Not only is the Blyde River Canyon the third largest in the world, but it is also the greenest in the world. This leads to incredible artistic vista’s “painted” in a range of greens against a variety of beiges, browns and reds of the rock face behind it. The Blyde River Canyon is home to the world renown lookout points of The Lowveld Lookout and The Three Rondawels. The name the “Blyde” means the “Happy” River and was given rise in the very early pioneering days of the South African “Voortrekker”. When the trekking party, led by Louis Trichardt arrived at the escarpment face looking down at the Lowveld below them, they were unable to find a passage through this extreme geology to the lower lying regions below and thus sent out a scouting party ahead of the group to look for a potential route down into the lower lying regions.
The main part of the group remained camped out alongside a small river while the scouting party when ahead with the agreement that they would return by a certain date. When the party did not return as agreed, nor a short time thereafter, the main party then presumed that the scouting party had come across misadventures and has possibly been killed. Thus they decided to up camp and continue north on their own, however, before leaving, they named the river alongside which they were camped the “Treur” River – the “Sad” River. Not too far north, just as they were about to cross the next river they came across, the scouting party arrived back over the hills in the distance. Thus, immediately, they called this river, the “Blyde” River – The Happy River – and these names have remained to this day.