Panorama Region, Mpumalanga’s scenic wonderland, is situated next to the Highlands Meander Region along the edge of the mountain and on the slopes of the Eastern Escarpment. The escarpment, a 250-km bulwark of sheer cliffs, 1 000 m above the Lowveld, is renowned for its passes, rock formations, breathtaking views and vistas, cascading waterfalls, weirdly-shaped potholes and plunge-pools, mysterious caves and indigenous forests, as well as some of the largest man-made forests in the world.

Over the millennia some of the big rivers in the area, the Blyde, the Crocodile and the Olifants Rivers penetrated the escarpment and carved out awe-inspiring natural features, such as the Blyde River Gorge.

Many of the footpaths and roads over the mountain have been here as long as man imself and many of the more modern passes follow these old routes.

However, the Panorama Region provides not only for nature lovers, it is also popular adventure country with many opportunities to get the adrenalin-pumping. Try your hand at bungee-jumping, river-rafting, rock climbing and abseiling.

There are also numerous ecotourism opportunities and hiking trails to choose from. The South African Forestry

Company (SAFCOL), the custodian of many of the forests in the area has gone to great lengths to ensure a fine balance between the utilisation and conservation of these beautiful tracts of land and have established an excellent ecotourism network of hiking and horse-riding trails through the forests. Several lodges and guest houses cater for the growing numbers of tourists.

The escarpment and foothills have also revealed many of the secrets of the Middle Stone Age and several relics of fierce battles fought here have been found. The historic gold-mining settlements and towns that dot the area all have a story of their own to tell. This is an area rich in folklore and history where museums depict life during gold rush days.