Blyde River Canyon


Useful Information

Location: Along R532 north of Graskop.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
Address: Blyde River Canyon, Tel: +$CountryTelPrefix$-, Fax: +$CountryTelPrefix$-,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Blyde River Canyon is a huge gorge, 26 km long and 800 m deep, which makes it the third largest canyon in the world. The ranking depends on the way the size is defined, but in any way, this is really a huge canyon, and it is running along the northern part of the Drakensberg escarpment, which makes it even more impressive. The rocks are red sandstones, but unlike the GorgeGrand Canyon in the United States and the GorgeFish River Canyon in Namibia it is not located in an arid or semi arid area. The climate is rather wet and the canyon walls are covered by subtropical vegetation.

Blyde River Canyon is accessible on the famous Panorama route which starts at the town Graskop. The most famous outlook is called Three Rondavels, named after three round rocks which resemble the huts of the indigenous people, known as rondavels. Other worthwile stops are God's Window, the Pinnacle and GorgeBurke's Luck Potholes.

A special karst related sight is the Kadishi Tufa waterfall. Water flowing underground through limestone dissolves this liemstone and deposits it again when it reaches the surface. The limestone deposits grow, especially around the water course. One thing which forms are rimstone pools, anoter are growing waterfalls. The Kadishi waterfall is called the second tallest of those tufa waterfall on earth. We have no idea if this is true, or which one would be the tallest, but 200 m are truely impressive.