A river flowing through a forest with dramatic mountain in the background at the Blyde Nature reserve.

©Rich Townsend/Getty Images

Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve

Top choice in Blyde River Canyon

This stunning 260-sq-km reserve centres on the 30km-long Blyde River Canyon, where epic rock formations tower above the forested slopes and eagle-eye views abound at the dramatic meeting of the Drakensberg Escarpment and the lowveld. It's one of the world's largest canyons and one of South Africa’s most outstanding natural sights.

Most visitors drive along the canyon’s edge, where Rte 532 offers plenty of viewpoints for gazing in awe. If you have enough time, however, the canyon is even better explored on foot.

There are separate entrance fees for each attraction within the reserve.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Blyde River Canyon attractions

1. Lowveld Viewpoint

1.34 MILES

Affords stunning views up the canyon, to the glistening Blydepoort Dam at the far end surrounded by forested slopes. The rocky cones of the Three…

2. Bourke’s Luck Potholes


These bizarre cylindrical holes were carved into the rock by whirlpools at the confluence of the Blyde and Treur Rivers. Bridges span the rivers,…

3. Three Rondavels Viewpoint

3.76 MILES

The area's highlight, with a staggering view of these enormous rounds of rock, their pointed, grassy tops resembling giant huts carved into the side of…

4. Echo Caves

14.57 MILES

Stone Age relics have been found in these caves, which were discovered in 1923 and named after dripstone formations that echo when tapped. The one-hour…

5. Berlin Falls

15.37 MILES

Crashing down the cliffs, this waterfall is at its most impressive in summer (October to March), when there is most water.

6. Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

16.29 MILES

A few clicks south of Hoedspruit along the R40 and attached to the Kapama Private Game Reserve, the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre was set up to…

7. Lisbon Falls

16.47 MILES

This waterfall is a highlight of the Blyde River Canyon area, especially in summer (October to March), when the water flows hardest.

8. Wonder View

17.54 MILES

A viewpoint offering amazing vistas of the lowveld far below.