On our way back from Kruger National Park, we were able to spend some time on the Panorama Route and various towns in the eastern cape. It was fascinating observing the differences between the Eastern and Western Cape – the Eastern Cape is a bit quieter, and a bit less cosmopolitan. We spent a full day on the Panorama Route, a day in Johannesburg, and some in-between time in Hazyview and Nelspruit.
You can do the majority of the Panorama Route in one day; the route climbs through the Blyde River Canyon and was probably the most breathtaking drive we did in South Africa (even better than the Cape of Good Hope).
Our favorite stops on the route were Bourke’s Potholes (way cooler than it sounds! Geology is awesome), the Three Rondavels lookout, and Lowveld View. We didn’t stop by any of the waterfalls because we spent a good amount of time driving around, but we heard they were beautiful.
Graskop is a cute little town to drive through; get some famous PANCAKES (more like crepes). I don’t love sweets, so I didn’t really get the hype, but M loved them. We stopped at the most famous place, Harrie’s.
If you have time, I highly recommend building time to do the Panorama Route in your schedule; although you have to pay a nominal fee to enter and view many of the parks, the views and drive are worth it!
We also had a full day in Johannesburg, which was the opposite vibe of Cape Town in every way. I did feel a little uncomfortable walking around, so we took Ubers and the fancy Sandton speed train. We spent the day at the Apartheid Museum (felt like reading a history book) and Nelson Mandela Square.