Wonders of the world: 5 spectacular canyons: Current Woman The MAG

United States: Antelope Canyon, the postcard

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Discovered late in 1931 by a young Navajo shepherdess, these Arizona gorges are among the most photographed in the United States. Between ocher, red and purple tones, they are the scene of surreal plays of light. Located on the Navajo Nation Reservation, Antelope Canyon is completely tribally managed. Sacred and blessed every four years, it has been divided into an upper part and a lower part, and can only be visited in the presence of a guide. The objective: to prevent too many tourists from crowding there at the same time, but also from finding themselves trapped by a flood in the event of rain … It is not for nothing that the Navajo called it "the place where water runs through rock ”. It was floods that allowed the formation of this winding corridor in the sandstone concretions.

South Africa: Blyde River Canyon, the sparkling emerald

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What colors are revealed from the “Lowveld Viewsite”, a watchtower overlooking “the river of joy” (Blyde, in Afrikaans)! The third largest canyon in the world shines within Mpumalanga Province, a region of eucalyptus and coniferous forests, waterfalls and tropical fruit plantations. It is in this greenery, which contrasts with the thorny savannah of the neighboring Kruger Park, that we come to admire the "Three Rondavels", three massifs that evoke traditional huts. Or the “God’s Window”, this window of God that overlooks rocky pinnacles and natural pools. Very popular, this site is more pleasant in the low season, between May and November.

Australia: Kings Canyon, wildlife of the extreme

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There is nothing like being accompanied by an Aboriginal guide to understand what this succession of red sandstone walls and summits means for the Luritja, who took it over 20,000 years ago. In the heart of Watarrka National Park in the Northern Territory, the glowing Kings Canyon is bordered by towering cliffs, reaching in places 300 meters high. The trail dominating the fault over 6 kilometers is thus reserved for well-hung hearts. At the bottom, a stream flows in cascades, feeding a tropical garden. This oasis in the Australian Red Desert is populated by rock wallabies, many species of birds and reptiles, including the incredible "horned devil", a strange iguana with the appearance of a small dragon, unique representative of the genus "moloch. ".

China: Tiger Leaping Gorge, the art of falling

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Its pretty name refers to the huge boulder emerging from the eddies. He thought that a tiger would have jumped on it to reach the opposite bank. This impressive canyon in Yunnan province has colossal dimensions. Framed by two towering peaks of 5,596 and 5,396 meters, the Yangtze River has carved a host of escarpments. Deployed over 16 kilometers in length, these reliefs can reach 2,000 meters in height. A vertiginous topography which has earned the gorges the title of the deepest valley in the world. This kingdom of falls and rapids delights trekking enthusiasts. But it is threatened by several projects to build dams for power generation.

Morocco: Todra Gorges, the setting for films

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How not to feel tiny facing the walls of Todra? All around, the fortified villages (ksour) and the Kasbahs stand on trays bristling with rare oases. At the gateway to the Moroccan High Atlas, these gorges carved out of limestone have inspired some great filmmakers. Like Briton David Lean for Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Frenchman Henri Verneuil for One hundred thousand dollars in the sun (1964). They also attract many hikers, who crisscross its valley, and climbers, who attack the vertical slopes. Protecting the course of the Todra wadi, these defiles feed the palm grove of Tinghir, one of the most beautiful in Morocco. And hold an important place in the heart of the Berbers who inhabit the region.

Article published in the issue Femme Actuelle Jeux Voyages n ° 43 October-November 2020

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