There are few places in South Africa where you will enjoy more dramatic scenery while barely leaving your vehicle. But don’t leave your vehicle and you will neglect experiencing the abundance of  activities available in the Blyde River Canyon area. 

Thaba Tsweni Lodge meaning the Mountain of the Baboon, is centrally located to all the attractions within the Blyde River Canyon. Attractions in the area will now be described in more detail:

Please click on the highlighted tab to get more information and rates on Tours to the Blyde River Canyon and Kruger National Park at: WILD ADVENTURES and BLYDE RIVER SAFARIS conducted by Wendel HOUGH

The Panorama Route.

The Panorama Route is a self drive day excursion, where from leaving Thaba Tsweni Lodge and heading north on the R532 road, you will be able to visit attractions such as the Pinnacle Rock, Gods Window, the Gods Window tropical rainforest, Bourke’s  Luck  Potholes, Blyde River, Pilgrims Rest , Graskop, the Lisbon and Berlyn Waterfalls. This is an interesting drive where you will be able to have lunch at the Bourke’s luck Potholes and supper at Pilgrims Rest, on the way back to the Thaba Tsweni Lodge.

Geological and Archaeological Tour.

Another outing is to drive in a northerly direction from Thaba Tsweni Lodge, past the Bourke’s Luck Potholes to the Three Rondavel lookout point, which gives you wonderful views of how the Blyde River Canyon was formed. From here you travel in the direction of the town, Ohrigstad. When you reach the R36, turn left in direction of  Ohrigstad, then when you reach the R533 turn left towards Pilgrims Rest, where you can have a great supper at the Royal Hotel on your way back to Thaba Tsweni Lodge.

Wildlife Excursions and The Kruger National Park.

Thaba Tsweni Lodge is your perfect base for day excursions to the Kruger National Park and other wildlife reserves and rehabilitation centres.

The Lodge is only 45min away from the Phabeni Entrance Gate to the Kruger National Park. Spend your day in the southern section of the park, having lunch either at Lower Sabie or Skukuza Camps, and returning in the evening to the lodge.

Or alternatively drive north to Tshukudu Game Lodge or other private reserves for the day. Tshukudu Game Lodge is a ‘Big Five’ nature reserve where a full day itinerary is available. You would need to stay for 1 night at either Tshukudu Game Lodge or Tshukudu Bush Camp, to enjoy the early morning nature walk, led by experienced rangers and accompanied by some orphaned animals when available. On return from the walk, a hearty breakfast is served when staying at the lodge, and at 09h00 there is a game drive till lunchtime at 12h30. A leisurely drive along the Blyde River Canyon  will take you back to Thaba Tsweni Lodge.       

Boating Excursions.

The Blyde Dam, is situated at the base of the Blyde River Canyon, providing a beautiful nature experience by boat. It is a great place to view the canyon from below, as well as visit the Kadishi Tufa Waterfall. This trip can be incorporated into a day excursion, by travelling through the Blyde River Canyon on the way to the Moholoholo raptor rehabilitation centre. After this great experience you can have lunch at the Eden Tea Garden near the town of Kampersrus. Once you have had lunch, you will be able to join the boat cruise and visit the Natural History Museum situated at the dam. After you have been relaxed, inspired and educated by the experience, you can take a slow drive back to Thaba Tsweni Lodge. 

Scuba Diving.

What scuba diving in a mountain escarpment and the third biggest canyon in the world?

Yes, you heard correct, there are a few dive sites in the Blyde River canyon area for the adventurous diver. Names of the sites are the Heddle River, Sabie hole, and Nkomati Springs. These sites will give a high altitude diving experience. Thaba Tsweni Lodge is fully equipped for your diving needs, even dive training with NAUI, if given prior notice. Dive safaris to Sodwana Bay and Mozambique can be arranged.

Mountain Bike Trails

For those with a lot of energy, three trails in the area of the Blyde River canyon are available. These trails can be done on your own or guided by a professional field guide, for a greater ecological experience.

River Rafting and Kloofing.

If you have adrenalin in your veins, river-rafting is your game. There are four navigable rivers for river rafting in the area of the Blyde River Canyon. The rivers are the Sabie River, Blyde River, Olifants River and the Crocodile River. All rafting is run by professional organizations, which cater for all ages and level of experience.

Thaba Tsweni Lodge is centrally located to do any of these activities from.


South Africa boasts some of Africa’s most pristine wilderness hikes and long distance walking trails. The Blyde River Canyon area provides you with the opportunity to do some of these hikes.

Hiking trails such as the Prospectors trail, the Blyde River Canyon hiking trail, the Lourie trail, the Secretary Bird trail, Jock Of The Bushveld trail, the Guinea fowl trail, the Leopard trail and the Kadishi –Tufa trail are just waiting for you to walk!

Thaba Tsweni Lodge is the perfect base to overnight at when starting or ending any of these trails, your vehicle will be kept in secure parking at the lodge during the duration of the hike. Transfers to and from the trail can be done by the Lodge, on request, at a nominal fee. We will even be happy to reserve your place on any of the hikes in our local area, the Blyde River Canyon, with prior arrangement. 

4x4 Trails.

The Blyde River Canyon and the Mpumalanga Escarpment provides the opportunity  to do some exiting 4x4 trails, two of the most popular trails are the MacMac Summit Route and the Riverwild 4x4 Trail.

The MacMac Summit Route, has been nominated as one of the top 10 trails in South Africa, by the Drive Out Magazine. It is a one to five day self-drive trail, and Thaba Tsweni lodge provides you with the perfect base to participate in this and other trails.

Bookings for these trails can be done through Thaba Tsweni lodge directly. 

Other Adventure Activities.

There are many other adventure activities for the bold to participate in, in the Blyde River Canyon area, and some of them are:

* Horseback trails in the Blyde River Canyon and the Kruger Park environment.

* Microlight and helicopter flights over the Blyde River Canyon.

* Abseiling and Rock climbing.

* Bungee Jumping in the Graskop Gorge.

* Hot-Air Balloon safaris.

* Birding in Blyde River Canyon, Graskop grasslands, MacMac escarpment,

    Drakensberg escarpment and rain forest as well as the Misty mountains heritage

    site, is abundant. Very rare birds such as the Taita Falcon, the Blue Swallow and

    Narina Trogon are present in this area.

* Trout fishing is available in the Blyde and Sabie Rivers, as well as many trout dams

    in the area. 

All these activities can be arranged for you directly from Thaba Tsweni Lodge.