Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga (with Map & Photos)

Blyde River Canyon, also known as Motlatse Canyon, is a unique natural reserve that is part of the Drakensberg Mountains. It is located in the province of Mpumalanga, 60 km north of the small town of Graskop. Its peaks, almost 2,000 meters above sea level, offer some of the most breathtaking views in South Africa. From the observation deck of the Window of God on a clear day, you can see the Kruger Park and the territory of the neighboring state of Mozambique.

Blyde River Canyon Mpumalanga
Blyde River Canyon Mpumalanga

The canyon, carved into red sandstone by the waters of the Blyde River, is the third largest in the world and covers an area of ​​29,000 hectares. Its depth in some places reaches 1380 m, and its length is more than 25 km. This unique site is one of the most impressive geological features of South Africa.

Among the natural attractions of the canyon attracts the eyes of travelers "Bourke's fortune pothole", where, during the gold rush in the 19th century, prospector Tom Burke is said to have made his fortune. At this point, the Blyde River (its name means “joy” in Afrikaans) has carved bizarre cylindrical sculptures into the mountain structure of yellow and red sandstone for thousands of years.

On the east side of the canyon rise the peaks of the Three Rondavels - three massive spirals of dolomite that rise from the far wall of the canyon. Among travelers, these peaks are known as the Three Sisters.

Convenient observation platforms are equipped on the territory of the reserve, from which you can take amazing photos. If you are not a timid one, you can take a trike flight and see the beauty of the canyon from a bird's eye view. Regardless of the option chosen, every traveler can get a lot of unforgettable impressions from the panoramic views of this amazing nature reserve with its noisy beautiful waterfalls, green slopes and lawns of blooming wildflowers.

On the slopes of the canyon you will find more than 1000 species of flora, including several endangered plant species. Among the wide variety of animals and reptiles that live in the canyon, hippos and crocodiles can be found most often, as well as five species of South African primates. Among the birds you can see the black eagle, the emerald cuckoo, the golden-tailed woodpecker, the Mediterranean falcon and the bald ibis, which nests on steep rock ledges.

Blyde River Canyon Map