The Blyde River Canyon Reserve
The Blyde River Canyon Reserve is one of the most beautiful treasures that South Africa has to offer. Situated in the picturesque province of Mpumalanga, the Blyde River Canyon Reserve houses the third largest canyon on the planet. This is beautifully complimented by the lush forests and huge variety of flora and fauna present here.
The Blyde River Canyon forms part of the Panorama Route. This route offers some of the best sceneries and viewpoints in the country. The views include “God’s Window” and “Wonder View”. The names of these views should give readers an idea of the type of scenery they can expect to see.
There are also many natural wonders to observe. One of the most famous natural wonders is called “The Three Rondevals” or the “Three Sisters”. These Three Sisters are actually giant spirals of dolomite rock that has formed in ancient times. They are capped with beautiful greenery and the sides of these hills are coloured orange by the orange lichen.
Photo credit: Jono Hey
Another natural wonder on offer by the Blyde River Canyon Reserve would be a phenomenon called “Bourke’s Luck Potholes”. This phenomenon was caused by water erosion due to swirling whirlpools which resulted in the most fascinating shapes and holes being formed in columns of rock near the Treur River. This phenomenon was named after Tom Burke, a known gold digger. The beautiful sand and orange colour of the rocks beautifully compliments the dark colour of the water here.
Photo credit: 1ieve
There are more than one thousand different types of flora species in this region. This great bio diversity encourages and supports a large variety of wildlife. Animals living in the Blyde River Canyon Reserve include many different types of primates, Oribi, the rare Taita Falcon, Kudu and Grey Rhebuck. There is also a large variety of rodents and birds throughout the reserve. Many hippo and crocodiles are attracted to the lush Wetlands and Blyde River.
The Blyde River Canyon Reserve is relatively easily accessible. There are many tarred roads that can be taken and accommodation is reached quite easily. There are quite a few different options available when it comes to accommodation and these options range from four star lodges to budget-friendly family accommodation units. Whilst there is no accommodation within the reserve, there are many lodges and resorts nearby and quite close to the reserve. The variety of options to choose from means that you are bound to find an option to suit your individual tastes and budget.
There is a wide range of activities to choose from when visiting the Blyde River Canyon. There are adventurous activities for those who love the adrenaline as well as more relaxed activities for those who prefer a more tranquil holiday. Adventurous activities include things such as kloofing and white water rafting. More peaceful activities include things such as fly fishing, hot air balloon trips and boat trips across the Blyde Dam.
There are also many activities available outside the Blyde River Canyon Reserve. Many travellers choose to visit popular tourist attractions that are located close by; such as the Kruger National Park. The picturesque and notable town of Pilgrim’s Rest is also worth a visit when in the vicinity. Fun activities available in the area include golf and game drives. It’s a very popular destination for travellers new to the area.
There are some areas in and close to the reserve that are high risk for Malaria. It is important that visitors take the necessary precautions before travelling to the area. This will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip without the risk having your holiday ruined by contracting this illness.
Another important point would be the fact that the heat and sun in this area can get quite harsh. This is why it is crucial that travellers bring a good sun screen, a hat and appropriate clothing. Reapply sun screen on a regular basis to ensure optimal protection. Also, remember to keep some bottled water with you at all times to prevent dehydration while on holiday here.
This reserve spans across 29,000 hectares and houses some of the best views the country has to offer. These include breath taking waterfalls, magnificent natural wonders and a large variety of flora and fauna. All five of South Africa’s primates can be viewed here and visitors may also spot the rare Taita Falcon. While these offerings are enough to fill an itinerary, there are even more exciting activities on offer that cater to the tastes of all types of travellers.
These are some of the reasons why the Blyde River Canyon Reserve is one of the biggest tourist attractions in South Africa. This gem of Mpumalanga offers visitors a chance to experience a trip and holiday of a lifetime without having to break the bank.