On Monday, we had a long travel day from Kruger to Johannesburg. It was a long driving day, just to get positioned for our next major destination at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This is just a brief post as we were travelling for most of the day with just a few stops.
We left Lion Sands Lodge early at 7.15 am and travelled in our safari vehicles to meet our coach on the main road. The road was too rough and narrow for the coach to be able to use. Our local guide and driver had been staying in a nearby town while we were at Lion Sands.
For the first part of the day, we traveled through a mountainous region with forests and enormous plantations. By mid-morning, we were at a rest stop for a scenic view of the Blyde River Canyon. We had a very impressive view from a lookout along a little walk-way.
The Blyde River Canyon is a significant natural feature of that forms the northern part of the Drakensberg escarpment. It is 25 kilometres in length and is, on average, around 750 metres deep. The canyon consists mostly of red sandstone. While it is difficult to compare canyons world-wide, the Blyde River Canyon is one of the largest canyons on Earth. The view below is taken from a lookout called ‘God’s Window’.
As usual, in the parking area, there was little market selling local handicrafts. It seems that local people across South Africa eke out a living selling goods in markets like this.
Some kilometres further on, we stopped at another scenic site at Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Potholes are caused when a rock in a river is spun around like a spin-drier in the water. It grinds into the rock in a circular fashion and a ‘pot hole’ then forms. At this site, they were quite amazing, measuring several metres in diameter and just about as deep. A track took us from the car park to the narrow gorge in which these pot holes had formed. They were quite spectacular.
We stopped in another little town for a bite to eat and then continued to Johannesburg. The country became flatter. At first it was used for grazing but d by the end of the day, we found ourselves in an industrial area with large coal mines and huge power stations. Our final few kilometres into Johannesburg were in bumper to bumper traffic.
By 5.30 pm, we had reached our hotel (Emporer’s Palace) which is part of the large casino complex near the airport. This was convenient to the airport for our flights to Victoria Falls on the following morning.
Food in South Africa is cheap by comparison to Australia because of the very good exchange rate that we enjoy. Jill and I shouted ourselves to a lovely meal of Chateau Briand wh a couple of glasses of nice wine and the bill only came to $70 (Aud). We were in bed very soon after dinner after an early start and in anticipation of another early day to catch a morning flight to Victoria Falls.