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TThe busy little farming town of Sabie is ideally situated to act as a base for exploring Mpumalanga’s beautiful Panorama Route and its awesome scenery. Sabie is also en route to the Kruger National Park and boasts South Africa’s largest cluster of waterfalls.
Although Mpumalanga's little farming town of Sabie owes its origins to the 1870s gold rush, today it derives its wealth from the forestry industry. Sabie sits in the middle of one of the world's largest man-made forests – over four million square kilometres of eucalyptus and pine trees.
TThe huge timber plantations started in a small way by a far-sighted pioneer called Joseph Brook Shires. He saw the indigenous forests destroyed by the demands of the gold rush, and in 1876 planted the first commercial trees.
TToday the strong, straight trunks of these tall trees make ideal pit props for the country's vast mining industry. Check out the Sabie Forestry Museum, which is packed with information about the timber and wood industry.
Sabie's Market Square is the hub of the surrounding farming community and the centre for the many activities offered in the region. Trips SA, just off the main square, will advise you about fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, rock climbing, white-water rafting, abseiling and bird watching. They will also make reservations for you.
Explore the famous Panorama Route and marvel at the aptly named viewpoint, God's Window, the surreal shapes of Bourke's Luck potholes, the awesome beauty of the Blyde River Canyon and the cluster of lovely Sabie waterfalls.
AAlso in the Market Square, you'll find the lovely little Anglican church of St Peter's, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, who also designed India's government buildings in Delhi and the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Jock of the Bushveld, South Africa’s most famous pooch, is commemorated by a plaque in the Square, marking the arrival of Percy Fitzpatrick (later Sir Percy) and Jock in 1885.