Vredefort Dome and Tswaing meteorite impact craters
Vredefort Meteorite impact crater and the Tswaing Meteorite Crater
Vredefort Meteorite impact – World’s largest and most deeply eroded in the Free State.
Tswaing Meteorite Crater, in Tshwane Pretoria.
Vredefort Meteorite impact crater
Vredefort Dome Unique geology and topography.
Black crystallized impact melt rock and interact with Dome geology.
Mountain view site overlooking the dome core and dome collar.
Quarry to see spectacular geological displays.
Shatter cone display.
Vredefort Dome, approximately 120 km south-west of Johannesburg Vredefort Dome bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which had devastating global effects. It provides critical evidence of the earth’s geological history and is crucial to our understanding of the evolution of the planet. Some 70 cubic kilometers of rock would have been vaporized in the impact.
Gigantic meteorite of 10 kilometres causing a blast of over a thousand-megaton.
The Vredefort structure is currently regarded the biggest and oldest clearly visible impact structure on Earth. It also has as many identified butterflies as the whole of Great Britain The Vredefort impact structure extends as far as Johannesburg in the northeast and to Welkom in the southwest.The most significant effect of the Vredefort Dome is that when the meteorite hit the earth, impact debris that was thrown up, covering the gold-bearing rocks of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), thus protecting the gold reef from erosion over the subsequent two billion years. The impact led to extreme folding and faulting of earth’s crust
The meteorite, estimated to be larger than Table Mountain.
Event: 2,023 million years ago the world’s greatest single, known energy release event took place .A gigantic meteorite (asteroid), 10 kilometres in diameter hit the earth 100km south west of Johannesburg. The meteorite, estimated to be larger than Table Mountain, caused a blast of over a thousand-megaton. Approximately 70 cubic kilometers of rock would have been instantly vaporized.
Result: A massive impact crater, with a radius of over 190km, the world’s largest and most deeply eroded impact crater.
Now known as the Vredefort Dome. An Earthquake of a far greater magnitude than that seen today, would have shaken the planet. The force of this collision was certainly far greater that the impact that was to exterminate dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. The force of impact produced deep fractures in the underlying rock with surface melted rock flowing downwards into these cracks. Producing exposed ridges of hard rock – Granophyres dykes.
The earth’s oxygen levels became elevated, leading to the development of multi cellular life.
Gold bearing rocks of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg and surrounding areas) that were deposited 800 million years before the Vredefort impact, were covered with debris from the blast, protecting the reef from erosion until the gold reef discovery of 1886.
Worldwide impact: Causing enormous global transformation, including major evolutionary changes. Dust ejected from the crater was carried around the world.
Items covered by Ekala Eco Tours on our Vredefort Dome and Tswaing Meteorite Crater Tours
Our tours are Private (not mixed groups) – as such each Vredefort Dome and Tswaing Meteorite Crater tour can be uniquely designed for an individual experience.
Ekala Eco Tours offer tours that would include both Vredefort Dome and Tswaing Meteorite Crater.
To be able to structure a tour around your requirements and time available – we need to be supplied with clear timing and collection and drop off address – hotel name. If one of the points is the airport – I need full flight details. Once I have these it will be possible to quote/advise and structure a day or multi day package around your requirements/timing.
Tswaing Meteorite Crater Pretoria/Tshwane
2 separate events with some 2 billion years between them – Vredefort Meteorite impact dome and the Tswaing Meteorite impact crater.
Significantly younger than the Vredefort dome, the Tswaing Meteorite Crater was formed 220 000 years ago. One of the worlds youngest and best preserved, bowl shaped meteorite craters. The crater, 100 meters deep and 1.3 km wide is situated 40 km north west of Pretoria/Tshwane.
Tswaing crater one of the best preserved meteorite craters in the world.
Some 220 000 years ago a meteorite the size of half a soccer field collided into the earth`s crust. The impact formed a 1, 4 km in diameter and 200 m deep crater. The site is covered in dense bushveld, with a small 100 meter diameter lake in the centre of the crater. The lake once contained high concentrations of salt and soda ash and has been used over thousands of years by people in search of salt. These were mined until 1956. Remnants of the mine are still visible today.
Tswaing, meaning place of salt in Tswana, was for many years believed to be a volcanic crater. The locals and Sangomas believed in a magical realm in the near perfectly circular crater.
Evidence through core samples taken from the centre of the crater, were to later confirm the Tswaing crater was indeed a meteorite crater, formed by a hypervelocity impact of a large meteorite.
The earth’s oxygen levels became elevated, leading to the development of multi cellular life.
