Blyde River Canyon is the second largest canyon in Africa and the largest green canyon in the world. With all but the steepest canyon walls covered in lush green foliage, it is South Africa at its most beautiful and exotic. Incredibly rich in wildlife, the canyon is home to many species of primates. The entire gorge is protected in the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve.
Evidence of human habitation in the Blyde River Canyon can be traced back tens of thousands of years, but it was probably unknown to the outside world until the 19th century. The canyon was explored by Dutch Afrikaans in 1844. The canyon became a protected nature reserve in 1965.
Blyde River Canyon is approximately sixteen miles in length and between half a mile and a mile deep, depending on how it is being measured. Located in the Drakensberg escarpment, it was carved by the Blyde River. Some of its best known features are the Kadishi Waterfall, an immense rockfall site in the Upper Canyon, and a rock formation known as the Weeping Face that resembles a skull.
Blyde River Canyon is a very popular tourist destination, both for the canyon itself and the surrounding mountains. The area abounds with wildlife, including hippos and crocodiles, many primates and over a hundred species of birds. Access to the canyon is through the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. Web: www.nature-reserve.co.za/blyde-river-canyon-natural-preserve (official website).
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