Mpumalanga Tourist AttractionsKadishi Tufa Waterfall
Where? Kadishi Tufa Waterfall, Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga
The Blyde River Canyon is one of South Africa's geological wonders, its 26 kilometres of red sandstone mountains surrounding a body of water scenically breathtaking and lushly green. In the immediate distance the Lowveld flattens out, a vivid reminder that it is here that the Drakensberg escarpment sharply ends.
One of the largest canyons on earth, Mpumalanga claims this beauty is the largest green canyon in the world because of the density of the subtropical vegetation that wraps the bulk of the precipitous cliffs.
Overshadowed by the intense scenic wonder of the Blyde River Canyon, the canyon's Kadishi tufa waterfall is just as marvellous. Hidden at the end of the Blyde Dam, it is one of few rare living tufa waterfalls in the world and is said to be the second highest tufa waterfall in the world, dropping 200 metres from its limestone shelf to the water of the Blydepoort Dam.
What is mesmerising about the Kadishi waterfall is the striking resemblance the rock face of the waterfall bears to a weeping face, the drop of water very like a sheet of tears. For this reason it has been called the 'weeping face of nature'.
Tufal waterfalls take million of years to form. Water, running over dolomitic rocks, absorbs calcium from the rocks. The mosses that also grow on these rocks draw out carbon dioxide whilst photosynthesising, which causes the calcium in the water to deposit layers of tufa on the surface of the waterfall (a bit like crystalisation of water). The water continues to flow over and underneath the layer of calcium.