How to Explore Pilgrim’s Rest: History Showcase

Pilgrim's Rest
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If you want to travel back into the not-too-distant past, then Pilgrim’s Rest is ideal. It is a historic town that has been transformed into a tourist museum to commemorate the 1873 gold rush era.  However, it has functioning hotels, bars, and a variety of beautiful sites to visit. Best of all, it is the perfect spot for nature lovers, too.

  • What is Pilgrim’s Rest?
  • How did the Gold Rush affect the village?
  • Why is it worth visiting?

The Attractions of Pilgrim’s Rest

Pilgrim’s Rest is situated in the province of Mpumalanga in South Africa. It is on the Panorama Route of the Karoo Lowveld. As a result, the town always has great weather, but be warned: it can get extremely hot! The town offers a variety of natural, cultural, and historic treasures to fascinate any tourist.

The South African government declared Pilgrim’s Rest a National Monument in 1986, as it was a focal point in the gold rush era. Unfortunately, only alluvial gold (fool’s gold) was ever discovered in the town. Tourists can still engage in gold panning, and can keep what they find! This alone should be enticement enough for globetrotters to visit the town.

Pilgrim’s Rest is a “working” museum. Additionally, the town is filled with a host of beautiful museums. All the buildings and structures attest to life during the 1873 gold rush period. These buildings have all been maintained with great care and they are all worth a visit.

The Legend of the Robber’s Grave

Pilgrim's Rest

The historic Pilgrim’s Rest Cemetery is closely connected to the legend of the Robber’s Grave. An unknown man was caught and convicted of tent robbing and was subsequently banished. A few days after his trial the thief was spotted on the hill, now known as Cemetery Hill. He was shot and killed — and buried where he fell.

Aside from being steeped in history and culture, Pilgrim’s Rest is a place of natural beauty. Tourists can go on hikes to see incredible waterfalls, streams, and rivers. The Lowveld area, situated in the province of Mpumalanga,  is known for its diverse flora and beautiful sights. Probably the best thing about visiting Pilgrim’s Rest is how affordable it is.



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