The Vredefort Dome Scar
The Vredefort dome original impact scar measured an estimated 380km across with three concentric circles of displaced rock, created by rebounding rock below the impact site. The inner concentric circle, measuring 180km, is clearly visible today. Today: The Vredefort Dome is the biggest and oldest meteorite impact site in the world. The site has provided significant evidence to the earth’s geological history and has lead to a greater understanding of our evolution.
World Heritage Site
South Africa’s seventh World Heritage Site and third natural Heritage Site. Vredefort is the only meteorite site to provide a full geological profile below the crater floor. View: A partial, arcing ring of hills can be seen from the air, created by the rebounding of rock below the impact site on impact by the meteorite. The area contains a balanced ecosystem of open plains, bushveld, mountains and ravines.
An area of great scenic beauty with an abundance of flora and fauna with over 100 plant species and is an important birding area, over 450 species.
Tswaing Meteorite impact crater – can be included as part of a full day tour Pretoria tour.
Please contact Ekala Eco Tours – email@example.com – for tour details.
Vredefort Dome generaly requires over half a day – thus to include additional items can be tight – however to include part of our Johannesburg gold history does work well.
BOTH OPTIONS CAN BE STRUCTURED WITHIN A MULTI DAY PACKAGE TO INCLUDE:
Private collection and drop off – Professional – fully guided tours – 7 days a week.
Different tour/safari options available – historical/cultural/wildlife – structured around your requirements and timing to create a multi day local tour package:
- Cullinan Diamond Mine Surface Motorised Tour – Shafts, Kimberlite dumps, slimes dam, big hole to new operations.
- Cullinan Diamond Mine Historical Tour – village to early operations including the black worker compound.
- Cullinan Diamond Mine Underground tour – only opportunity for an underground tour in a working mine – underground with the working shift.
- Gold Mine tours – Johannesburg gold history – over 130 years of Johannesburg as one of the biggest gold producers in the world.
- Ann van Dyk – De Wildt Cheetah Sanctuary – cheetah and wild dog experience.
- Elephant Sanctuary – an interaction tour that is compatible with wildlife conservation.
- Monkey Sanctuary – Experiencing primates in a natural environment – NO interactions with these primates.
- Ekala Eco Bird tours – South Africa – one of the most desirable birding areas in the World.
- Soweto Township Cultural tour – Ekala does not invade people’s privacy.
- Alexandra Township tour – part walking tour and part tour in an Alexandra Taxi.
- Lesedi cultural village – Living African Culture – Colourful Culture Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Sotho and Ndebele.
- Soweto Historical tour – early 1900’s establishment, through the Apartheid struggle with the major events that played an important part of our history – not only for Soweto but South Africa as a whole.
- Johannesburg Historical tour – from farm land to the world’s biggest gold producer to the backbone of South Africa.
- Freedom Route – South Africa’s Journey to Freedom tour including the life of Nelson Mandela and the struggle against Apartheid.
- Gandhi Tour – Mahatma Gandhi’s Johannesburg heritage tour.
- Liliesleaf historical site including Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Rivonia Trial. Nelson Mandela and others involved in the Rivonia trail and general opposition to Apartheid.
- Pretoria – Historical tour -Colonialism – Boer/British to democracy tour.
- Battlefield tours – South Africa Battlefield Route Tour – Anglo/Boer and Anglo/Zulu and Voortrekker/Zulu
- Pilanesberg Safari – full day private safari or overnight/multi day safari
- Kruger Safari – private safaris with the greater Kruger National Game park.
Other Profeshional tours:
- Constitution Hill including Constitutional Court – Old Fort to Prisons and the Constitutional Court Complex.
- Paleontology tour – Cradle of Humankind including both Maropeng and Sterkfontein Cave with current finds and activities.
- Panoramic route tour – en-route to or from the Kruger.
Commercially run “parks” as the “lion type parks” we do not supply. Far better natural options that are more ecologically friendly and an experience that will be remembered for the right reason. These “parks” may be the cheapest options, but at what cost to the wildlife, specifically the lions.
Ekala Family & Guides
We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of South Africa and intimate knowledge of the tours, historically/culturally and wildlife safaris we offer. With our knowledge and experience, bringing a lifetime of experience in South Africa (and 4 generations before us) to ensure our clients capitalise best on their time and budget.
We personally conduct and organise all our tours and safaris as highly experience and professional guides.
Get an enhanced understanding of South Africa’s history and diverse cultures.
Enjoying and respecting South Africa’s national assets - wildlife, environment and the people.
An Eco Tour and Safari to remember for the right reason
No prices on our website as we do not have set routes with set collection and drop off’s that waste a lot of your available and valuable time.
We structure our tours/safari's around our clients requirements, available time and collection and drop off requirements.
If time is limited:
We will structure the tour from arrival to departure – including airport collection and drop off.
Using all time available as a fully guided professional tour.
Not simply a point to point mixed group drive around.
We quote structured around your requirements/timing