The Sabie Waterfalls Route
Did you know?
Berlin Falls was named by German miners who panned for gold here
The Sabie Waterfalls Route in Mpumalanga is amongst South Africa's best-kept secrets: visitors are often so captivated by the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, with its magnificent cliffs and stunning views, not to mention dazzling flora and fauna, that this superb cluster of waterfalls is often overlooked.
There are more waterfalls here than anywhere else in southern Africa, and you'll be astonished by their beauty and diversity. Forget the Big Five and that magnificent canyon for a while, set aside a day or two, and take yourself on a waterfalls tour.
Start in Sabie and head north on the R532 towards the clearly signposted Horseshoe, Lone Creek and Bridal Veil Falls.
As the name suggests, the Horseshoe Falls creates an almost perfect horseshoe as it cascades down the mountainside. It's an easy walk through a campsite to get a superb view.
A short drive away is the evocatively named Lone Creek Falls, which tumble down almost 70m into lush ferns and forest.
You'll understand why the Bridal Veil Falls, again just a brief drive away, are so-named when you see the delicate tracery of water and spray that wafts like a veil from the high cliffs.
For more Sabie waterfalls, go further north on the R532 and head for the gorgeous Mac Mac Falls, named for the Scottish miners who sought their fortune here during the 1870s gold rush.
Next stop is South Africa's highest waterfall – The Lisbon Falls, named by Portuguese miners who panned for gold here. These falls crash down 90m into the gorge below.
Finally, it's off to the Berlin Falls, shaped like a huge white candle, which flows through a natural sluice before dropping 80m into a deep pool below. Then enjoy your packed lunch in the green shade of a lovely picnic spot.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)13 764 1177
How to get here
Travel north on the R532 from the town of Sabie. All the falls are well sign-posted.
Hire your own car or, if you're feeling fit and have time to spare, go on foot. But be careful as the rocks can be slippery.
Length of stay
Half a day if you're driving, a full day if you decide to walk.
What to pack
Always pack plenty of sunscreen and a hat. If you're going to walk the route, sturdy waterproof shoes are a must.
Where to stay
There are many game lodges in the area, and the town of Sabie has a number of charming B&Bs and guesthouses.
What to eat
Take a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the many falls on route.
Local curios from the various stalls along the route and at the falls.