Most of the people who choose to visit the north-eastern part of South Africa, that is the one that touches the Kruger, cut out at least one day at Blyde River Canyon, I personally think that if you are a lover of outdoor sports and trekking it is worth worth staying a few more days and living things more calmly.
The best way to explore this area of South Africa is renting a car, I personally recommend a 4 × 4 because even if the main roads are paved, very often you go in the reserves or in secondary routes and you can find holes or puddles, even worse if you find the rain.
The Blyde River Canyon, in addition to being the third longest in the world has a very strong historical importance for South Africa, during the wars between Boers and English, when there was the great march with the tanks in this area was fought a battle really very bloody, for this reason the river was nicknamed Blood river, because it tells a lot of blood flowed, and with time the name has turned into Blyde River.
My advice is to start exploring the Blyde River from below or the towns of Graskop or Sabie because they are more strategic to explore the area without wasting too much time in the car.
Things to see at Blyde River Canyon
Three Rondavels: Is the most famous vantage point, in Afrikaans Randavels refers to the typical round huts of the Eastern Cape, in fact these 3 rock formations, very reminiscent of the circular huts. From here the view is really wonderful and you can see the canyon very well and go in a more or less dangerous way among the rocks
God’s Window: A rainforest hill with several terraces overlooking the valley and the canyon
Pinnacle: It is very close to Graskop, it is a huge elongated and solitary rock formation that looks like a pinnacle
Berlin Falls: A round depression of red earth, surmounted by pine trees where a very high waterfall flows. You can only see it from a distance, but I admit that the image is a postcard
Bourke’s Luck Potholes: To access this area you have to pay an entry of 45ZAR, following the wooden walkways you arrive in a beautiful area where apparently small waterfalls have drawn grandjoles cylindrical holes in the rock, really a beautiful landscape.
Eucalyptus forest of Sabie: In this stretch of road you will be surprised by the quantity of trees you will meet, in fact here there are many plantations of firs and eucalyptus that represent the main economic resource of this region, that of Sabi is said to be the Eucalyptus forest largest in the world.
Sabie Falls: The area near this small village is full of waterfalls and rivers, the most beautiful falls are Sabie Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, which reaches 70 meters in height, Lone Creek Falls also very high reaches 68 meters.
Mac-Mac Falls: Perhaps one of the most famous because it knows here different rafting and canyoning circuits. There is also the Mac-Mac Pools which is a natural pool where you can swim
Pilgrim’s Rest: This small village has kept its Boer style, it is one of the few settlements still dated in time, it is a good option for a lunch or maybe even to sleep
Big Swing: Near Graskop is one of the highest cables in the world you can throw from, it’s like jumping from a 19-storey building.
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Where to Sleep at Blyde River Canyon?
As I said above for logistical convenience, I recommend staying between Sabie and Graskop …
Laguna Lodge: Beautiful structure surrounded by nature 10 minutes from God’s Window, allows you to isolate yourself from coaches of tourists who invade the town, but to stay close to all the places of interest
Berlin Falls Country Estate: A more contained accommodation as a cost and with a more guest house atmosphere, it seems to live in a country house, many rooms have the kitchen so you can cook on site saving a lot since usually hotels offer dinners dear to South African standards
Kloofsig Holiday Cottages: Is a beautiful structure surrounded by greenery, has very large rooms with terrace and many with a fireplace, gives you a feeling of relaxation and distance from the confusion
Sheri’s Lodge & Backpackers: Certainly a place frequented by young people, where to stay to make new friends, has several typical South African structures, large circular huts used for both private and group rooms, large garden and shared pool
The Sabie Town House Guest Lodge: A large wooden house in the middle of the forest, large rooms, fireplaces, gardens and lots of flowers
Sabie Self Catering Apartments: Truly high-standard apartments, well-kept interior furnishings, maximum privacy, large outdoor areas and well-equipped kitchens
Thandamanzi Self Catering: Beautiful structure in the green, many rooms have a large outdoor space with the possibility to make braai, a few steps flows a stream and there are the duckies, perfect for summer relaxation