The Blyde River Canyon is an area of spectacular landscape, located in northern South-Africa as part of the Drakensberg Escarpment. It's said to be one of the largest canyons in the world. The plateau falls close to 1000 meters, creating a dramatic landscape of cliffs and valleys. From viewpoints along the canyon, you get panoramic views down into the lowlands.
On our way back from Krüger National Park to Johannesburg, we chose to stay two nights in Sabie - a lovely little town surrounded by beautiful mountanious landscape. Our plan was to take a day driving to the Blyde River Canyon along the Panoramic Route which starts in the little town of Graskop. Following the route to the viewpoints is easy as all are signpostet. These were our stops:
First stop was at a place that is called «The Pinnacle». This piece of free-standing rock stands right here where the 26 kilometer long canyon begins. It's a "green" canyon because of its subtropical location and with some of the deepest cliffs on the planet. On the African continent it's the second largest after the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.
The name of the next stop is «Gods Window». After parking the car we walked through a little piece of lush rainforest. When we reached the edge of the cliff, overlooking the lowlands as far as the eye can see, it is easy to understand how it got its name.
One has to pay entrance tickets each place, except here at «Wonderview». The view was just as amazing as Gods Window.
The next geological wonder: » Bourke's Luck Potholes » which is a large area of huge potholes shaped by swirling water at the point where the Blyde River meets the Treur River. A series of bridges makes it possible to cross the river and look at the scenery from another angel. We took our time here. It was the most expensive to visit, but it was also the place with most facilities as cafes, souvenir shops, picknick sites etc. This was the place to eat our sandwiches and dip our toes in the shallow pools.
Our last stop at the «Three Rondavels» was definitely the place that gives the best view of the canyon. These huge, round rocks has the shape of huts that are called Rondavels. The spectacular view of the river certainly took our breath away.
Then it was time to return to Sabie and to have dinner at the Wild Fig Tree restaurant. A real cozy place with exciting meat on the menu: ostrich, warthog and crocodile, but they did have trout as well. It turned out that the owner is Norwegian, but born in South Africa. She told us her father had been a sailor and came from Kristiansand! What a coincidence. We also come from Kristiansand. Then of course it was appropriate with a long talk with her.
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