A noteworthy natural trait of South Africa is Blyde River Canyon that is situated in Mpumalanga. The Blyde is a Dutch word in origin and the meaning of Blyde is “happy” or “glad”. So in simple words, the meaning of “Blyde River” is “Happy River” that was provoked by Hendrik Potgieter in 1844. With 25 km length and 750 meter depth, Blyde River Canyon makes the northern part of Drakensberg escarpment.
The level of such amazing depth can be analyzed by the fact that the altitude of Blyderivierpoort Dam is 665 meters even at the time when completely filled with water. The major part of Canyon comprises red sandstone. Mariepskop is the uppermost point of the canyon that has altitude 1,944 meters above sea level. On the other hand, the lowest point of Blyde River Canyon is situated at the height of 561 meters above sea level and this is the point where the river leaves the canyon.
The honors of Blyde River Canyon include the world’s largest ‘green canyon’ owing to its verdant subtropical flora. Moreover, it is one of the prime canyons of globe with respect to area with the specialty of containing world’s deepest steep cliffs of any canyon. In the continent of Africa, there is only one canyon that is larger than this and the name of that canyon is “Fish River”. Thanks to all these tributes, Blyde River Canyon has been included among world’s greatest natural wonders. No doubt, the entire beauty of Blyde River Canyon is matchless, but “Three Rondavels” makes the best view among all the attractions of this beautiful site. Being the division of Panorama route that begins at the town Graskop and includes God’s Window, the canyon goes up till Pinnacleand Bourke’s Luck Potholes.
Like all other canyon, Blyde River canyon provides best space and environment for growth of wide range of flora and fauna. This canyon is famous for various unique fish species in addition to Hippos and Crocodiles. Some very rare animal species such as Vervet Monkeys and Samango Monkeys are the part of this community. Similarly, the diverse range of bird species makes the environment of Blyde River Canyon just striking and attractive for the tourists. Some unique bird species comprise Narina Trogon, Cape Vulture, Crowned Eagle, Black Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, African Fish Eagle, Gymnogene, Whitebacked Vulture, African Finfoot, Bald Ibis, Purple-crested Lourie, Knysna Lourie, Malachite Sunbird, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Emerald Cuckoo, Cinnamon Dove, Golden-tailed Woodpecker and Red-backed Mannikin.
Another remarkable attraction of Blyde River canyon is the Kadishi Tufa waterfall that is 200 meters high and ranked second among all worlds’ tallest tufa waterfalls. Here it is necessary to understand the difference between tufa and common rainfalls. The formation of tufa waterfall resulted in the response of the reaction of water with calcium when running over dolomite rock. The most interesting myth about Kadishi Tufa fall is its formation that markedly looks like a crying face and is therefore sometimes recognized as ‘the weeping face of nature’.