Don't make the mistake of being in too much of a hurry to get to Kruger. Take the slow route around the heart-achingly beautiful Panorama Route instead and stop off for some 'lekker boere kos' at the Potluck Bush Kitchen.
If you're driving up to Kruger from Johannesburg, you're probably seat-wettingly excited about going on safari and in a hurry to get there. But you'll be missing out on something truly breath-taking if you don't take your time about it and drive the Panorama Route.
Its a circular route in Mpumalanga, taking in some of the most incredible, jaw-dropping scenic landmarks you will ever find; pretty, historic villages; mountain ranges, passes, waterfalls, canyons...
My favourite thing by far is the view across the Blyde River Canyon to the Three Rondavels. There really are no words for how utterly and stupifyingly spectacular it is; in fact it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. As my dear mum said with tears in her eyes when we took her there for the first time, “you know you can die happy when you see something like that...'.
A visit to the pretty and romantic, historic village of Pilgrim's Rest is also well worth the drive, a living museum where time has stood still and you can pan pretend to be a gold prospector from days of yor.
You'll probably get a bit peckish from all that gold panning and looking at scenery. When you do, never mind eating at the overpriced chain restaurant Harry's Pancakes in Graskop (beware the tour guides who will swear its THE place to eat on the Panorama Route, they most likely get commission for every group they take there).
The most authentic, unique, tranquil place to eat is just a little further north, between God's Window and Bourke's Luck Potholes, hidden down a dirt road by the river. Blink and you will miss the sign for the Potluck Boskombuis (Bush Kitchen), where there is no electricity and a 'potluck'set menu that is cooked entirely over the open fire.
You can choose from steak or boerewors (farm style beef sausage), served with pap (a bit like polenta) and a spicy tomato sauce. They also serve cold beer, cider and soft drinks, in the open, under a thatched awning. It is South African, rustic, no frills, laid back, delicious and wonderful. My 'top tip' for the Panorama Route.
BUT, two crucially important things to remember about the Boskombuis! They may sound obvious but it took us three disappointingly unsuccessful attempts to get them both right. Number 1, it is only open for lunch, Tuesday to Sunday, between 10am – 3pm. Number 2, they have no power therefore no card machine so you will NEED CASH!
You'll find it on the R534 loop (God's Window) off the R532, just north of Graskop. You can also find them on facebook.
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