The Belvedere Hydro History Tour 2022

including a tour of the Belvedere Hydro Electric Power Station, London Waterfall while staying at BRU Inn on Robbers Pass
Type: Tour
Skill Level: Green
Duration: 4 Day(s)
Approx Distance: 350 km
Terrain: On & Off-road


This tour sees us step back in time when Pilgrim's Rest had electricity before London, England.


The long weekend tour kicks off on Thursday 23rd September at Bushboys in Tonteldoos, a firm favourite amongst the adventure riders. Be there by 18h00 for the tour briefing, followed by one of Joe & Ruth's scrumptious dinners. At Bushboys, for those who haven't been lucky enough to stay there before, we will be staying in the converted old veld skool, rustic but comfy en-suite square-dawels.


Friday morning after a hearty breakfast we set off in the direction of the historical Gold Mining town of Pilgrim's Rest via Vermont, Makubalaan Pass & the Old Habour Road to reach our accommodations for the next 2 nights at BRU Inn on Robbers Pass - a family farm in the heart of Mpumalanga, amidst the majestic mountains of the Robbers Pass between Pilgrim's Rest and Ohrigstad. Here we will be staying in the converted Horse Livery the perfect, peaceful accommodation from which to explore this adventure riding paradise.


Saturday is when it is all happening... we take an adventure ride via Molototse Pass, Kaspersnek, Moremela down some steep drops to the reason for the whole tour, the Belvedere Hydro Electric Power Station.


Belvedere Hydropower Plant - just 70km for Sabie and 11km from Bourke's Luck Potholes, nestled in lush greenery at the foot of the canyon where the Blyde and Belvedere rivers meet, you will find this abandoned hydroelectric power plant. Sadly vandalised but still steeped in history of a bygone era.


The building of the hydropower station was accomplished within a year, with estimated building cost around R250 000. The first shovel was put into the ground on June 7th, 1910 and the first water was released on 20 June 1911. Leading to the official opening of the plant on July 31st, 1911, crowning it as the largest hydroelectric power station in the Southern hemisphere.


The turbines were imported from Pelton Water Wheel Company in Sacramento California, from where they were shipped to Lorenzo Marques, then moved via rail to Machadodorp and finally transported by ox wagons to Belvedere. The last leg of transportation must have been a horrendous task since the gradient drops quite steep at a few spots. (Definitely not a trip for the faint at heart but well suited to the adventure rider). The plant provided electricity to all the gold crushers in Pilgrim's Rest. By 1966 the station produced 484 million units at an average cost of 0.141 cents per kWh.


Upon entering the plant a 109 years later, you are left in awe that the structure is still standing, even though the inside is plundered, leaving only an empty skeleton forgotten at the bottom of the valley. Carried away in a wonderland of the past and how now a forgotten hydropower station once was a revolutionary part of history.


A must visit and the whole reason for this tour!!


After exploring the historical and interesting site and even a quick dip, weather permitting, in the Belvedere river we head to London Waterfall for a picnic lunch on the rocks and more swimming before returning via Pilgrim's Rest to BRU Inn for a traditional Braai and a cold one at the fire-pit.


Sunday morning its breakfast and 'Home-Sweet-Home, until we ride together again!!



(Subject to change without notice)

Day 1 - Bushboys, Tonteldoos

Thu, 22 September, 2022

18h00 Tour briefing followed by dinner at Bushboys, Tonteldoos

Day 2 - Tonteldoos to BRU Inn on Robbers Pass

Fri, 23 September, 2022

After breakfast ride via Vermont, Makubalaan Pass, Old Harbour Road & Pilgrim's Rest to BRU Inn on Robbers Pass. Picnic lunch en-route.

Day 3 - Belverdere Hydro Power Station

Sat, 24 September, 2022

After breakfast ride Molototse Pass, Kaspernek and Moremela to Belvedere Hydro Power Station with a picnic lunch at London Waterfall

Day 4 - Home Time...

Sun, 25 September, 2022

Sunday morning its breakfast and 'Home-Sweet-Home...


3 Nights Bed & Breakfast
3 Dinners
2 Picnic lunches
Guided Tour
T-Shirt as a keepsake
Permits & entries


Travel cost to & from the event
All Drinks & waters
Fuel & toll fees
Puncture repair equipment
Medicines & Medical expenses

Terms & Condition (Cancelation policy)

Right of admission reserved.

A 20% non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place on a tour / event.

The balance is required in full 30 days prior tour / event date.

50% of the balance payment is refundable up to 7 days prior to tour / event date.

Less than 7 days prior to tour / event date no refund what-so-ever.

One month prior to tour / event entries are subject to availability at the lodges.

Participants welcome to put their luggage in the back up vehicle at the meeting point – soft luggage ONLY no panniers or top boxes.

This tour is pillion friendly.

Participants to have own medical insurance & general insurance for themselves, their property and motorcycle (incl. Cross Border where applicable).

Open to all makes of road legal dual purpose / adventure motorcycles (600cc+), you do not need to own a BMW.

Participants are required to wear FULL protective riding gear including full face riding helmet, riding gloves, riding or ballistic jacket, riding trousers, hydro pack, off-road riding boots (No other boots will be allowed).

Vented and / or rain gear as weather dictates.

Arrive with a full tank of fuel.

Please make sure you are prepared for any emergencies that may arise, especially punctures.

Please make sure you have sufficient allergy and / or scheduled chronic medication and take it as prescribed.

NOTE - all COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to at the various venues by the venues and in addition to that wearing your mask, sanitizing & social distancing is totally under your control.

Booking not Available

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Pricing Options

2022 Price to be confirmed
Price: R 0.00


Certified International Instructor
Facilitator: Thomas Böhm
Accreditation: BMW Motorrad Instructor
Thomas & Jacqui Böhm
Facilitator: Thomas & Jacqui Böhm
Accreditation: Event Hosts

Support Vehicle

VW Crew Bus & Trailer

Inquire Now

The Belvedere Hydro History Tour 2022