Blyde National Park To Be Declared In September
Update on the Blyde National Park.
Did You Know?The Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon in America and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.
- It is up to 1,000 metres deep and five kilometres wide.
- About 500,000 people visit the Blyde River Canyon areaevery year.
- The canyon forms part of the Wolkberg centre of endemism, and many of the plants growing in the canyon grow nowhere else on earth. The area is thought to contain the richest combination of plants and animals in southern Africa.
- Some of the plants on the escarpment are related to the fynbos in the Cape.
- The sub-tropical mist belt forests that occur on the mountain are some of the best specimens in the whole of South Africa.
- Mariepskop alone hosts more than 1,400 plant species, and the greater area has some 2,000 species - more than the entire Kruger National Park. Of these, 163 species are threatened with extinction and listed in the Red Data plant book.
- The planned national park will have representatives of 75 percent of all bird species, 80 percent of all raptor species and 72 percent of all the mammals found in South Africa.
- There are more than 100 different mammal species in the park, including more than 20 types of carnivores, such as leopard, caracal and serval.
- There are at least 335 bird species in the park
- 94 reptile species and 34 amphibian species occur there, including some of the rarest frogs in the country.
- Many of the 33 fish species that occur in the river are on the verge of extinction
- More than 200 species of butterfly and almost 70 species of spider have been recorded in the area.
- Alien plants pose one of the biggest threats to the area's biodiversity.
- The Sand River, which rises in the national park, supplies water to no less than 420,000 people, and is a tributary of the Sabie River that runs through Kruger.