Drive or hike through one of the largest canyons in the world. View stunning geological formations and take part in thrilling outdoor pursuits.
Mountains, cliffs and fascinating flora and fauna characterize the Blyde River Canyon, an enormous gorge in Mpumalanga. The 16-mile (26-kilometer) gorge is more than 2,625 feet (800 meters) deep and attracts sightseers and adventurers with hiking trails, whitewater rafting and stunning views.
Take one of the many hiking routes through the area. Stop off at vantage points to admire some of the natural wonder’s most notable sights. They include the Pinnacle, a giant red rock formation and the Three Rodavels, rounded mountain tops that resemble traditional African homes.
Go to the Kadishi waterfall, a large cascade with a 660-feet (200-meter) drop. Discover the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, large cylindrical pools in yellow dolomite rock created by centuries of water erosion. Their name comes from a gold prospector who hoped to strike it rich here, but was unsuccessful.
If you don’t want to explore on two feet, drive your rental car along the Panorama Route, the long scenic road that winds its way along the top of the canyon.
Wildlife lovers have much to be excited about with a visit to Blyde River Canyon. In the wetlands areas, see hippos, crocodiles and otters. Other animals to look out for are the rare bald ibis, baboons and vervet and samango monkeys.
If you are an adventure seeker, make your way to the Blyde Canyon Adventure Center. They organize numerous outdoor activities, including abseiling, boat trips and rafting along the Olifants River. You can also book hot air balloon and micro light flights over the canyon.
Blyde River Canyon is 125 miles (201.2 kilometers) north of Mpumalanga’s center. Rent a car for the 3-hour scenic car journey. If you decide to stay overnight, you will find many accommodation choices in and around the canyon, including hotels in the village of Graskop and the towns of Sabie and Nelspruit. Alternatively, spend the night in a tent in one of the canyon’s campsites.