Blyde River Canyon

/ Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga, South Africa
Mpumalanga Game Reserves

Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga

Blyde River Canyon
Blyde River Canyon

The Blyde River Canyon Reserve extends along the Blyde River Canyon's winding path, which at every turn offers more and more impressive views over sheer edges dropping 800m into the riverbed.

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve - The fresh mountain scenery and panoramic views over the Klein Drakensberg escarpment are quite spectacular and give the area its name of 'Panorama Route'. Viewpoints are named for the spectacle they offer, and God's Window and Wonder View hint at the magnitude of the scenery. The 'Pinnacle' is a single quartzite column rising out of the deep wooded canyon and the ‘Three Rondavels' (also called 'Three Sisters’) are three huge spirals of dolomite rock rising out of the far wall of the Blyde River canyon. Their domed heads are iced in green and their sides are stained with fiery orange lichen. From the 'Three Rondavels' you can see the extensive Swadini Dam in the far distance, which marks the end of the reserve.

At the meeting point of the Blyde River (river of joy) and the Treur River (river of sorrow) water erosion has created one of the most phenomenal geological phenomenon in South Africa. The ‘Bourke’s Luck Potholes’ have taken thousands of years to form strange cylindrical sculptures carved by swirling water. The smooth red and yellow rocks contrast with the dark pools.

'Gods Window'
'Gods Window'
The geology and climate of this high rainfall plateau results in masses of waterfalls, beautiful to look at and many of which you can visit. Others are hidden deep within some of the largest man-made forestry plantations in the world, with row upon row of pine and eucalyptus trees.

The rich and varied plant life is influenced by extreme climate, a range of altitudes and various soil conditions. This variety of plant life supports an equally rich and varied fauna. klipspringer and dassies find food and shelter in rocky areas. The grassland supports grey rhebuck and the rare oribi as well as rodents, reptiles, seed-eating birds and plenty of insects. Kudu prefer the cover of wooded bushveld and bushbuck and bushpig move amongst the luxuriant growth on the riverbanks.

All five of South Africa's primates can be see 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 and all three South African species of Loerie can be found in the reserve.

To view a detailed Map indicating landmarks and location of attractions in and around the Blyde River Canyon, see: Blyde River Canyon Map. To find out what to do in the area see Things to Do in Blyde River Canyon.

Blyde River Canyon

Accommodation in Blyde River Canyon

Blyde River Canyon Lodge

Blyde River Canyon Lodge is situated along the majestic Panoramic Route of Mpumalanga, just a 40-minute drive to the Kruger National Park Orpen Gate. Nestled between the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, it offers travellers a unique bush experience whilst soaking up the...

Blyde River Wilderness Lodge

Places of water are places of life. Not only are the water courses of the Blyde River Wilderness Lodge well populated with hippo and crocodiles, the reserve is home to giraffe, nyala, impala, wildebeest, zebra, bushbuck, duiker, steenbuck, waterbuck, bushpig and ...

Bona Intaba Game Lodge

Bona Intaba offers luxurious self catering accommodation in the private Canyon Game Reserve set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Blyde River Canyon mountains. Accommodation is offered in four en-suite bedrooms, with chic African décor. The fully equipped communal kitchen ...

Blyde River Canyon

Accommodation in this region

For accommodation close to or bordering the reserve:
Blyde River CanyonGraskopHazyviewKiepersolOhrigstadPilgrims RestSabie

Or to see all accommodation in the Blyde River Canyon, Please click here.

Blyde River Canyon

Featured Attractions / Activities

Hippo Trail

Where to stay: Blyde River Canyon accommodation
How much (per person): On Request

Feeling energetic? Looking for a fun challenge? Well get on your hiking gear and head to the Blyde River Canyon and get on the Hippo Trail. ... more information

Mountain Magic Helicopter Flight

Where to stay: Hazyview accommodation
How much (per person): On Request

Swoop over deep and mysterious gorges, through lush valleys bursting with vegetation and colour. The Jetranger will linger above roaring rivers and ... more information

Helicopter Flight over Blyde River Canyon

Where: Departs from Lions Sands Private Game Reserve
How much (per person): On Request

This must be the most spectacular way of viewing the northern Drakensberg, which is host to some of South Africa's most well known landmarks ... more information

View Game Reserves in this Region

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With 20 National Parks, including two of the world's most famous wildlife reserves, the Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and numerous private game reserves, your trip to South Africa would be incomplete without experiencing a South African Safari.
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga, South Africa