The Blyde River Canyon, officially the Motlatse Canyon, is just one of the highlights to be found in the veritable treasure trove that is Mpumalanga’s Panorama Route.
The Canyon adjoins the northern region of the Drakensberg Escarpment. At 25km in length and a dizzying depth of 750m at parts, it’s one of the largest canyons on earth. It’s also thought to be the largest “green” canyon in the world, thanks to the incredibly lush subtropical foliage that carpets its mountains and valleys.
Road trippers, nature lovers and keen photographers make the journey to uncover the natural beauty hidden along the 16km of the canyon that can be accessed along the R534. Detour onto the R532 to tick off all the major viewpoints and top off the experience with game viewing in the Kruger Park, which lies just 70km away.
The best time to visit and enjoy a Kruger safari is in the winter months. The drier weather means less mist and a better chance of securing those picture-perfect clear views.
It’s about a six-hour drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria to the “start” of the Canyon. For a shorter drive, fly into Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and make the three-hour drive to the Canyon.
While almost every bend driving the Panorama Route reveals a new breathtaking view, there are a few must-see natural highlights dotted along the way. These include the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels, Pinnacle Rock and God’s Window viewpoints. Dotted between and amongst, there are waterfalls, secret swimming spots and many lush forests inviting exploration.
The Blyde River Canyon is undoubtedly one of the world’s most scenic road trip destinations. Fill up the tank with petrol, pack the cooler box with padkos and get ready to be wowed.
What to do in the Blyde River Canyon
While the main attraction of the Blyde River Canyon is centred around the area’s unique, quirky and panoramic views, experience-seekers will delight in the array of activities, helped along by the human imagination, to soak up the surroundings from a different perspective.
Where to stay in the Blyde River Canyon
Where to eat in the Blyde River Canyon