Travel to Vredefort Dome – Largest Meteorite Impact Crater
Vredefort Dome, also called Vredefort crater or Vredefort impact structure, is located approximately 120 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg, around the towns of Parys and Vredefort. It is the oldest, largest and most deeply eroded complex meteorite impact structure in the world. It is the site of the world’s greatest single, known energy release event. Breathtaking, historically fascinating and rich in an unique and diverse micro-ecosystem of fauna and flora, this significant area boasts a range of offerings to suit every visitor’s taste from adventure outings to luxury accommodation.
In 2005, the Vredefort Dome was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Vredefort Dome is a representative part of a larger meteorite impact structure or astrobleme that dates back 2,023 million years and is the oldest astrobleme yet found on Earth. With a radius of 190 kilometres it is also the largest and the most deeply eroded. This impact was named after the town of Vredefort which is situated near its centre.
It was originally thought that the dome in the centre of the crater was formed by a volcanic explosion but in the mid 1990s, evidence revealed that it was the site of a huge bolide impact.
Travellers to Vredefort Dome can visit nearby towns such as Johannesburg, Parys, Stilfontein, Klerksdorpnd and Vredefort. The restored mining village at Venterskroon, the historic university town of Potchefstroom, Wolmaransstad and Bloemhof are also worth a visit.
The main activity here is the climb to the top of the dome for spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and hills. However, you can also participate in activities such as bird watching, game viewing, fishing and canoeing.
Relax by bird watching or touring the local towns to see the country’s culture and way of life.
Get around on foot or explore the surrounding towns by hire car. Car hire is available from most major towns and cities as well as at the airports.
- Witness the world’s largest and most visible meteorite impact crater.
- Climb to the top for unrivalled views.
- Visit local towns for a taste of their culture.