Blyde River Canyon

Blyde River Canyon, Pilgrims Rest & the Sabie waterfalls lie in the Drakensberg escarpment close to the Kruger and offers welcome relaxation after the excitement of your safari.


The Blyde River Canyon region is our name for the beautiful mountainous escarpment close to the Kruger National Park. It encompasses the Blyde River Canyon, waterfalls and walking trails of Sabie and Graskop. Plus the various excursions and adventure activities around Hazyview.

So this beautiful area is ideal for a couple of days of relaxation after the excitement of your Kruger safari. Alternatively it acts as a relaxing break between two safari regions, as it is only 1-2 hours drive from the Kruger National Park. Plus only 3-4 hours from Johannesburg. Several convivial country lodges offer excellent cuisine and stunning settings.

The Blyde River Canyon itself is a majestic red sandstone gorge with sheer cliffs. Plunging 1000 metres into the river below; it is nothing less than magnificent. And the well-known ‘panorama route’ is the scenic drive alongside the canyon. The route visits various viewpoints such as God’s Window, the Three Rondavels, Lisbon and Berlin waterfalls. Plus the interesting Bourne Luck potholes. In fact the canyon is the third largest river-formed canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.

helicopter over Blyde River Canyon

Here you'll find a host of walking trails, connecting the many waterfalls. Whilst between Hazyview & Sabie, there are a host of soft adventure activities on offer. These include a Treetop ziplining experience, quad biking, abseiling and some canyoning experiences. But the latter is in late summer season only, due to water levels.


Why you may love it

  • Fantastic view points and Bourke’s Luck Potholes
  • Walks to the attractive Bridal Veil Falls and Lone Creek Falls
  • Hot air ballooning at dawn
  • Visit the Elephant Sanctuary for an educational interaction with these majestic animals
  • Graskop Gorge Lift to explore the Afromontane forest of the canyon
  • Ziplines and abseiling in the forest
  • Quad bike trails

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Chestnut Country Lodge review

I had forgotten how good the views are from Chestnut Lodge. It has an attractive setting being away from busy town of Hazyview. And yet within easy driving distance to its restaurants, shops and activities. It will suit someone who wants a quiet country atmosphere. (It could be too quiet in the low season?)

Rooms have been upgraded and I am now happy with both the standard and luxury rooms. It is still modest accommodation but the setting is excellent and the hosts are friendly. The swimming pool has now been moved to away from the main deck so it is nicer and more secluded. Their standard rooms don't have air-conditioning but the luxury rooms do, so we would opt for the luxury rooms in summer. Otherwise I didnt really have a preference between the rooms. The luxury rooms can accommodate a third person (such as a child or a teenager) which is useful.

Dinner are on offer every evening so you don't need to drive at night. Their access road doesn’t get graded very often, but it actually wasn’t that bad (and this was after rain.)

Cedarberg : Natasha Jantjies
Did you know
  • GeographySecond largest canyon in Africa
  • LandscapeLargest 'green canyon' due to the lush subtropical foliage