In a ceremony proudly presented by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency on the 12th of October 2018, the MTPA are thrilled to have unveiled the much anticipated Blyde River Canyon Hiking Trails. During an official ceremony the Blyde River Canyon Hiking Trails were opened by MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Mr Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane with the event also aimed at creating awareness on the newly refurbished rustic accommodation available in the area and inviting visitors to share their experience of the recently opened trails using the hashtag #discovermpumalanga #mympumalanga.
As explained by Executive Manager for Tourism at MTPA, Mr Xolani Mthethwa, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency also hopes to encourage Tour Operators and Travel Guides to explore the trails in order to be able to put together travel packages and detailed itineraries for local and international visitors seeking adventure based tourism experiences in the province of Mpumalanga.
Self-guided and offering hiking enthusiasts the opportunity to soak up some of Mpumalanga’s most well-known and revered natural wonders native to the area, the hiking trails offer a variety of technicality, distance (time taken to complete) and activity or fitness levels required.
With the Belvedere day walk or the Waterval long trail available for outdoor excursions, the recently opened trails traverse half of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve as well as privately owned land, from Paradise Camp on the God’s Window loop road to Bourkes Luck Potholes.
Where the Belvedere day walk is estimated to take the average hiker around five hours to complete with moderate activity required, the Waterval long trail offers outdoor enthusiasts an all-encompassing hiking and camping experience taking approximately 3-days to complete and ideally suited to the experienced hiker or alternatively chaperoned by an experienced guide or tour operator.
Known as the 3rd largest canyon on earth, the Blyde River Canyon officially referred to as the Motlatse Canyon forms part of the northern Drakensburg escarpment spanning across a distance of 25 Kilometres in length. The highest point has been measured at 1,944 metres (6,378 ft.) above sea level and the lowest part of the Canyon recorded at just under 561 metres (1,841 ft.) above sea level.
Host to a number of places of interest, the Blyde River Canyon is best known for natural attractions that include:
- Three Rondavels
- Panorama Route
- God's Window
- the Pinnacle
- Bourke's Luck Potholes
Lesser known to the area, the Blyde River Canyon also features the Kadishi Tufa waterfall recorded as the second tallest tufa waterfall on earth. With its striking resemblance to a crying face, Kadishi Tufa waterfall is also referred to as the 'the weeping face of nature'.
With a variety of things to see, natural wonders to revel in and now the presentation of the recent Blyde River Canyon Hiking Trails to explore, one does not need much more motivation to plan a trip to the province of Mpumalanga. Just over 3 hours from Johannesburg and offering an abundance of landscape highlights, culture and heritage to discover, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency invites you to the place of the rising sun, start planning your trip with us now.