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Webmaster's Note:
Although the crime rate in the area is low, petty theft does occur from time to time. You are advised to lock your parked vehicles.

Short, day-trip drives from Sabie

Long Tom Route

The Long Tom Route - with some 20 points of interest, is but a small section of the Panorama Route.

It covers the Long Tom Pass, Lydenburg and the historic village of Pilgrim's Rest, as well as some of the battle sites of the Anglo-Boer War, and offer spectacular views of the Sabie and Blyde River valleys.

From Sabie take the R532/R37 road to Lydenburg.  Then travel north on the R36 towards Ohrigstad and turn off on the R533 to Pilgrim's Rest, before returning with the R532 to Sabie.  Places of interest are listed in the order that you would probably visit them when departing from Sabie.

Select a clear day to best enjoy the views from the Long Tom Pass.

Devil's Knuckles
The unique rock formations next to the road on the left-hand side, 21km from Sabie, are named Devil's Knuckles.  On the right-hand side of the road there is a magnificent view of Sabie.

Long Tom Cannon Replica Historic site
On the left-hand side of the road, 21.3km from Sabie, is a replica of a Creusot siege cannon.  The monument marks the spot where, from 8 to 11 September 1900,  two of these cannons were use for the last time by the Boer commandos against the British army. These cannons - with their long barrels - were nicknamed the "Long Toms" by the British forces.  For more information and photo, see our Picture Gallery page.

Blue Swallow Nesting Site Toilet facilities
The Misty Mountain Chalets is on the Misty Mountain Natural Heritage Site, one of the few remaining sites where the endangered blue swallow still breeds.  There is no guarantee that you will see a blue swallow, but the restaurant at Misty Mountain Chalets serve great breakfasts. For more information on this heritage site, see our Natural Heritage page.

Old Wagon Route Historic site
Beyond Misty Mountain, near The Staircase, is a signboard to the old Wagon Route. This treacherous route was used by the Voortrekkers and transport riders more than a 100 years ago.

Long Tom Pass
There are a number of view sites on the Long Tom Pass, one at 29.4km and the other at 31.4km from Sabie. Both offer breathtaking views of the Sabie valley, more than a 1,000m below.  The highest point of the tarred road (2,150m a.s.l.) is 34.9km from Sabie.

Webmaster's Note:
The Sabie valley and the town of Sabie is frequently shrouded under a blanket of mist. On a clear day this is an unforgettable sight from the viewpoints on the Long Tom Pass.

Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve & Museum Historic siteEducationalPicnic spotToilet facilities
Lydenburg HeadsThis 2,200 ha reserve is 51.7km from Sabie (2.9km from Lydenburg).  The reserve is a sanctuary for more than 100 bird species, a number of smaller game and mammal species, as well as for a rich variety of flora.

Archeological ruins (dating back to the Later Iron Age) consisting of stone walled villages and agricultural terraces, as well as the remains of Anglo-Boer War forts are preserved on the reserve.  Replicas of the well known 800 year old Lydenburg Heads, found in the area, are housed in the museum.
Times: 08:00 - 16:00 (weekdays)
           08:00 - 17:00 (weekends)
Fees: R10/person 

Lydenburg Waterfocus Centre EducationalFun activityPicnic spotToilet facilities
The Waterfocus Centre is at the entrance to Lydenburg town. The aim of the Waterfocus programme at the Centre is to highlight man's dependency on the environment in general and on water in particular. Casual day visitors tour the Centre on their own and, by prior arrangement, guided tours are on offer for larger groups. The fun-filled, hands-on activities include a freshwater aquarium, a "feelie" pool and fish-feeding. This is an educational must-visit tourist attraction for kids as the water awareness themes are based on the school curriculum. Indigenous plants are for sale at their nursery.
Times: 08:00 - 16:00 (daily)

Lydenburg Town Historic siteToilet facilitiesDutch Reformed Church
The town of Lydenburg (55km from Sabie) have a rich history associated with the Voortrekkers and the Anglo-Boer War. The name "Lydenburg" means Place of Suffering and the town was so named after the many deaths of Voortrekkers at Ohrighstad due to malaria. In 1856 De Republiek Lijdenburg in Zuid Afrika was formed with Lydenburg as the capital. A year later this independent republic merged with the republic of Utrecht (in KwaZulu-Natal) and in 1860 became part of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek once again.

