Pilgrims Rest is a small museum town in the Mpumalanga province and is protected as a provincial heritage site. It was the second of the Transvaal gold fields, attracting a rush of prospectors in 1873. The rush took place soon after the MacMac diggings started some 5 km away. Alluvial panning eventually gave way to deeper ore mining. In the 1970’s the town, not greatly changed, became a tourist destination.
Pilgrim’s Rest is situated on the magnificent Panorama Route in the Kruger Lowveld region of Mpumalanga. The uniqueness of this historic village is vividly evident in its museums and historic sites. It offers a window into the past, and captures the spirit of a bygone era and a quest for gold.
The town’s original architecture remains largely unchanged since the heyday of the mining era. This is because the town was declared a National Monument. The village is a cultural heritage site. Pilgrims Rest is a living village museum with a variety of tours, accommodation, restaurants and shops.
It is said that there is still gold in the ground which is exciting for visitors. Imagine as you stand on the very site where 150 years earlier men, women and children were frantically digging. Discovering the elusive solid nuggets would have them instantly rich beyond their wildest dreams. The scars of the frantic digging for gold by many prospectors are still obvious despite the passage of time. Experience just a part of what makes the town unique and interesting.
Pilgrims Rest Things to do
Prospector’s Hiking Trail
This is a series of trail options that explore the area around Pilgrim’s Rest, renowned its scenery. The paths were formerly used by gold prospectors who scoured the rivers, creeks and waterfalls.
Alanglade House Museum
Located just north of the village and built in 1915 by Transvaal Gold Mining Estates. Alanglade was the residence of the mine manager until 1972 when the last mine was finally closed. Today Alanglade is a period house museum and furnished with items from the early 1900’s.
Well known for its delicious pancakes, waffles and home-made pies. Pilgrim’s Pantry is a welcome stop on a trip through the Panorama Route. Open every day for breakfast and lunch, you will experience friendly service and great food. A fully licenced, family-friendly restaurant and coffee shop.
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