I stood on my tippy toes at the edge of the world. My eyes tried to pierce the haze to catch sight of the Indian Ocean beyond Mozambique. I am perched at God’s Window, approximately 1 730m above sea level. The precipice is part of the very eastern Drakensberg Mountain range that forms part of the plateau in central South Africa.
The geography nut in me went wild. I get excited about geomorphology – the formation of landscapes. My research indicates that this escarpment forms part of the Drakensberg Mountain range. This spectacular view of the lowveld belongs to the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. This canyon drops 700m from the Wonder View into a 33km long canyon, carved by millions of years of weathering.
The view from there was magical. Indigenous plants twisted down the ravine, all scrambling for some sunlight. Everything was dressed in blue. In the distance, I could see the lowveld fire still burning. The smoke rose straight up.
I had a lot of fun exploring this part of the world. The landscape was vastly different. As we drove here, we ventured from open grasslands to pine and bluegum plantations. As we drove out of Graskop towards God’s Window, we saw rock gardens decorated with the most vibrant aloe plants. They spiced up the view landscape.
Now we were happily perched with one of the best views I have ever seen.
Up here near God’s Window, the terrain changed again. We struck up along the Rain Forest trail. It twisted into a thick jungle near the top. The temperature dropped as we entered. Sunlight filtered through the canopy and a hush fell over the group.
We followed the wooden bridge until we eventually emerged into the midday sun. As we broke out of the thick, we were greeted by a grassy mountaintop. A panoramic view opened up on all sides. In the distance, I could see the spines of more mountains.
The mountain top was peppered with rocky outcrops and bright orange aloe flowers. The contrast was exceedingly bright next to the ever-present blue haze hanging on the horizon.
The walk up was refreshing, and rewarding. I was in awe of the world. This was my first trip this far east, and I was in love. My feet itched to run through the grasslands and touch the horizon in the distance, but that would have to wait until next time. We turned back to descend along the route we came – very happy with our day.