African Blyde river canyon south africa

Blyde river canyon south africa
African One of the deepest in the world

The Blyde River Canyon is located in Mpumalanga, South Africa. This river is 16.2 miles and is one of the largest canyons in the world. It comes in third after the Grand Canyon in the United States and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia. Unlike these two Canyons, the Blyde River Canyon is the greenest and has subtropical vegetation. As part of the Panorama Route, the Blyde River Canyon has beautiful rock formations known as the Three Rondavels. The route starts at the town of Graskop. These rocks resemble an African hut and the locals call them the three sisters. Other attractions along the Panorama Route include the God’s Window, the Pinnacle and Bourke’s Luck Potholes.

The canyon got its name from the Dutch who had crossed it from an expedition to Delagoa Bay. Upon their safe arrival, they named the canyon Blyde meaning happy.

Let’s now look at the top 10 facts about the Blyde River Canyon.

1. The Blyde River Canyon is one of the deepest in the world

This Canyon is one of the deepest in the world. Its estimated depth is 3280 feet and 16 miles long. Other than being one of the deepest canyons, the Blyde River Canyon is also the greenest of them all. You will find a variety of plants and animals here too. The Blyde River Canyon starts from Graskop north and extends to the Limpopo border. In this canyon, one will get to see several iconic features such as the Bourke’s Luck Potholes. The entire Blyde River Canyon is a Nature Reserve. There are marked routes leading to various natural attractions in the reserve.

2. Blyde means happy in Dutch

The word Blyde means to be glad in Dutch. It was given the name by the Voortrekkers in 1844. This was after their safe return from Delagoa Bay.

Hendrik Potgieter and his team of trekkers had returned safely from Delagoa Bay after an expedition.

When they joined the rest of the trekkers who assumed they had died, they were happy to see them. The other team had named it a mourning river.

In 2005, the Blyde River was given a new name, the Motlatse River. It was also suggested that the canyon would be reamed too.

3. One of the tallest waterfalls is found in the Blyde River Canyon

The Kadishi Tufa waterfall is found in the Blyde River Canyon. It is 660 ft tall making it the second tallest tufa waterfall on earth.

This waterfall formed when water running over dolomite rock absorbed calcium.

In the process, it deposited rock formations more rapidly than they eroded the surrounding rock.

Looking at the Kadishi Tufa waterfall, one can easily see the resemblance of a face crying copiously.

This waterfall is also known as the weeping face of nature.

Other attractions include the Pinnacle which is a naturally carved, free-standing rock structure.

4. Some of the world’s oldest caves are found in Blyde River Canyon

These caves are known as Echo Caves. They are some of the oldest caves in the world.

The caves are 40km into the earth and feature some underground chambers which are more than 60m in height. They are similar to Sudwala caves.

Since the stalactites in the cave make sounds when beaten and the sound can be heard outside, the caves were named Echo.

Geologists believe that the dolomite rocs are more than 380 million years old. This was when the continent of Africa was part of Gondwanaland.

The caves were used for shelter by the Pedi people. They occupied the Samson Chamber.

5. The Three Rondavels offers the best views of the Blyde River Canyon