(Motlatse), River Canyon
|Length of canyon:
15 miles (24 km)
|Depth of canyon:
2,625 feet (800 m)
24° 33' 50 S, 30° 48'
|The river threads through canyonsides
cloaked in temperate rainforest
and evergreen shrub-like plants
known as fynbos.
(Motlatse) River Canyon Slideshow
Blyde River Canyon
The Blyde River Canyon
is a significant natural feature of
South Africa, located in Mpumalanga,
and forming the northern part of the
Drakensberg escarpment. It is 16 miles
(26 kilometers) in length and is,
on average, around 2500 feet (800m)
deep. The Dam itself, when full, is
at an altitude of 665m (2182 feet).
The Canyon consists mostly of red
sandstone. The highest point of the
canyon, Mariepskop, is 6378 feet above
sea level (1944m) whilst its lowest
point where the river leaves the canyon
is slightly less than 1840 feet (+-
560m) above sea level. This means
that by some measure the Canyon is
over 4500 feet (about 1400m) deep.
By some measures it
is the third largest canyon in the
world, after the Grand Canyon in the
United States and the Fish River Canyon
in Namibia but this depends heavily
on one's definition of a canyon (see
canyon.) By any definition it is one
of the largest canyons on earth, unquestionably
being the largest 'green canyon' due
to its lush subtropical foliage, and
it has some of the deepest precipitious
cliffs of any canyon on the planet.
It is the second largest canyon in
Africa, after the Fish River Canyon,
and is known as one of the great wonders
of nature on the continent.
Possibly the best view
in the whole of the Blyde River Canyon
is of the "Three Rondavels",
huge, round rocks, thought to be reminiscent
of the houses or huts of the indigenous
people, known as rondavels. This canyon
is part of the famous Panorama route.
This route starts at the town Graskop
and includes God's Window, the Pinnacle
and Bourke's Luck Potholes
The previous name of Blyde came about
when a group of Voortrekker women
were camped on the banks of a river
waiting for their husbands to return.
They had gone out to scout a route
to the coast of Mozambique. When it
seemed like they would not return,
they called it the Treur River –
meaning River of Sorrow. But when
the men eventually did come back they
called the river beyond it the Blyde
River – River of Joy.
This is one of the most
breathtaking grand sites i have ever
experienced throughout my world travel.
These canyons are over a 1000 meters
high and have the most beautiful clean
river that runs through them. the river
is crystal clear, is teaming with wildlife
such as exotic animals like hippos and
crocodiles. the canyons and African
skies combine to make the scene look
so beautiful, it doesn't even look real.