One of the best road trips that K and I did last year was the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, known for its scenic mountains, awe inspiring natural beauty and the most delightful waterfalls. I have already written two detailed posts on this trip which you an find here and here.
The highlight of this trip, however, was the fact that the entire route is very dog friendly! I am still amazed at all the places little Mia (our dog), was allowed to go to and that is what I want to share in this post.
Where to stop along the way:
Graskop, the main town along the Panorama Route, forms the base for most holiday-makers and it is about 400 kms from Johannesburg. Although it’s an easy 4 hour drive, we decided to stop for breakfast and also to allow Mia to stretch her legs a bit.
Most rest stops along the South African motorways (expressway) have a lot of open spaces at either ends of the parking lots, where people can walk their dogs and attend to their business. Some places also have small parks and benches where you can take a breather. Dogs are however, not allowed inside the shops and restaurants so if you are travelling alone, you may have to leave you buddy in the car while you quickly pop in for a coffee.
Pet friendly accommodation in Graskop:
We stayed at this a self catering lodge, located about 10kms away from the main town and just a stone’s throw from the Berlin Waterfalls. The lodge offers one or two bedroom chalets, each equipped with a fully functional kitchen and huge lawns for dogs to romp around in. The owners are pleasant and helpful and even offer quad biking tours!
Some other pet friendly places are:
Pet friendly restaurants
Graskop is a small town, with one main street where most restaurants are located. Most of these are not pet friendly, but there are a few options to choose from.
The restaurant allows dogs if you sit outside on the veranda. The place advertises its food as home cooked and that’s exactly what it is – simple, delectable South Africa meals.
This place also has an outdoors where dogs are welcome. However, bear in mind that it can get quite chilly in winters, even with a fire!
Graskop is well known for its pancakes and Harrie’s is the best in town! So don’t worry about missing out on these as the restaurant is quite happy to cater to our four-legged friends.
This place is set off the main road and the only reason we ate here was because it was pet friendly. We were the only people there and the food was the usual pub fare – fish & chips, burgers, etc. Not a great place to eat but if you are running out of options, try it!
Pet friendly attractions
This was the best part of the entire journey. We did not have to leave Mia behind in the car at any place except one!
This place is not exactly on the route to Graskop, but it’s only a short detour and well worth a visit. The caves are apparently the oldest known in the world and home to some very interesting stalactite, stalagmite and flow stone formations that date back millions of years. Dogs are allowed inside on a leash and you must clean up after them (but of course).
Other places we were able to go with Mia were:
Mac Mac falls
Bridal Veil Falls
God’s Window and Wonder View
Bourke Luck Potholes – Pets are NOT allowed here. They can stay in the car for the duration of the visit.
So if you are looking to take your pet on a short road trip and have some fun, head to Graskop!