Blyde River Canyon – South Africa

Blyde River Canyon

Imagine you are at the top of the third largest canyon in the world. As you follow the winding path, you have to stop and stare in wonder at the astonishing panoramic views below, as the sheer edges of the cliff drop down 800m into the river below. Lush scenery abounds, a vision of rich reds, greens, yellows and blues, and as you look out through God’s Window, you feel lucky to be alive and to be able to bear witness to such incredible beauty. The Blyde River Canyon is a must see on everyone’s travel itinerary, and the viewpoints overlooking the Blyde River and Klein Drakensberg escarpment won’t disappoint.

Blyde River Canyon Reserve is situated close to Kruger National Park and stretches over 29 000 hectares. You will have an ideal opportunity to discover two of the most beautiful places on earth – ranging from the rich vegetation and spectacular wildlife of Kruger National Park, to the exceptional beauty of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve.

The famous Panorama Route overland tour takes you on a meander around the canyon, which lies against the Greater Drakensberg escarpment. God’s Window is just one of many viewpoints along the canyon trail. The famous Three Rondavels are three massive spirals of towering dolomite rock, which surge out of the far wall of the Blyde River Canyon. It looks like someone has taken a paint brush and splashed the rocks in vibrant oranges and greens due to the moss and lichen growing on them.

The natural phenomenon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, is located where the Blyde River (meaning river of joy) and the Treur River (river of sorrow) join. Whether they are tears of joy or tears of sorrow, over thousands of years, the churning water has carved odd-shaped sculptures in the stone. The beautiful rocks are a wonder, and their rich colors set against the flowing water, is a sight not to be missed.

Various antelope species, including the rare Oribi, hide in the grassland, while rock rabbits (hyrax) bask in the sunshine on the rocky outcrops of the canyon. Blyde River supports an abundance of animals and reptiles, with a rich variety of landscapes to suit each creature’s requirements. Otters play in the river, and bird lovers will smile as water birds glide past above them. More than 1000 floral species, many of which are endemic, will tantalize nature lovers, while the rare Taita falcon keeps watch from the skies above.

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