The Canyon to Kruger Route starts off at the 133m long J.G. Strijdom Tunnel (the gateway to the Limpopo Lowveld). The tunnel was opened in 1959 but the actual route that the Abel Erasmus Pass follows was first used by gold rush pioneers in the late 1800’s. At the tunnel there are several stalls with hand made curios, arts and crafts. From the Tunnel you have a spectacular view of the Olifants River and the Lowveld beyond.
Tourists looking for a route full of interesting stop-overs, will surely not be disappointed. There is so much to do in this beautiful area, you'll want to stay over a day or two.
Along the R527 the first place to stretch your legs and enjoy a nice meal is at the Monsoon Gallery, a interesting African inspired gallery with great souvenirs, and Blue Cottages providing affordable and comfortable accommodation.
The route then meanders through several fruit and game farms and passes the Appelblaar Road Stall before crossing the beautiful Blyde river.
Further along is the Hlokomela Herb Farm, where locals grow herbs to supply to the Hoedspruit local stores. A few kilometres ahead is the Laaipunt Farmstall, a great spot to get your snacks for the trip ahead, with a variety of dried fruits and nuts, cold drinks and little gifts.
Ukuthula Arts and Crafts is right next door, a beautiful little shop with unique decorations, jewellery, clay pots and handmade clay figurines.
The iNyoka gallery, on the same premises, supplies a platform for local artists from Hoedspruit and surroundings, to display their art.
At the Kinyonga reptile centre you can see all the reptiles up close, learn more about snakes at a live demonstration and take that one in a lifetime picture with a python around your neck.
From here the route turns left on the R531 and passes more farms. The Blue Blyde Mountain Cottages is located only a few kilometres from the turnoff, comfortable rooms with a beautiful view.
Another Road stall where you can browse around and have great coffee and cake is Wag 'n Bietjie Farmstall, situated in a tranquil green garden, with a petting farm, where the little ones can feed bunnies, goats and guinea pigs.
24 Degrees South Galleria is a stop not to be missed. A perfect setting for a lazy lunch under shady trees, with several shops to browse around:
From here the R531 takes you past Kampersrus, a small town at the foothills of the spectacular Mariepskop mountains with its own Water from the Mountains. Here you can find a number of options for accommodation:
Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre is a well known centre where injured wild animals are rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Here you can see Lion, Leopard, Raptors and many more animals up close and learn more about them. Moholoholo is home to the famous honeybadger, Stoffel.
At the end of the R531 is Lovebitez, a tantalising patisserie and café, with treats out of this world. Timbuktu is a pub & grill for a nice lunch and Fleur de Lys Guest Farm, just around the corner, is the last chance for accommodation with the beautiful mountains as a backdrop.
This is the last opportunity to fill up your vehicle until you reach the Kruger National Park.
The Canyon to Kruger is 56 kilometers (35 miles) long.
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