Blyde River Canyon
The Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon in the United States and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia, and is the largest 'green canyon' due to its lush subtropical foliage, with the deepest precipitious cliffs of any canyon on the planet. One of the most-visited attractions in South Africa, the Blyde River Canyon is 26 kilometers in length and is, on average, around 800m deep. The Dam itself, when full, is at an altitude of 665m (2182 feet). The Canyon Reserve extends along the Canyon's winding path, which at every turn offers more and more impressive views over sheer edges dropping 800m into the riverbed.
CANYON NATURE RESERVE
The Canyon Nature Reserve clothes the Canyon's winding path, which at every turn offers more and more spectacular views of the Drakensberg escarpment as it plummets to the Lowveld. The Blyde River Canyon empties into the Swadini - or Blydepoort - Dam, which has a number of resorts on its banks, and unencumbered views back up the escarpment. The entire Canyon has a number of world-renowned attractions and activities. God's Window and Wonder View hint at the magnitude of the scenery, the 'Pinnacle' is a single quartzite column rising out of the deep wooded canyon and the ‘Three Rondavels' - three huge spirals of dolomite rock rising out of the far wall of the canyon, stained with fiery orange lichen - are spectacular. At the meeting point of the Blyde River (river of joy) and the Treur River (river of sorrow) water erosion has created one of the most phenomenal geological phenomenon in South Africa - the ‘Bourke’s Luck Potholes’.
It is situated along the Panorama Route and easily accessible from the west of the Kruger National Park and the towns of Sabie and Nelspruit. If you come from Johannesburg, treat yourself with a drive through Belfast, Dullstroom, Lydenburg and Pilgrim's Rest en route to Graskop. If possible, spend the night in one of the hotels/lodges/camp sites on the escarpment and devote a day to exploring the whole Panorama Route. There are hiking trails in the nature reserve and horse riding is a possibility, but most people seem to drive through it on their way to or from game reserves like Kruger National Park. Drive the panorama route to see all the geological features such as God's Window, the Pinnacle and the many waterfalls Enjoy the Links Below with very important ideas and possibilities One link is SA Venues another is Canyon Lodge This vast and beautiful area needs time so add an extra day or two to your "Safari" holiday! One link I strongly recommend for those of you wanting that little bit extra of an experienced "Guide" is African Wildlife Tours Joy has over 30 years of Safari experience and will be delighted to help you plan and tailor make your Southern Africa holiday memorable!She is also know as the "Queen of the Kalahari"
There are a number of hiking trails in the Canyon Nature Reserve, with day walks as well as multi-day hikes with rustic stop-over huts. For the more adventurous, a whitewater trip on the Blyde River is a must, with grade 3-4 rapids to keep you busy, and the optional overnight on the river bank at the feet of the Three Rondavels.