We made our base at the Sabi River Sun Resort in Hazyview. We chose Sabi because it’s quite central. That’s a lie. We chose it because one of us has timeshare there and the rest of us are freeloaders. Sabi River Sun is your typical Sun International resort – orange juice upon arrival, tennis courts, and the entertainment guy rhyming bingo numbers at the family pool – but it also has hippos! Whole families of hippos that move between the river and an enclosed area of the golf course every day. You can watch them from a bridge overlooking the waterhole every evening, grunting happily in the fading light.
You can not visit the Lowveld region without taking a trip into the Kruger National Park, even for a short drive. This goes without saying, but sometimes we have to remind ourselves of how lucky we are to have the Kruger nearby. In peak season, we suggest pre-booking tickets on the Sanparks website – www.sanparks.co.za – to avoid disappointment (they really won’t let you in). If you have friends from overseas with you, and you really want to show off, enter the park at Malelane. There is a massive bridge over the Crocodile River leading towards the gate and it looks like you’re going to Jurassic Park. It’s majestic!
As a part of your two minutes in the Lowveld, we highly recommend spending at least a minute exploring one of the country’s most scenic self-drives, the Panorama Route. This historical route connects you to several cultural and natural points of interest in the area, with quaint, little eateries, farmstalls and coffee shops along the way. Centered around the Blyde River Canyon, the world’s third largest canyon, the route starts at the foot of the beautiful Long Tom Pass just outside Lydenburg, following the natural descent from the Great Escarpment to the Lowveld, and ending at the border of the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces near the Echo Caves. I know we’ve been rushing you through the region, but make sure you take your time on the Panorama Route. To rush through it would mean missing the enchantment of it all.
If this is all you do out in the Lowveld, it will be a satisfactory trip! And that’s what we’re all about here at Bear in the Woods, satisfaction.