Incorporating the third largest canyon in the world and impressive scenery, Blyde River Canyon Reserve offers visitors a remarkable experience. This Mpumalanga Nature Reserve, is near Kruger National Park and covers 29 000 hectares. Stretching from the misty highlands down to the hotter and drier lowveld at the Blyde Dam
Blyde River Canyon Reserve is situated against the Greater Drakensberg escarpment. It includes natural wonders such as the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels, Pinnacle Rock and God’s Window. Many visitors to this region enjoy the visual splendour of combining the Panorama Route with exceptional game viewing. The Kruger National Park provides magnificent wild life to create a spectacular itinerary in Mpumalanga.
Blyde River Canyon Geology
The geology and climate of this high rainfall plateau results in masses of waterfalls, and are beautiful to look at. Many of these can be visited whilst others are hidden deep within some of the largest man-made forestry plantations. At 200 metres, the Kadishi Tufa waterfall is the second tallest tufa waterfall on earth. A tufa waterfall is formed when running water deposits rock formations more rapidly than it erodes the surrounding rock. In the case of the Kadishi Tufa fall, the formation that has been produced strikingly resembles a face which is crying profusely. It is thus sometimes known as ‘the weeping face of nature’.
These unique geological features are all easily accessible on tarred roads from the picturesque village of Graskop. There is ample accommodation throughout the area. Several hiking trails meander through the reserve and cater for all ages and levels of fitness. This Mpumalanga Nature Reserve in South Africa also offers a variety of adventure sports. Included are white water rafting and abseiling as well as quieter activities like fly-fishing.
All five of South Africa’s primates can be seen in the The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. The somango monkey, nocturnal greater and lesser bushbabies, chacma baboons and vervet monkeys are all present. Hippopotamus and crocodile live in and around the rivers and wetlands of Swadini Dam, as do waterbirds and otters. Almost every type of habitat that attracts birds is found in the The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. All three South African species of Loerie can be found in the reserve.