An early start had us on the road for the six hour drive from Johannesburg to the area know as the Limpopo region and our home for two nights. We stayed at Moholoholo Forest Lodge, built in the shadow of the Drakensbergs Mountains and surrounded by forests it was the perfect start to our safari leg of the tour. The property is set in vast acreage which is home to a variety of buck, zebra and giraffe. Our first sighting was of an Nyala with a new born. What a great sight.
On our six hour trek we made a couple of stops along the Panoramic Route calling into Graskop where we went to the newest attraction in the area, a glass lift that takes you down from the top of the gorge to the forest floor below where you can wander along walkways and suspension bridges taking in the beautiful flora, fauna and the 70 metre Panorama Waterfalls. It is the only lift of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.
No trip to this part of the world would be complete without a stop at God’s Window, so called for the magnificent view you get as you look over the cliffs that plunge 700 metres to the forest below. On a clear day you can see to the Kruger Park and Mozambique and our view was great but unfortunately there has been a bush fire through the area and the vegetation surrounding the lookout has been destroyed with no plants unscathed but, it will come back in time. Our final stop of the day was at the Three Rondavels lookout, so called as you look across to the round mountains with slightly pointed tops that resemble the traditional African homestead known as a rondavel. The view across to The Rondavels and down to the Blyde River Canyon is quite spectacular.
After a good nights rest we did a tour of the Rehabilitation Centre where we were able to get up close to many animals and birds and learn about the problems facing many species today due to man. The Centre has been operational for over 20 years and takes in birds and animals that have been found in snares, poisoned, flown into electricity pylons or orphaned All of the animals and birds that we came into contact with cannot go back into the wild but are used as an educational tool to show farmers and locals that by killing off these creatures you are destroying nature and the impact of the loss will have a longterm effect on the land. The centre also has an animal hospital and cares for injured animals that can be released back into the wild but these are not on show to the public.
Later, we visited the Blyde River Canyon Reserve and did a short boat cruise on the river and this time we were able to view the Three Rondavels from a different perspective and they were still impressive. The cruise finished up with a sighting of hippos and crocodiles. Another great day and tomorrow we head for the Greater Kruger area.