The Bourke’s Luck Potholes, at the confluence of the Treur and Blyde Rivers, form the head of the Blyde River Canyon, the third biggest canyon on earth.
“Depth” is the theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge
There’s the right way, and then there’s the quick way 😉
“Descent” is the theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge
The Blyde River Canyon in the Lowveld of South Africa s the world’s third biggest canyon, and one of our country’s most diverse and scenically spectacular conservation areas.
We had the pleasure of spending four nights at Forever’s Swadini Resort during our recent visit to this beautiful area. The resort has all the amenities you’d associate with a family destination of Swadini’s calibre, yet there’s no feeling of being removed from the natural splendour that completely surrounds it.
Several easy-to-follow trails meander through the enchanting riverine forests around Swadini and it’s not difficult to forget all about time and the daily rat race while exploring these unique surroundings. Be sure to visit to the nearby Blyderivierspoort Dam, where you may join a cruise on the Dam’s deep waters and encounter hippos and crocodiles, or have a picnic at the viewpoint that overlooks the watery expanse.
We’ve dedicated several other posts to the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve – have a look here if you’d like to learn more about this fantastic destination. It’s one of our favourite South African wild places, and when you visit you’re sure to fall under its spell as well.
… as if there’s such a thing!
While touring the Lowveld in February, we concluded our trip with a stay at Swadini in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve – more on the time we spent there in an upcoming edition of de Wets Wild. Having first explored the Pafuri area in the far north of the Kruger National Park and then spending time at Letaba in the Park’s central region, we wanted to make one more day visit to the Park, and Swadini being only 70km from the Orpen Gate made that an easy undertaking.
Our route took us from Orpen Gate down to Muzandzeni Picnic Site for breakfast, past Nhlanguleni Picnic Site to Tshokwane Picnic Site where we had lunch, and back to Orpen via Satara Rest Camp. Despite it being an overcast day with regular downpours, we still managed great sightings, as evidenced by this little gallery of images we took on the day (you can click on any of the pictures for a better view).
We spent the better part of today exploring the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve around Swadini, and came across this beautifully reflective pool along one of the walking trails.
Tomorrow we’re heading back home to Pretoria after nine days exploring the north-east corner of South Africa. We plan to publish several posts about the places we visited in the coming weeks and hope we’ll see you around de Wets Wild again soon!
Today we moved westwards, out of the Kruger National Park and into the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve in the Drakensberg mountain range, on the border of the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces. While exploring this scenic area we’ll be basing ourselves at the Forever Swadini Resort, located at the foot of a spectacular rock face.
Back to the largest green canyon on earth
We headed for the Blyde River Canyon again over Easter 2013 and had a most enjoyable time, as always, being out in nature. In June 2012, we based ourselves at Forever’s Swadini Resort in the lowveld portion of this beautiful nature reserve, and so this time around we spent three very comfortable nights at their Blyde Canyon Resort up top on the escarpment. While the climate and surroundings of the two resorts differ markedly, both are well managed with good amenities and very definitely worth a visit.
At Blyde Canyon Resort a number of hiking trails and viewpoints are available to enjoy the spectacular natural surroundings, offering chance encounters with small antelope and primates. During our visit the resort also arranged a very informative talk on snakes, including a number of venomous specimens being displayed, which turned all the more exciting when a live, wild juvenile cobra put in an appearance between the visitors lounging on the lawn – luckily the presenter was on hand to capture it for later release back into the wild.
The resort is an excellent base from which to explore other parts of the nature reserve, such as the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, named after a prospector who expected to find alluvial gold deposits there. Here, at the confluence of the Blyde (meaning joy) and Treur (meaning sorrow) Rivers, the force of the cascading waters carrying with it all sorts of debris have weathered away the bedrock to form a series of very interesting formations. A number of popular viewsites and the Echo Caves are additional attractions in the vicinity to consider.
On the way to Blyde Canyon, we enjoyed a couple of hours exploring the Sudwala Dinosaur Park – have a read here if you’d want to see more of this worthwile destination.
A pair of hadeda ibis wading on a boulder protruding from the Treur River, as it rushes towards the Bourke’s Luck Potholes in the Blyde River Canyon, South Africa (where we were fortunate to spend the Easter Weekend).