As the year is rushing to its end, we’re looking back at all the wonderful places we stayed at in South Africa’s wild places during 2013:
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.