Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga
This 30 kilometer, three day trail, traverses half of the blyde river canyon nature reserve as well as privately owned land, from the misty heights of graskop to the bourke’s luck potholes. Although the route tends to follow the contour lines, the terrain is mountainous at times and a responsible degree of fitness is required. The route is marked by yellow footprints, painted onto rocks.
Paradise camp to Watervalspruit hut
Starting at paradise camp, on the gods window loop road outside the town of graskop, the route takes you through montane grassland past weathered quartzize rocks into the little watervalspruit valley and onto the watervalspruit hut which is 3 km from paradise camp.
Watervalspruit hut to Clearstream hut
On the second day, the trail takes you 13,5km through a landscape of strangely sculptured rocks brightly coloured with lichens, into the treur river valley. Skirting ravines and patches of indigenous forest – you emerge at the clearstream hut.
Clearstream hut to Old Mine hut
This 13,6km stretch of the trail leaves the blyde river canyon nature reserve just beyond clearstream to follow the treur river past the new chum falls. On this section, the trail passes a spot where the wagons of the great trek reconnaissance party were believed to have camped. The trail re-enters the nature reserve just before the bourkes luck potholes, which marks the confluence of the treur and blyde rivers and the start of the blyde river canyon. Walking through the bourkes luck complex, one finds the old mine hut, a one time housing site of the miners.
The trail is closed from bourke’s luck potholes to swadini and no hikers are permitted on this section.
What to take
Weather conditions are variable with frequent rain and mist during the summer months, with chilly mornings and evenings in winter. For this reason, it is advisable to carry enough warm clothing as well as a lightweight raincoat. Good hiking boots, a hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent (summer only) are essential. Clothing or backpacks should be brightly coloured in order that your group can keep sight of each other in misty conditions.
All food, cooking utensils, lighting, bedding (sleeping bags) and toiletries (including toilet paper) must be carried with you. It is essential that you carry sufficient water with you on the trail especially in the hot summer months.
The huts have 15 steel frame bunk beds with mattresses, flushing toilets, barbeque sites, pots, kettles, and firewood is supplied at an extra minimal cost.
Parking and transportation
- You can park your car at bourke’s luck potholes and in terms of transportation to take you to the starting point which is at paradise camp, there is a taxi rank and they charge r30.00 per person to transport you to the starting point and is about 500 metre from the reception to the rank please ask for assistant at the reception and also on complition of your hiking trail you can report to collect your car at the reception.
- Vehicles are parked at own risk
- Injured hikers who leave the trail will not be permitted back on the trail without a written doctor’s note
- The terms and conditions which are sent to you with your reservation advice form, are to be always adhered to.
- No vehicles are permitted at the huts for any reason whatsoever
- In case of medical emergencies, contact must be made with the hut attendants, they are in possession of radio communication and can summon help. Costs incurred will be borne by the injured parties.
- R500.00 pp.pn – Adult
- R300.00 pp.pn – U/12
- R55.00 once off per reservation.