We continue our 4-week trip around South Africa, and have been flat out since we arrived, with two days at Sun City, now a long drive to Graskop. We didn’t expect the drive to be so interesting and eventful, so far South Africa has been awesome.
We needed a few places to rest and give the kids a break along the way. A search of kid-friendly places in Pretoria uncovered the Safari Garden Centre. It was even better than expected. The cafe in the garden nursery had a playground which included a mini zoo. The waitress apologised for the jumping castle not working, but nothing more was required to entertain the kids. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hang around for too long, as we had a lot more driving to do.
The next scheduled stop was at Alzu Petroport, surprisingly it is not just a petrol station. We knew there were some animals to see here, but we did not expect the menagerie of African animals around the waterhole directly next to it, including two of the ‘big five’. It was a great taster for our upcoming stay in Kruger National Park. It was hard to drag ourselves away from it.
Even though we felt like we were driving all day, we still found ourselves getting to Graskop as dusk was approaching. We were delayed further with some car sickness as we wound our way down the hill into Graskop.
What a welcome we had to the Panorama Chalets. We were given a unit on the edge of the cliff, with a magnificent view of the sunset from our balcony. After a solid sleep, we looked out our window at the same view along the valley to see the sun coming up.
The morning plan was to drive north of Graskop to see more views from the escarpment, along part of the ‘panorama route’. The highlight was Bryce River Canyon, we also stopped at the Potholes and God’s View.
Back at Graskop, we visited the institution Harries Pancakes for lunch, a hit with the kids, especially the banana and chocolate pancake.
We finished the day’s activities with an adrenaline rush. A big swing for Rob, but a big disappointment for Olive. Olive had been looking forward to the Big Swing, which sees you step off from a cliff and swing on a rope across the valley, however, she was deemed too young. It just reinforced to her that all the good things are just for adults.
Rob was the only other one brave enough to try it. It all happens so quickly it doesn’t give you time to change your mind. The hardest part was the walk back up. Olive and Clare did the other option of a zip line across the valley, which was pretty spectacular too.
That was a full and adventurous day in Graskop, we are now ready to continue our South African journey, into the Kruger National Park, just a couple of hours drive away.