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The Blyde River Canyon is a famous nature reserve, popular with tourists visiting the Kruger National Park and its surroundings. The reserve protects the Blyde River Canyon, including sections of the Ohrigstad and Blyde Rivers and the geological formations around Bourke's Luck Potholes, where the Treur River tumbles into the Blyde below. Southwards of the canyon, the reserve follows the escarpment, to include the Devil's and God's Window, the latter a popular viewpoint to the lowveld at the reserve's southern extremity.



The Blyde River Canyon is one of the largest canyons worldwide.



Driving on the highway between the attractions is free. Most of the points of interest charge an entrance fee, as detailed in the See section below.

Get in

Map of Blyde River Canyon

It is located along the R532 and R534 highways (locally known as the Panorama Route) and is easily accessible from the Kruger National Park and the towns of Graskop, Sabie and Mbombela.

If you come from Johannesburg, treat yourself with a drive through Belfast, Dullstroom, Lydenburg and Pilgrim's Rest en route to Graskop. If possible, spend the night in one of the hotels, lodges, or campsites on the escarpment and devote a day to exploring the whole Panorama Route.

Get around



The Three Rondavels.
Bourkes Luck Potholes

The main highlight is the canyon itself, but there are also waterfalls, landmarks and several viewpoints, the best-known is the Three Rondavels/Three Sisters.

The Blyde River Canyon

  • 1 Bourkes Luck Potholes, R532, Moremela (about 35 km north of Graskop), +27 13 769 8926. 7AM-5PM. Potholes and rock formations carved from the rock by water action at the confluence of the Blyde and Treue rivers. There's a small museum that explores the local wildlife and geology of the canyon and walking trails to the rock formations. The potholes are named after a miner called Tom Bourke, who found a bit of gold here, but never got rich as the gold seam was located a short distance to the south of his claim. You may also see some local birds. R65/R25 (adult/child), R130 for international visitors.
  • 2 Lowveld View, R532 (between Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels). 8AM-4PM. View point looking out at the Blyde River Canyon, the Blyde River dam and the Lowveld Free.
  • 3 Three Rondavels Viewpoint, R532, Matibidi (about 53 km north of Graskop). 7AM-5PM. View point over the Blyde River Canyon to the Three Rondavels rock formations. The walls and domed peaks look like three traditional huts overlooking the canyon. R35/R20 (adult/child).

The Escarpment near Graskop


South of the canyon, the park extends along the Drakensberg escarpment. Near Graskop, there are some well-known landmarks and viewpoints within the park. On the other side of the highway, just outside the park, are the Lisbon and Berlin waterfalls.

  • 4 Berlin Falls, Berlin Falls Rd (from R532, head west on Berlin Falls Rd for about 2 km to the parking area on the left side of the road). A short walk from the parking lot leads to several viewpoints of the falls. R15.
  • 5 God's Window, R534 (about 9 km north of Graslop). 7AM-5PM. A very pleasant lookout with views of the escarpment, a forested valley and onto the lowveld and Kruger National Park. There's also a trail that leads up along the ridge through the rainforest that is able to grow at the top of the escarpment. R30/R15 (adult/child), R40 for international visitors.
  • 6 Lisbon Falls, end of Lisbon Falls Rd (2.2 km west of R532). The lookout point at the top gives views of the Lisbon River as it tumbles 92 m into the gorge below. R15.
  • 7 The Pinnacle, R534 (about 3 km north of Graskop). 7AM-5PM. A 30m high outcrop of quartzite rock rising above the forested valley. There's a short walk to a viewing platform. R20/R15 (adult/child).
  • 8 Wonder View, R534 (about 2 km north of God's Window). 7AM-5PM. The highest viewpoint on the road (1,730 m) with views of the Lowveld and escarpment. Free.



There are hiking trails in the nature reserve and horse riding is a possibility, but most people seem to drive through it on their way to or from game reserves like Kruger National Park.

Drive the panorama route to see all the geological features such as God's Window, the Pinnacle and the many waterfalls.

  • Viva Safaris, Hoedspruit, Limpopo, +27 71 842 5547, . Accredited safari tour operator offering tours to the Kruger National Park and surrounds including scenic highlights of Blyde River Canyon and the Three Rondawels.



Many locals sell artwork here, ranging from those famous wooden giraffes to knobbly paper made from elephant dung. Prices are higher at more frequented sites and lower at spots off the main stream.



The cafe at Bourkes Luck Potholes has drinks and quick meals/takeaways.

There are restaurants in Graskop and Pilgrim's Rest.




  • 1 Blyde Canyon, A Forever Resort (21 km from the R36 on the R532), +27 86 122-6966, . Mix of accommodation types with one and two bedroom chalets, tents, campsites with electrical hookups and hostel/dorm beds. Amenities include cold swimming pool, convenience store, hiking trails, horse rides, Kadisi Bar, Kadisi Restaurant, liquor store, petrol station, putt-putt, tennis courts (floodlit), trampolines, volleyball. Standard rates are R1455-R1765 for one bedroom, R2060-R3575 for two bedroom and R870-R1220 for tents. Prices may be 25% higher during peak holiday periods (Christmas/New Year's and Easter). Campsites are R225-R290 for the site plus R85-R120 per person. Conservation fee of R5 per person per night not included.
  • 2 Joy River Backpackers, Stand C357, Moremela, +27 64 616 5245. Accommodation in a couple of old stone cottages and a traditional-style round house. One building has mixed dorm bunk beds and the other two can be rented privately. Each building has a fridge and there is communal kitchen facilities. Tent camping sites are also available. R250-R700, R150 for camping.

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