Continuing our celebration of the South African landscape, today it’s all eyes on the immaculate setting of the Blyde River Canyon. While it does form a part of the northern tip of the Drakensberg, a topic we covered in a previous article, the canyon itself is just so sublime that it earned its own title as a natural wonder of SA. Showing off the best of Mpumalanga’s natural beauty, we uncover why the Blyde River Canyon is such a powerful hot spot for tourists and researchers alike.
If you enjoy measuring us against the world’s best, you’ll take pride in knowing that Blyde River is the world’s third largest canyon. Known to the locals at Motlatse Canyon, the destination also attracts hundreds and thousands of professional photographers. The viewing point, aptly named ‘God’s window,’ offers some of the best views of South Africa, especially on clear days amid the rainy season, when the valleys and slopes are teeming with life.
Stretching itself over 60km of SA terrain, this nature reserve offers yet another cluster of unique ecosystems where endemic wildlife and plants co-exist in harmony. Among many geological wonders, the canyon is home to the world-famous Three Rondavels: three massive spiralling columns of dolomite, rising up from the canyon walls. Although the abseiling is best kept for winter, vacations and other outdoor activities can be enjoyed at any time of year.
Of course, views like this are reward for the effort of a good hike and trail walk. Be sure to pack reliable boots for your trek up, and don’t forget your swimming gear to take advantage of the pristine pools and lakes that intersperse the canyon rock formations. You don’t need to be an international jet-setter to enjoy the magic of Mother Nature: make space on your wishlist and you’ll be glad you did when you’re looking down on the world from God’s Window.