Blyde River Canyon - Spectacular and Beautiful
From a distance the Blyde River Canyon is spectacular and becomes even more beautiful closer you get. The Blyde River Nature Reserve extends from the Pinnacle and Gods Window in the south to where the Blyde River Canyon ends at Swadini in the north.
There are a number of principle scenic attractions in the Blyde River Canyon, which most visitors will have seen on postcards and brochures well before they reach the reserve. In the south is the Pinnacle, a freestanding quartzite rock pillar rising above a fern-clad ravine, and God's Window where the vertical cliff of a deep gorge frames the view of the forest and expansive Lowveld of the Mpumalanga Province.
In the heart of the reserve lie the Bourke's Luck Potholes, where the converging Blyde and Treur rivers have formed whirlpools and over a long period of time have eroded deep, cylindrical shafts into the river's bedrock. The nearby visitor's center explains the geological history of the area, as well as some of the socio-historic features relating to implements which were discovered here that indicate the area had been inhabited during the Middle Stone Age - at least 75,000 years ago. Further north the Three Rondavels Viewpoint offers a famous South African view of the rugged mountains and the distant waters of the Blydepoort Dam.
The reserve contains five of the 71 different veld types found in South Africa and there's wildlife too, with the park being a sanctuary for the rare samango monkey as well as bushbabies and vervets. Predators include civet, leopard, genet, serval, and caracal. Hippo and crocodiles lurk in the rivers and lakes and the most distinctive of the many bird species found here are eagles, buzzards, and falcons.