Bourke’s Luck Potholes
Bourke’s Luck Potholes are rock formations formed by erosion centuries ago. They are located 35 km north of Graskop and you have to take a walk on paths and bridges of about 700 meters (five minutes) to see this natural “wishing well”.
The bizarre cylinder-shaped holes were created by millions of years of water flow, in rapid circular movements, resulting from the confluence of the Treur and Blyde rivers. The churning water, together with sand and pebbles, has cut the rocks, creating a beautiful natural work of art.
The ravine in which these holes are located is about 30 meters deep, but the holes themselves are about 6 meters deep. The area is named after Tom Bourke, who ironically never had any luck while searching for gold here, but predicted that large amounts of gold would be found in this area.
Two hiking routes leave from the main building: the Bourke’s Luck Potholes Interpretive Trail and the Bushman Nature trail.
By the name alone, you can imagine that this is one of the most spectacular places in South Africa in terms of breathtaking views. And standing here you will understand why it is called “God’s window.”
The viewpoints are on the edge of a slope from where you can have a look at the so-called Lowveld (Lowveld), which is 800 meters lower. A view that never seems to end; hills and forests as far as the eye can see (in clear weather!)
The Three Rondavels are the most northerly landmark of the Panorama Route, about 50 km north of Graskop. They are three rocks rising from the far side of the Blyde River Canyon. The word Rondawel in South African is a reference to the round traditional huts with a thatched roof.
These “rock huts” tower 700 meters above the surrounding landscape.
The three rocks are also affectionately known as Three Sisters or sometimes referred to as The Chief and Three Wives.
The special shape of these rocks was caused because wind and water have worn off the soft part of the rock and the inner hard part (quartz) is left. The river that flows through this gorge, Blyde River, got its name from the Dutch word “happy”. In all likelihood, the Voortrekkers (originally Dutch colonists) had a good time along this river.
Many birds and animals live in this area, including monkeys, antelopes and eagles.
As you have a better view in drier weather conditions, the best time to visit the Three Rondavels is between October and March (less chance of rain and fog).