When I talked about my giraffe-ful welcome to South Africa, I did get a little ahead of myself. Our giraffe-welcoming arrival was preceded by a long drive day where we left Johannesburg and drove across most of Mpumalanga province along the famous Panorama Route.

Three Rondavels

Heading high into the northern section of the Drakensberg Mountains, we met a thick carpet of cloud that threatened all of the views we had anticipated.

Panorama Route Drakensberg Mountains Mpumalanga South Africa

Our good luck took hold, however, and when we arrived at the Three Rondavels, the cloud provided a frame for the stunning sight instead of an obstruction.

Three Rondavels Panorama Route Mpumalanga South Africa

The Three Rondavels are a set of three mountain peaks named after the round, peaked houses that are common sights throughout the South African countryside. They are almost perfectly formed, a rather remarkable natural phenomenon considering they are on top of mountains.

Bourke’s Luck Potholes

Our next stop, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, was an introduction to the power of nature in Africa, as well as the irresistible charm of its people.

Bourke's Luck Potholes Panorama Route Mpumalanga South Africa

Located within a steep crater, Bourke’s Luck Potholes are carved out of the rock by the relentless force of water.

Bourke's Luck Potholes Panorama Route Mpumalanga South Africa

The visit was made livelier by the arrival of a school field trip. The teens were rambunctious and very determined to have their pictures taken by Canadian visitors.

Local students Bourke's Luck Potholes Panorama Route Mpumalanga South Africa

God’s Window was closed

The third of this series of sights, God’s Window, was completely obstructed by cloud by the time we arrived. We made up for it by stopping at Lisbon Falls, one of several spectacular waterfalls along the way.

Lisbon Falls Panorama Route Mpumalanga South Africa