Voortrekker School and original ChurchThe first church in Lydenburg was completed in 1853. It is located in Kerk Street, and is the oldest church outside of the Cape Province that survived the wars of the country. Near the church is the original Voortrekker school. It was built in 1851 and was also used as a church building before the church was completed.  The Dutch Reformed church was build in 1890 and features a superb pulpit (made from kiaat wood) which is an exact replica of the Stellenbosch Church pulpit.

Gunpowder Magazine Historic site
The Gunpowder Magazine (located in Viljoen Street) was built in 1883. It was in constant use by the various occupants of the town from the time of the Sekhukhune War of 1897 (when the British 94th Regiment was stationed in Lydenburg), through to the first South African War of 1881. The building was completed in 1890, declared a national monument in 1962 and restored in 1982.

Lydenburg Waterfall & Hydro-Electric Plant Gravel road
This beautiful waterfall is seldom seen by the public due to poor promotion and poor road sign directions. Travel on the R36 towards Ohrigstad for 10km and be on the lookout for a small, inconspicuous signboard on the left pointing to the waterfall which is a further 6km along the gravel road.  The falls are actually made up of three separate falls with a combined height of 244m. The old disused (but still maintained) hydro-electric plant is close by.
Times: 09:00 - 16:00
Fees:  R20/vehicle

Ohrigstad Dam and Nature Reserve Picnic spotToilet facilitiesFun activityGravel road
From Lydenburg, travel towards Ohrigstad on the R36 for 27km before turning off to the right on the R533 towards Pilgrim's Rest. The turnoff to the Ohrigstad Dam and Nature Reserve is 9.6km further and the dam another 4km along the gravel road. The reserve covers an area of 2,564 ha of scenic mountain terrain surrounding the dam. Canoeing, rowing and angling from powerboats are permitted on the dam.
Times: 06:00 - 18:00
Fees: R25/adult, R15/child (under 12 years) + R5/vehicle

Robbers Pass Historic site
During the gold rush days the coach from Pilgrim's Rest to Machadodorp, via Lydenburg, ran twice a week. On two occasions it was robbed on the pass between Pilgrim's Rest and the junction between Ohrigstad and Lydenburg.  This pass (now the R533 road) was appropriately named Robbers Pass.  Today this road is a wide and very scenic tarred road winding its way through the grass-covered hills down to the historic town of Pilgrim's Rest. This is also the route followed by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his legendary dog Jock. Two  Jock waymakers mark this route.

Wild Horses
As you descend Robbers Pass, keep an eye open for a herd of wild horses on the left-hand side of the road near Morgenzon plantation.  If you do spot them consider yourself very fortunate, as they are seldom seen.

Wild Horses (Photo: Ben Bothma)

Pilgrim's Rest Village Historic siteToilet facilities
This world renown historical village is now a living open-air museum and dates back to the hectic gold-rush days. The whole town is a National Monument which celebrated its centenary in 1973.  Suggest you make your first stop at the Information Centre in the upper part of town to enquire about all the museums, restaurants, craft and curio shops, diggings, reduction works, Alanglade residence, and other places of interest.  Allow a couple of hours to re-discovery all the interesting places. For more info visit the Pilgrim's Rest web site.


Webmaster's Note:
is concludes the Long Tom Route. Return with the R533 and R532 to Sabie. If you still have daylight left, consider a braai or swim at the Mac Mac Pools on the way back to Sabie.

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