The Blyde River Canyon is a magnificent natural feature located in Mpumalanga. It is the third largest canyon on earth, consisting of a spectacular variety of plant, bird, and wildlife. This earthly masterpiece is one of the finest natural wonders on the continent and offers a range of sights that are sure to take your breath away. Visit this spectacular phenomenon by booking one of our fantastic accommodations below.
The Blyde River Canyon, meaning “Happy Riverâ€ in Dutch, forms part of the scenic Panorama Route, and is known as the largest “green canyonâ€ in the world due to its subtropical foliage. Visitors travel from far and wide to see and photograph the famous natural attractions that exist here. First on your list should be God’s Window which offers an expansive view across the Lowveld. Don’t forget to visit the Pinnacle which is a tall quartzite column of rock that reaches up into the sky from the deep canyon below. Bourke’s Luck Potholes is a series of rock formations found where the Blyde River meets the Treur River, formed by the constant swirling of the water eroding the rock into circular shapes. Finally, tick off a visit to The Three Rondavels (also known as The Three Sisters) which are not to be missed. These three huge spirals of lichen-covered dolomite rock are thought to be the huts of indigenous people. From here, you will be afforded the best view of the whole of the Blyde River Canyon.
Nature lovers will be delighted at the large variety of life that exists in the Blyde River Canyon. While here you will spot klipspringer, dassies, antelope, grey rhebuck, bush pig, kudu, otters, bushbuck, hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of rodents, reptiles, and insects. You can also see every primate species found in South Africa, including the Greater and Lesser Bush Babies, Vervet Monkeys, and Samango Monkeys. Birding enthusiasts will be kept busy with the opportunity to sight a massive variety of birdlife like the beautiful Narina Trogan and Knysna Loerie, as well as a variety of rare vulture, eagle, owl, buzzard, and falcon.
The geology and climate of this high rainfall plateau results in numerous waterfalls which are stunning to look at and photograph – and some you can even visit. Others are hidden deep within some of the largest man-made forestry plantations in the world, with endless rows of pine and eucalyptus trees. Make sure you visit the Kadishi Tufa Waterfall, which has a rock formation that looks like a human face with water running over it - thus it is known as “the weeping face of natureâ€. This 200m tall waterfall is the second tallest tufa waterfall on earth.
The Blyde River Canyon Reserve extends 25,000 hectares along the Blyde River Canyon’s winding path, and offers impressive views at every turn. You will revel at the fresh mountain scenery and panoramic views over the Klein Drakensberg escarpment. If you’d like to experience the beauty in a unique way, several companies offer hot air balloon rides where you will be afforded spectacular bird’s eye views from above.
Extend your stay by booking one of the following exclusive accommodations available in Blyde River Canyon.