The Bourke’s Luck Potholes are without doubt a major icon, but when thrown in together with the likes of the Three Rondawels, God’s Window, the Blyde River Canyon and numerous magnificent waterfalls, one can become immune after a while.
If you can, begin your wander around Mpumalanga with Bourke’s Luck Potholes, for they are without doubt incredible. Essentially they’re the result of decades of swirling eddies of water where the Treur River meets the Blyde River, the tumult of which has caused extensive water erosion over time. The result is a series of cylindrical rock sculptures that look as though they would be more comfortable on the moon.
To see these geological wonders (it is no surprise to learn that they’ve made it onto Frommer’s 500 places to take your kids before they grow up) that are an amazing array of white, yellow and dark brown eddies of colour because of the soil present in the water, you’ll need to travel roughly 35 kilometres due north of Graskop on the R532.
They are on the Panorama Route and are one of the major tourist attractions in South Africa, so best get there ahead of the bus tours. A series of metal bridges take you right above them, if photographs are a high priority, whilst walkways around the ridges allow you various angles and viewpoints from which to take your snaps.
Their strange name, in case you were wondering, comes from the gold digger, Tom Burke, who staked a nearby claim.