Blyde River Canyon


The world’s third largest canyon


The Blyde River Canyon is carved out of 2.5km of red and amber sandstone, with some parts clad in lush evergreen vegetation. Winding along its lip is the Panorama Route – a trail that includes some of Mpumalanga’s most sublime natural attractions. The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve borders much of the canyon, stretching toward Graskop, following the Drakensberg Escarpment, and meeting the Blyde River as it winds down to the Lowveld. The canyon is a perfect stopover en route to the Kruger National Park.

Discover spectacular scenery from the cliffs jutting up from the canyon base, and marvel at the surrounding mountains cloaked in greenery, laced with waterfalls. Fed by the Treur and Blyde Rivers, the canyon offers whitewater rafting, abseiling, mountain biking, and hiking. Birdlife and wildlife is abundant with Verreaux’s eagles nesting on various cliff ledges, and trees populated with Samango monkeys and bushbabies.

Here, visitors will find the Three Rondavels rock formation – massive dolomite heads crowned with greenery – and from within the wooded canyon, a single quartzite column rises and has been dubbed the ‘Pinnacle’. Centuries of water erosion has sculpted cylindrical potholes into the sandstone bedrock, forming Bourke’s Luck Potholes. A scenic sight not to be missed is God’s Window – the Lowveld lookout.

 

Highlights

  • World’s third largest canyon, carved out of 2.5km of sandstone and clad in lush evergreen vegetation in parts
  • Part of the Panorama Route and a scenic stopover en route to the Kruger National Park
  • The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve borders much of the canyon, providing a sanctuary for an abundance of birdlife and wildlife 
  • Adrenaline-pumping activities include whitewater rafting, abseiling, mountain biking, and hiking
  • Other nearby sights include the Three Rondavels, the Pinnacle, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, and God’s Window

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