The third largest canyon on earth, carved over millennia through the Drakensberg escarpment; standing below and staring up at those spectacular cliffs, hundreds of metres high and millions of years old, brings home the reality of our own comparative insignificance and fleeting tenure on this planet.
Considered the largest “green” canyon in the world (the larger Grand Canyon in the USA and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia are both to be found in desert environments), the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve is one of South Africa’s most popular destinations. The reserve is found in eastern Mpumalanga Province, and is managed by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency. Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window, Wonder View, the Pinnacle and the Three Rondavels are world renowned attractions to be found on the escarpment near the town of Graskop.
On this visit however, we based ourselves at the Forever Resort Swadini in the Lowveld portion of the reserve, near the town of Hoedspruit. Set in a lush subtropical environment, along the Blyde River and at the foot of a magnificent cliff face, with a myriad of animal and bird life abounding and beautiful walking trails through the indigenous vegetation along the river, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more scenic camp in any reserve.
Swadini is also an excellent base for visits to nearby attractions such as the Blydepoort Dam (on which guided boat tours are available daily), the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and of course the Kruger National Park (Orpen Gate is only 75km away).
Of course we had to feed our Kruger addiction – here a quick report of our day visit to the Kruger National Park.