Berlin Falls, Mpumalanga
f you’re in the Blyde River Canyon area on the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, then don’t miss the Berlin Falls. Shaped like a huge white candle, the falls flow through a natural sluice before cascading down into a deep pool. It’s a great place for a swim followed by a picnic.
When you think South Africa, you almost certainly think big game, Kruger National Park, Cape Town and the Winelands. But there’s a surprise in store for you if you are on the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga’s Blyde River Canyon – the Berlin Falls.
DID YOU KNOW?
You’ll find proteas if you look carefully in this area. They’re a long way from where you’d usually expect to see them in and around Cape Town, but do occur here too. The Blyde protea (Protea laetens) is endemic to this area
The Berlin Falls are among a cluster of Sabie waterfalls comprising the Horseshoe, Lone Creek and Bridal Veil Falls, the Mac Mac Falls, and Mpumalanga’s highest waterfall: the 90m Lisbon Falls.
Start your waterfall tour in Sabie, work your way round the other falls, before you finally reach the Berlin Falls, not far from the spectacular viewpoints of God’s Window. The falls plunge into a deep dark green hole surrounded by rugged red cliffs, some 80m below the observation platform on which you’ll stand.
You’ll quickly see why the falls are likened to a candle. The water pours through a natural sluice in the rock, plunges straight down for a few meters (this is the candle wick), then widens into a broad torrent which falls in a straight line down to the pool (the candle itself).
Why the Berlin falls, it’s not an African name? The answer lies with the European miners who came to try their luck here in the heady days of the gold rush. They named the individual falls after towns and places in their home countries – hence the Lisbon Falls, named by the Portuguese miners, and the Berlin Falls nostalgically named by the German diggers.