The Dragon Mountains – Drakensberg Escarpment

After reading descriptions like “South Africa’s most striking landscape” [Lonely Planet] and “This is gob-smacking, lip-licking, eye-boggling, bewitching territory” [Coast to Coast], we were expecting jaw-dropping views. But driving into the Drakensberg Escarpment, we just saw “nice” panoramic views, “cute” waterfalls, and really nothing to write a blog about.

I was egging Eduardo on –“Look how pretty!”, but he was expressively as unimpressed as I was feeling. It seemed crazy that we had planned a whole day’s driving based on this tourist-trap with names like “God’s Window” and “Wonderview”, each charging a hefty $1 entrance fee.


The most impressive thing on the way seemed to be the state of the roads – they are as well kept as any good European or US roads. It has been very hard to really understand that we are in Africa, not to mention in a so-called “third world country”.

Once we reached Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, both of us agreed that it would be a waste of time and money to visit, so we drove on.

Minutes later, a true God’s window opened up before us, with sky-high chiseled cliffs protruding in blue, across from a (free) viewing platform.

There are very few places in the world that have truly taken my breath away, that are so painfully beautiful they bring tears to my eyes. This was one of them.

Blyde River Valley is worth the drive. Definitely. Even though Eduardo was still (expressively, not truly) unimpressed.




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