South Africa – 4 – Drakensberg

November 25th, 2007

After the Kruger National Park, we headed to the Drakensberg Escarpment and the Blyde River Canyon.  This is the third largest canyon on the world, after the Grand Canyon and I am not sure who is in second place – I am also no sure how they classified these…but that is what the good book says (the ‘good book’ is the Lonely Planet Guide – only way to travel for me).

We approached the escarpment from the bottom, also the best way to do this as we got to see the majesty of the mountains rising from the plains.  No good photo opportunities, unfortunately (the weather was not good at all) so you will just have to imagine, or go there yourselves.

Once on the top, we stopped to take a look at the canyon – it was worth the view

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A little further, the locals had named these formations the three dowels

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As you can see from these pictures, the weather had not improved going up the mountain, but the low clouds do provide a certain dimension to the pictures that might be missing otherwise.

We stopped for a ‘group’ photo at all the appropriate spots – you may notice that the temperature is a little lower as well.  I was glad I had packed a few sweaters.

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Before entering the canyon, the Drakensberg River and many other drop down numerous waterfalls which are one of the claims to fame of this region.

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In one area, the water has eroded circular patterns in the rock that are called the Drakensberg Potholes – I would not want to drive down a road with these in it.

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As we were driving along, we noticed a ‘tourist’ sign pointing towards the “Wonder View” – we decided to explore.  I think I know where the name comes from, as I still wonder what the view looks like – even though we were right at the edge of the mountain, we were totally enclosed by clouds and so we could not see a darn thing (I thought about posting a plain white shot, which is what we saw, but decided against it).

A little further, however, we got luckier at “God’s Window” (Who comes up with these???)

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The clouds were lifting just enough to disappear and we never saw the view below but had spectacular views of the cliffs

We stopped in Graskop for the night – we almost did not find a suitable place as it was a Saturday evening, so we had to settle with a small cottage just outside of town with this view from the back porch.

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On the side, there was a waterfall that reflected the sun just right to give us a beautiful rainbow

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After we had secured a place for the night, we went to look at a few more waterfalls such as the ‘Bridal’s Veil’ here

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Julie and Georgia were happy…

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The next day, we had to get up early to drive back to Johannesburg for a 3PM flight – We were lucky to catch the sunrise from our cottage.

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It is on to Frenschhoek and Cape Town for the last two installments of this trip.

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One Response to “South Africa – 4 – Drakensberg”

  1. Lou Georgiadeson 25 Nov 2007 at 08:09

    Greetings from Houston Pierre
    Another set of great pictures
    Largest Canyons in the world should read longest: 440, 141, 25km for Grand Canyon, Namibia Fish River Canyon in Africa and Blyde River Canyon respectivley. I don’t remember the depth of each, but that’s another story.

    Keep it going friend.
    Big Lou

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