Blogs from Graskop, Mpumalanga , South Africa, Africa

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Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop August 1st 2015

Today was spectacular. We covered a lot of miles driving through the part of Mpumalanga designated as "Panorama', and nearly all the way today we were surrounded by amazing landscape views. It is the sort of countryside which would attract thousands of tourists in the UK, and the roads would be full of them. Think Lake District in summer, but with bigger views and higher mountains--twice as high--and then take out 95% of the traffic and people, and you have the Panorama. Mile after mile of forested hills on the grand scale, roads going up and down like the Alps, and yet you have the road to yourself! Today we went first to a towering slab of rock called the Pinnacle, rising several hundred feet out of a gorge, with a little waterfall at the bottom. ... read more
God's Window
Blyde River Valley
Bourke's Luck Potholes

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop December 28th 2014

What a day. The roads in So. Africa are like the US 40 years ago. 4 lanes (120 kph) 18" painted medium. Went through one accident scene with people still trapped in car. Might have been dead. Rained the entire way. Turned off the main highway onto the R36. 2 lanes (100 kph) full of potholes. Like that for 40 miles. Poured rain entire way. Finally made it to the Three Rondevals. (photos attached). Beautiful canyon. Rain stopped as we arrived. Waited 20 minutes for clouds and mist to clear. Was well worth it. Off to Kruger Park tomorrow. ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop December 28th 2014

Sorry, but this system wont let me upload photos from my phones gallery. ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop March 24th 2014

The drive to Johannesburg took longer than we expected. We read that it's not a good idea to travel in South Africa by night, but we didn't make our destination during daytime. Besides that, we took a path Google Maps suggested (slightly shorter than the next best one) which involved ~2 hours of driving through serious potholes. This delayed even more our arrival time. Our host, Dan, was very welcoming and very chatty. The place was well located (Graskop) and had everything we needed (the kitchenette was very useful). Day 1 (24.03) Lisbon Falls Forever Resorts: 5 Hours Link Route Day 2 (25.03) Natural Bridge Mac Mac falls Bridal Veil falls Lone Creek falls Bourke's Luck Potholes Berlin Falls God's Window The pinnacle Day 3 (26.03) Kruger National Park Day 4... read more

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop March 24th 2014

Panorama Rest Camp near Graskop, Mpumalanga Province--Sunday, March 23rd. Pretty, clear day today. Got out our local map of the area and decided which of the attractions we wanted to see along the Blyde River Canyon. It was easier to eliminate those we didn’t wish to see or do, like river rafting, bungee jumping, and something called, the “swing” that seems to go out between two canyon walls. We decided that we would start at the site the guide books said, “not to miss,” which was located the greatest distance away, and then work our way back to camp. That way, if time and/or energy ran out, we would have seen the best view. The Canyon was formed by the Blyde River cutting through the northern part of the Drakensberg Escarpment. Here the inner South African ... read more
1403-439  Blyde River Canyon approach to three rondavels
1403-440   Three Rondavels (wives) next to Mapjaneng, the Chief
1403-441 Sharon overlooking canyon

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop July 28th 2012

Geo: -24.9337, 30.8405So here we are in South Africa! The currency is the Rand and 1 AUD = approx 7.5 Rand. The weather is cool nights (down to around 2C) and moderate days 15-25C with minimal to no rain. We emerged in the lobby @ 6am for breakfast. Our tour was scheduled to leave at 6.30. Our group consisted of 12 members, and was generally an older age. Aside from Nat and I, theres a Belgian couple around our age (Bert & Nela), an American couple (50s; John & Paulie), two Australian sisters (70s; Margaret & Lesley) and four non-English-speaking-Russians 50-80 (didn't even learn all their names; Olga and Zoya were two of them).We have two tour guides for our tour, Jonathan and Shanli. Our transport is an all-terrain style twelve seater truck with full length ... read more
Sunway Truck
Misty Morning
Craft Market

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop September 9th 2011

After a great night’s sleep at Africa Sky we packed up, ate breakfast, and headed out towards the mountains. The drive out of Jo’burg was fascinating as Pete (our guide) told us a great deal about the history of South Africa. He also gave us the scoop on all the things / places we were seeing during our drive. We drove by a squatter village (HUGE areas where illegal immigrants from surrounding countries build shacks out of whatever they can find and create their own little village), free houses for immigrants (one of the South African government’s ways of dealing with said immigrants – they build them free little box houses so that they can move people out of the squalor of the squatter villages), gold mines, and all different types of farms… On our way ... read more
J, V, and Pete at lunch after the delicious bacon & banana toastie :)
Driving up into the Drakensburg Mountains
Berlin Falls

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop April 10th 2010

One shouldn't have to get up at 05h40 when on holiday. However, sometimes it is necessary to take a little pain for so much more gain. In this instance, the early morning was offset by a rather pleasant shower, followed by rushed packing of the rucksack to ensure that I was down in breakfast by 06h00. Simplicity was the order of the day so far as breakfast was concerned but the croissant, jam, coffee and water were enough to permit me to follow it all with my daily malaria tablet. The other interesting point about breakfast was that it would allow me to meet my fellow travellers for the first time. Looking around, the tables were empty. There was a receptionist but I knew she wasn't coming on the trip. Soon I heard a familiar sound; ... read more
The first sight of African countryside
Housing just north of Jo'burg
Becoming Rural

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop October 27th 2009

So it was a ridiculously early start on Tuesday morning as I set off for the Kruger National Park. I was the first to be collected and the driver of the minibus told me that there were 6 people on the tour. By 11am we had collected everyone and we were on our way to Graskop for our lunch before heading down to God's Window, Blyde Canyon and the three Rondavels. Over lunch everyone introduced themselves. There was Martin from Sweden who was on a three week holiday, two girls from Sweden (whose names I never really caught) who were travelling for the next three months and were at the end of their trip in Africa and headed to Asia next and then the was Arvand and Suzie. Arvand was from Belgium and Suzie, his girlfriend, ... read more
Blyde Canyon
Colourful Lizard
Me having walked up the Blyde Canyon

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Graskop November 5th 2008

First thing this morning, I headed off from the hostel on my 4 day safari to Kruger National Park. Along with me is a couple from Canada Crystal & Allan (1st Canadians I’ve come across!), a couple from England Claire & Andrew, a couple from Spain, a guy from Finland, a guy from Holland and a girl from Germany. Full van. It was a long day with lots of driving and we’ve yet to even see the park! Instead, we went to the northeastern part of Mpumalanga (“Place of the Rising Sun”) province to the Drakensburg Escapment and the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. I think all the driving was wearing on the others. Once again, I attribute all those bus trips with Keating for making long rides feel like nothing! I found the drive to ... read more
The View from the Top
Resting at the Top
Looking Below to a Village




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