Blyde River Canyon is a massive geological
formation in a Mpumalanga Province in South Africa. With a
length of 15 mi (24 km) and a depth of 2,640 ft (800 m) Blyde
River Canyon is
second only to the
Grand Canyon in the USA. Blyde means "happy", "joyful" or
"happy" in Afrikaans . The river was called with this name in 1844,
when an expedition of white Afrikaner peasants returned safely from
Maputo Bay , in Mozambique , after having camped on the river banks.
In the canyon of the same name , the Blyde river is reached by
numerous other waterways. For example, the Treur River joins the
Blyde near the Bourke's Luck Potholes . While the Ohrigstad river
joins the Blyde at the Blyderivierpoort dam.
Belvedere hydroelectric power station is located at the confluence
of the Blyde and Belvedere rivers. From 1911 to 1992 this power
station supplied the locality of Pilgrim's Rest with electricity.
The rivers Klein Olifants , Steelpoort and Blyde
merge into the Olifants River , which crosses the Kruger National
Park, trespassing from time to time in Mozambique, to form a large
basin at the Massingir dam. The average annual contribution of the
Blyde to the Olifants is about 436 million cubic meters of water.
Commander Andries Hendrik Potgieter undertook an
expedition in 1844 to investigate the possibility of a trade route
to Delagoa Bay (now Maputo Bay ). The wagons could not go down the
steep gorges to the lowland, and were left behind. Potgieter is
alone with a group of riders. They stayed away for so long that the
people at the wagons feared that they would perish. The river at the
camp was then called the Tear River, and the retreat was started.
After a few days, Potgieter and his riders overtook the wagons.
There was great joy and the river next to the stretch was named
A tributary is the Tear River, which joins the
Blyde at Bourke's Luck.