Lowveld

Sudwala Caves

The Sudwala caves are of the same kind as the famous cango caves in the little Karoo. The caves have been dated back to about 2000 million years because the ceiling holds fossilised colonies of the algae colonial that were the earliest life forms in southern Africa that converted water to oxygen paving the way for higher life forms. The caves are extensive with the tallest stalactites being 11m tall and 7m in circumferences. In newly chartered chambers, brilliant, untainted and coloured stalactites and stalagmites house halls found kilometres into the mountain and some of the halls measure up to 90m x 45m. The temperature in the caves remains a constant 18`c the caves were known by prehistoric man as used at intervals by any people living in the vicinity.

 

Echo Caves

Ancient and prehistoric, the echo caves are so named because echoes are heard when gently tapping the illuminated crystals. The cave open to the public is about 100m long and 45m high with its illuminated and colourful stalactites and stalagmites. Deeper caves are not open to the public and are inhabited to millions of bats. A little museum located in a San rock shelter exhibits the ancient and prehistoric relics of times long passed.

 

Blyde Sabie Escarpment

The Blyde River runs the length of one the most spectacular canyons of Africa.  From Graskop to the Abel Erasmus Pass is some 30km of breath-taking vistas, waterfalls, forests and wildlife.

Graskop

Picturesque, it is now a little town that supports the forestry industry  on the escarpment, but it began as a gold mining ton in the 1850s. Its reputation now is the pancake town of the province.

Mac mac falls

Although these twin falls are south of the Graskop they are an amazing sight falling 65m in lush vegetation, many daring, adventurous activities are available here.

Lisbon falls:

Although these falls do not have spectacular height their setting and beauty are a true sight to behold.

Bourke’s luck potholes

Sculpted by water over thousands of years, these unusual, pothole shaped rocks along the Blyde rivers course make for the most remarkable geological phenomenon in the country. A small museum explains these geological phenomenon as well the fauna and flora in the area.

God’s window

It is said that on a clear day one can see all the way to Mozambique. The view from the top of the escarpment is indeed breath-taking. There is a short trail to amble along with many openings onto views of the Lowveld at ones feet. The trail takes one through virgin forest and local indigenous vegetation.

Three Rondawels

At the end of the escarpment, rising between 600m and 800m from the river bed, the canyon is dominated by three rondawels. Like Promontories reminiscent of the three sisters in the great Karoo.  In the river below a dam was constructed. Its wall 72m high, gives the dam a capacity of 54 million m3 cubic meters. The reserve that surrounds the dam houses all three Loeries (touraco) found in the country.

 

Abel Erasmus Pass

He Abel Erasmus pass is about 11km long and falls from the escarpment into the Lowveld where climate, vegetation and geological phenomenon are in stark contrast from one another.

Dullstroom

Dullstroom is picturesque and known for its trout fishing. Being at such a high altitude (2076m) it is known at the coldest place in South Africa and as such has unique fauna and flora.

Lydenburg

Lydenburg has a long intimate history of the then Transvaal Republic and has developed into a significant town due to both agricultural and mining activity including alluvial gold. The town still looks and maintains and old “town feel” full of its many historic buildings prominent n its streets.

 

Long tom Pass

Long tom pass is a beautiful, windy pass that links Lydenburg on the Drakensberg with Sabie on the escarpment. The Current Long tom pass follows the old wagon route taken in the late 1800’s that linked Lydenburg with Delagoa Bay in Mozambique. Signs posted along the pass are evidence of the hardships experienced by the wagoner’s while negotiating such a steep pass.