By Car -- If you're traveling from Johannesburg, take the N12, which joins up with the N4, the main artery between Pretoria and Nelspruit, capital of Mpumalanga. When you reach the cool heights of Belfast, turn north onto the R540 to Dullstroom and Lydenburg, then take the R37 east to Sabie. From here the R532 runs north through Graskop along the Panorama route.
By Plane -- From Cape Town: SA Express flies daily to Hoedspruit's Eastgate Airport--this is the best airport to fly to if you want to do the Panorama Route as a day trip. From Johannesburg: SA Express flies daily to Hoedspruit's Eastgate Airport. Note that you can also fly from Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban to the relatively nearby Kruger-Mpumalanga International Airport, outside Nelspruit
Big 5 Country (tel. 013/737-8191) is one of the few centralized sources of information on the Sabie, Graskop, and Hazyview areas. To book accommodations in Dullstroom, speak to Les Adams, at Dullstroom Reservations, Naledi Street (tel. 013/254-0254; www.dullstroom.biz; Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 9am-2pm); she'll also help you with reliable (and up-to-the-minute) information on what the town has to offer and where to dine. In Sabie, contact Panorama Information, at Sabie Market Square (tel. 013/767-1377; www.panoramainfo.co.za; Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat-Sun 9am-1pm). A better service, Graskop Information, is offered at Graskop, located in the Spar Centre, Pilgrim's Way (tel. 013/767-1833; www.blyderiversafaris.co.za; Mon-Sat 8:30am-5pm).
Most lodges supply transfers from the airport; otherwise, contact Eastgate Safaris (tel. 015/793-3678; www.eastgatesafaris.co.za). For the ultimate glam transfer, contact Mpumalanga Helicopter Co. (tel. 084/505-2052; www.mhelicopter.co.za). For car rentals, Avis and Budget have desks at all three airports in the Kruger region.
Unless you're heading directly (and only) to the lodges in a private game reserve, this region is best explored in your own car, at your own pace. Roads are relatively empty, signposted, and well maintained. Because Kruger officials have introduced game drives and walks, using an outside operator to explore the park also seems pretty futile. However, if you don't want to think about where to go, eat, or sleep, Thompsons Indaba Tours (tel. 013/737-7115; www.indabasafaris.co.za) offers a range of overnight and day tours: Open-vehicle safaris with an experienced game ranger to Kruger cost around R920 per person for a full day (5 or 6am to 5:30pm), or R720 for a morning; prices exclude meals. Walking safaris in Kruger (weather dependent) will run you R645. Thompson's also offers night safaris, which take place in Kapama and can include an afternoon visit to the Hoedspruit Research & Breeding Centre (R1,345; dinner included). The Panorama Route tour, with a stop for lunch at Pilgrim's Rest or Graskop, costs R750 per person.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.