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Vredefort Dome

  • Vaal river at the Vredefort Meteor Impact Site
Vaal river at the Vredefort Meteor Impact Site  © Abri le Roux, License

Vredefort Dome

Vredefort Dome



Vredefort Dome, Astrobleme! Sound like Greek to you? Well you're not wrong. Astrobleme comes from the Greek astron blema which means star wound. What better name to give the remains of an ancient meteorite-impact structure on the Earth's surface, generally in the form of a circular scar of crushed and deformed bedrock. Now that we have astounded you with our knowledge of the Greek language, lets blow you away with some big numbers! 2023000000 or 2,023 Million years ago a meteorite with the approximate size of Table Mountain, that's over 10km wide, crashed into the earth. It been calculated by experts in the field that it was traveling at more than 10 km per second, thats 36 000 km/h! And all this happened in our back yard, about 120 km south-west of Johannesburg.

So what happens when a bit of rock falls out the sky? The meteorite caused a thousand-megaton blast of energy. How big is 1000 megaton? Well the Tsar Bomba was a hydrogen bomb developed by the Soviet Union, and tested on October 30, 1961. With a yield of 57 megatons, it was the most powerful man-made explosion ever. Even though this bomb was detonated in a very remote location it still caused a great deal of collateral damage. A village 55 km from the test site was completely levelled and the shockwave was still detectable on its third passage around the earth. The Meteorite strike at just under 20 times that size would have vaporised about 70 cubic kilometres of rock - and may have increased the earth's oxygen levels to a degree that made the development of multicellular life possible.

The area, near Vredefort in the Free State, where the meteorite stuck is now known as the Vredefort Dome. The world has about 130 crater structures that may have been caused by meteorites. The Vredefort Dome is among the top three, and is the oldest and largest clearly visible meteorite impact site in the world. The original impact scar measures almost 380km across and consists of three concentric circles of uplifted rock. They were created by the rebound of rock below the impact site when the asteroid hit. Most of these structures have eroded away and are no longer clearly visible, but the inner circle, which measures approximately 180km, is still visible and can be seen in the beautiful range of hills near Parys and Vredefort. It is this area that was named a World Heritage site at Unesco's 29th World Heritage Committee meeting in Durban in July 2005.

Today the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site is one of the North West province's prime adventure tourism sites with numerous tour operators and accommodation facilities catering for the needs of campers, hikers, rock climbers, canoeists and white water rafters.

Nearby Listings
Showing 1 to 10 of 10 results
Vaal De Grace Accommodation
From R 2500
Per unit, per night
* Rates may vary according to season

Vaal De Grace Accommodation

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Parys

Northern & Eastern Free State

Fully furnished 3 bedroom single storey open plan house on Vaal de Grace Golf Estate, 2 Kms outside of Parys, Free State, on the VredeFort road.

Dimalachite River Lodge
Guest Rating: 7.6
Sleeps 456 in 78 units

Dimalachite River Lodge

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Parys

Northern & Eastern Free State

Dimalachite offers accommodation in luxury three star river lodges, regular self catering chalets, and campsites on the riverbank. Come and enjoy the thrill of white-water rafting or enjoy some fishing and do bird watching...

398 Vaal de Grace Golf Estate
Sleeps 6 in 1 unit
From R 3700
Per unit, per night | Sleeps 6 adults max
* Rates may vary according to season

398 Vaal de Grace Golf Estate

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Parys

Northern & Eastern Free State

398 Vaal de Grace Golf Estate is a three-bedroom riverfront self-catering villa ideally situated on the secure Vaal de Grace Golf Estate just 2 km outside Parys on the R59 towards Vredefort.

Duck Cottage
Guest Rating: 9.6
Sleeps 15 in 3 units
From R 300
Per person, per night sharing
* Rates may vary according to season

Duck Cottage

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Parys

Northern & Eastern Free State

If you are looking for complete relaxation and tranquillity in an African setting you need look no further. Our luxury self-catering cottages are fully equipped and serviced.

Aqua View Riverside Guesthouse
Guest Rating: 10
From R 400
Per person, per night sharing
* Rates may vary according to season

Aqua View Riverside Guesthouse

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Parys

Northern & Eastern Free State

Aqua View Riverside Guest House is nestled on the Vaal River, in the heart of the beautiful tourist town of Parys.

Rolo Sports House
From R 3900
Per unit, per night | Sleeps 8 adults max
* Rates may vary according to season

Rolo Sports House

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Parys

Northern & Eastern Free State

Rolo Sports House, a 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom luxurious guest house located on the Parys golf and country estate. It boast a 25m heated indoor swimming pool to complete the fun filled environment.

Bruteo House
Sleeps 8 in 1 unit
From R 3200
Per unit, per night
* Rates may vary according to season

Bruteo House

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Parys

Northern & Eastern Free State

Bruteo House, self-catering 4 bedroom house is situated on the Parys Golf and Country Estate, which is 5 km outside the town of Parys on the banks of the Vaal river.

Birdsview Guest House
Guest Rating: 9
Sleeps 36 in 2 units

Birdsview Guest House

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Potchefstroom

Eastern Region

Birdsview Guest House offers self catering accommodation in Potchefstroom in the North West. Birdsview Guest House is conveniently accessible from the main road N12 of Potchefstroom, offering a relaxing, clean, tranquil and peaceful self catering destinat

River Buoys Self Catering
Sleeps 9 in 2 units
From R 350
Per person, per night sharing
* Rates may vary according to season

River Buoys Self Catering

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Vanderbijlpark

Sedibeng - Southern Gauteng

Our self catering cottage is nestled amongst the trees on the banks of the Vaal River just one hour drive from Johannesburg.

Umfula Resort
Graded:
Sleeps 84 in 16 units
From R 600
Per unit, per night
* Rates may vary according to season

Umfula Resort

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Parys

Northern & Eastern Free State

Experience the beauty of the jewel we call Umfula Resort on the banks of the Vaal River, only 5 km from the picturesque town of Parys.Launch your boat at the jetty, enjoy an icy cold drink at the Sports Bar or go fishing, whilst the children can swim in

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