The Three Rondavels are the most northerly attraction of the Panorama Route, about 50 km north of Graskop. They are three rocks emerging from the farthest wall of the Blyde River Canyon. The word Rondawel in South African is a reference to the round traditional thatched huts. These ‘rock huts’ tower 700 meters high above the surrounding landscape. The three rocks are also affectionately called Three Sisters, or sometimes the chief and three wives.
The special shape of these rocks was caused by wind and water having worn off the soft part of the rock and the inner hard part (quartz) was left over. The river that flows through this gorge, Blyde River, owes its name to the Dutch word ‘happy’. In all likelihood, the Voortrekkers (originally Dutch settlers) had a good time along this river. Many birds and animals live in this area, including monkeys, antelopes and eagles.