Pilgrim’s Rest is situated on the magnificent Panorama Route on the eastern Escarpment region of the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The entire town of Pilgrim’s Rest has been declared a national monument. Here, visitors can relive the days of the old Transvaal gold rush. This area is richly imbued with a diversity of natural, cultural and historic gems. It offers visitor a fascinating window into the past and captures the spirit of a bygone era and its people in their quest for gold. Here’s our favourite things to do in this historic village.
Prospector’s Hiking Trail
This is a series of trail options – anything from a two-night to a five-night trail – that explore the area around Pilgrim’s Rest, renowned its scenery, along paths formerly used by gold prospectors who scoured the rivers, creeks and waterfalls. Follow the footsteps of the early miners, prospectors and fortune-seekers who rushed to Pilgrim’s Rest during the goldrush in 1873. Along the way you will see many relics of early gold-mining days including water furrows that channeled water to old mines and, course, the town of Pilgrim’s Rest itself.
The Alanglade Museum is surrounded by mountains and shady forests that to this day provides an atmosphere of quiet opulence and serenity. The Museum was the residence of several Mine Managers up until 1972, when the last mine was finally closed. Today the building is a period house Museum with items on display from the early 1900’s. Visitors are able to see the reconstruction of how life was experienced in an upper-class home of the early 20th century. On display in the kitchen you will find almost every type of appliance and gadget that was used back then, and the rooms are completed entirely with period furnishings. Guided tours can be arranged up to thirty minutes prior from the Information Office.
Robbers Pass is a very scenic road with breathtaking views over the Lowveld. It follows the same route that the stagecoaches and transport wagons used on the way to Pilgrim’s Rest in the early 20th century. Robber’s Pass connects the little town of Pilgrim’s Rest to Ohrigstad, a long-tarred road rich in history with a particularly scenic landscape that boasts wild horses and the odd monument. Take this scenic route in South Africa slowly.
This spectacular area is richly imbued with a diversity of natural, cultural and historic gems. The uniqueness of this historic village is vividly evident in its museums and historic sites. The beauty here is unsurpassed. Pilgrim’s Rest offers all visitors a fascinating look into the past and captures the spirit of a former era and its people in their quest for gold. It is definitely well worth a visit.
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