About Visit the Bourke's Luck Potholes

In the 'Land of the rising sun' a 'river of sorrow' was met by a rush of 'joy' and together they carved out 'nature's wishing well'. In the native Zulu tribal language this Mpumalanga province was melodiously named after the dawn; the Treur River labelled by the Afrikaans Voortrekkers after their sorrowful experience that turned joyful, as honoured in translation of the happily titled Blyde River.

The confluence of these two river forces over eons eroded the red sandstone of the Blyde River Canyon into Bourke's Luck Potholes which now shimmers full of well-wishers tokens. Named after an 18th century man, Tom Bourke, who had little luck in striking gold but whose namesake rock formations now catch coins attached to golden wishes that descend the sheer cliff faces into said water sculpted pits. His claim of a densely gold deposited earth left him empty handed but later proved fortunate for other gold seekers in the region.

Like the bold bright geometric art of the Ndebele people marks the traditional local architecture so the cylindrical swirl holes of bygone centuries currents that carried water-borne debris, sand and pebbles marks the streaked yellow and white rocks coated in lichen. This phenomenon marks the start of the third largest canyon in the world and South African uniquely scoured stone.

A series of overhanging pedestrian bridges and surrounding hiker's paths interweave their way around this collection of dark pools that spot the riverbed of this once rapid running water source. The on-site Visitors Centre hosts a model of the Blyde River Canyon as well as cultural, historical, fauna and flora displays.

Need to Know

WhereFollow the R532 from Sabie for about 65km, the potholes will be on your right and clearly marked with a roadside sign. OR R532 - 35Km north of Graskop / 9km South of Lowveld View, Blyde River Canyon (joining of Blyde & Treur Rivers). Walk 700m from car park to view potholes.

WhenDaylight hours.

How muchPrices on request.

Telephone+27 (0)73 774-3617

More informationSee website

OvernightStay nearby in Graskop, in Mpumalanga


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For more information see Bourke's Luck Potholes.

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