When I was in South Africa last year, I had the privilege of driving part of one the best scenic routes in the world, the Panorama Route. Located in the Mpumalanga province, the route is easy to combine with a trip to Kruger National Park, which makes it a popular side-activity for the millions of people who visit the famous park every year. The name is ambitious, I grant you that. With a name like the Panorama Route the sights had better be impressive, and they were. From fertile valleys to beautiful vistas, I was impressed by every stop along the route, but my favorite I think was the unusually named Bourke’s Luck Potholes.
One of the most popular features along the Panorama Route, the Potholes sit at the confluence of two rivers, the Treur and Blyde. A complex history involving geology and physics that are frankly a bit beyond me have, over time, created giant potholes in the landscape. The eroded rocks are beautiful, smooth and look almost designed. I could have stood there for hours watching the water rush over them in a process that has undoubtedly been ongoing for a very long time.
There’s not much to the park really, bridges provide guests with the opportunity to see the potholes from different angles and to explore some of the waterfalls surrounding them. At first this may not seem like the most impressive feature on the Route, especially when compared to the amazing views found at God’s Window, but the Potholes appealed to me for some reason. There was something about the rushing rivers and the beauty of the rocks themselves that are so unique, so different that I couldn’t help but be transfixed.
So in spite of the funny name and the fact that it’s a little off the beaten path, make sure to add this strange geological formation to your South Africa travel list.