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MMpumalanga is known as “the place where the sun rises”, but it’s also the place where the water falls along some of the country’s most scenic gems. Take a slow drive through the famous Panorama Route and you’ll know why. It’s not all canyons, mountains and endless horizons, there are loads of waterfalls to soak in too.
The Sabie Waterfalls Route in Mpumalanga is one of South Africa's best-kept secrets: visitors are often so captivated by the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, with its magnificent cliffs and stunning views, not to mention dazzling flora and fauna, that this superb cluster of waterfalls is often overlooked, but it’s all mostly on the way.
TThere are more waterfalls here than anywhere else in southern Africa, and you'll be astonished by their beauty and diversity. Forget the Big Five and that magnificent canyon for a while, and set aside a day or two to take yourself on a waterfalls tour.
SStart in Sabie and head north on the R532 towards the clearly signposted Horseshoe, Lone Creek and Bridal Veil Falls. As the name suggests, the Horseshoe Falls creates an almost perfect horseshoe as it cascades down the mountainside. It's an easy walk through a campsite to get a superb view.
A short drive away is the evocatively named Lone Creek Falls, which tumble down almost 70m into lush ferns and forest. You'll understand why the Bridal Veil Falls, again just a brief drive away, is so-named when you see the delicate tracery of water and spray that wafts like a bridal veil from the high cliffs.
Sabie Waterfalls Route
FFor more Sabie waterfalls, go further north on the R532 and head for the gorgeous Mac Mac Falls, named for the Scottish miners who sought their fortune here during the 1870s gold rush.
Next stop is South Africa's highest waterfall – The Lisbon Falls, named by Portuguese miners who panned for gold here. These falls crash down 90m into the gorge below.
Finally, it's off to the Berlin Falls, shaped like a huge white candle, which flows through a natural sluice before dropping 80m into a deep pool below. Then enjoy your packed lunch in the green shade of a lovely picnic spot – now that’s a memory!