Pilgrim's Rest, Mpumalanga
Did you know?
The Joubert Bridge was built in 1896 at the western entrance to the town.
Pilgrim's Rest is situated on the magnificent Panorama Route of the Mpumalanga province. The entire village is a tourist attraction and was declared a National Monument in 1986. Today, Pilgrim’s Rest is a living monument to the feverish gold rush days of the late 1800s.
You're in the village where that famous dog Jock of the Bushveld roamed with his master, where thieves and diggers and good-time gals gathered in scores of pubs, where a gold nugget was thrown onto the bar counter to buy a round of drinks and where the surrounding hills still ring with gold rush clamour every year when the gold panning championships come around. (These championships are still held each year in September.)
Visit the Alanglade House Museum, which was once the mine manager’s home. It's an elegant Edwardian house built in 1915 and furnished with period pieces.
Pilrgrim’s Rest is home to a wide variety of shops selling antiques and collectables, as well as arts, crafts and curios. You can also take a walk between uptown and downtown to see a number of historic buildings and sites.
The attractions of Pilgrim’s Rest are not limited to gold. You can explore the surrounding area in a 4x4; or try a variety of outdoor activities including fly-fishing, golfing, horse-riding, overnight hiking and hot-air ballooning.
Feeling brave? Head out to Graskop and experience the adrenaline rush of one of the world's highest cable gorge swings with a 68m freefall. Or fly across the 80m high gorge on the high wire slide. Both are located at Panorama Gorge in Graskop, about 15km from the village.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Pilgrim's Rest Tourism Information Centre
Tel: +27 (0)13 768 1060
How to get here
Pilgrim's Rest is on the R533, 15 kilometres northwest of Graskop in the northeast region of the Mpumalanga province.
Best time to visit
Any time of year. Summer, however, can become uncomfortably hot at times.
Around the area
From Pilgrim’s Rest, it’s an easy drive to visit the major attractions of the Panorama Route, including God’s Window with its amazing views across the Lowveld, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and the spectacular Blyde River Canyon, amongst many others.
Tours to do
The Friends of the Pilgrim's Rest Museum offer a five-hour interactive tour through the village.
Self-drive is best if you want to truly appreciate the natural beauty of the surrounding area.
Length of stay
At least a weekend, preferably longer as there is plenty to do in the area.
Where to stay
There's accommodation for all pockets in and out of town, including budget backpackers, luxury guesthouses, lodges and the famous Royal Hotel.
What to eat
No visit to the village is complete without a meal or a drink at the Royal Hotel, which has seen its fair share of wild tales and tall stories over the years.