On the route you also have several signs with information about nature, so for kids it is also very educational. You can also go to the Pinnacle a little outside of Graskop. This is a 30-meter-high rock located in a gorge.

What to do on the Panorama Route with the family
What to do on Panorama Route with the family

#7 Long Tom Toboggan

The last sight in our list is not really a sight, but more of an activity. After all, you can go tobogganing with kids. You take a yellow trolley down the mountain here. The course is 1.7 kilometers long and you will have a great view of the surrounding area from here.

Long Tom Toboggan is about a 45-minute drive from Graskop. It is a fun toboggan run, but in the summer it can be crowded here and you may have to stand in line to go down the mountain.

Family-friendly restaurant Panorama Route

On the route from Graskop to the north you will encounter few restaurants, so it is advisable anyway to bring plenty of drinks and snacks for the road. When you arrive in South Africa, try to buy a cooler at a supermarket with some cooling elements so you can keep your food and drinks chilled.

You do have a number of family-friendly restaurants in Graskop and we briefly describe them below.

Harrie’s Pancake: Most kids love pancakes and you can eat them in Graskop at this family-friendly restaurant. Today there are several branches of Harrie’s Pancake in South Africa, but this was the very first branch.

This is a very good restaurant in Graskop and they have both sweet and savory pancakes here. You can also get two scoops of ice cream with your pancake if you want. This is also one of the most famous restaurants in Graskop, so it can be very busy, especially in the summer months.

The Glass House restaurant: this is another popular restaurant in Graskop and reservations are recommended at this restaurant. This restaurant is really known for its delicious food and the restaurant has an extensive menu that includes several vegetarian options. You can make reservations at this restaurant via WhatsApp.

Family-friendly restaurant Graskop
Family-friendly restaurant Graskop

Family-friendly hotel Panorama Route

You can see the Panorama Route with kids in a day, but you have to hurry. Especially with kids, it is better to take 2 days over this route so that you can drive this route in a relaxed manner. You can then stay overnight in Graskop, for example, and be the first to see the waterfalls that are in the area here. Suppose you have to drive 4 hours from Johannesburg to Graskop first, you can see these waterfalls in the afternoon.

The next day you can then continue driving north and see the rest of the sights. We have selected three accommodations in Graskop and the Graskop area that all have swimming pools (which is nice with kids) and are all rated very highly by families who have stayed there. We have done this in every price range. Click on the blue link for more information.

Round trip South Africa with kids

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