Blyde River Canyon is the most spectacular canyon in South Africa. Despite this fact, we hadn't initially planned to visit it. However, it turned out that the canyon is located on the way to the Kruger National Park so we thought: great! We could have a chance to see it. But it ended with hope only, because the nature played a prank on us and when we arrived we saw nothing but endless whiteness of the immensely thick fog. Nevertheless, this trip held a few more surprises and we didn't regret visiting the Blyde River region at all.
How to get to Blyde River Canyon
It is not that easy and straightforward to see what the Blyde River Nature Reserve has to offer by using public transport as the area is pretty wild. I would recommend that you rent a car or take a tour - this way you will be able to see all the most important viewpoints within a short time. As I mentioned above, we saw the Blyde River Canyon as a bonus - on the way back from Kruger National Park. We were lucky to find a friendly driver named Daniel who took us there at a very reasonable price. You can find his details here.
Bourke's Luck Potholes
Blyde River Canyon is a part of an amazing nature reserve of the same name. It also boasts other beautiful natural wonders. Before reaching the main canyon, we had a chance to stop at the incredible rock formations called Bourke's Luck Potholes. The surrounding scenery was quite unreal - especially the high, hills covered in thick clouds. The greenery of the grass immediately brought back memories of some Scottish countryside and it was hard to believe we were actually in South Africa. To enter the gorge, you must pass through the information center and pay a fee of around 55 ZAR (4 USD/3.50 EUR). The gorge itself isn't large but the way water carved its way through the orange rocks is impressive. There are a few bridges and trails so you can enjoy walks in the beautiful surroundings. Unfortunately, we dint have a chance to do any walks as it had already started raining quite heavily so we had to move on.
Bryde River Canyon
By the time we reached the actual canyon (we stopped at a few viewpoints), the weather had deteriorated even more and it felt like we were somewhere in Scandinavia. The fog that covered absolutely everything was accompanied by rain and strong gusts of wind. By the time we reached the first viewpoint (its free), the only thing we were able to see was the never ending whiteness. Such a disappointment. Although this stop was optional for us after all, we had to go back feeling quite unsatisfied. But there’s nothing you can do in such situations - this kind of things just happen and you won't win with the nature. However, if you have a chance, do visit both the gorge and the canyon, take a look how amazing it on a nice, sunny day.
Crazy bungee jump
Feeling a bit disappointed and unsatisfied, we headed back to Johannesburg. But our driver Daniel, decided to surprise us and stopped at the bungee jump place. As we were quite bored, we decided to go for it in order to regain the adrenaline rush. It wasn’t the usual bungee jump but a backward fall down the steep cliff while attached to a rope. It was the first time we did it and it was pretty much scary and exciting. The feeling right before the final step back is spine-chilling. And then - the fall - it feels strange not to feel anything under your feet and gain more speed while you’re falling. It seems endless and it’s extremely terrifying. But it’s something you should try once in your life! The feeling of relief after doing such an extreme thing is amazing - we were no longer bored or apathetic. This really gives you so much energy! Take a look at the YouTube video below. The scream says it all!
Author: Tom @ Adventurous Travels
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