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The Vredefort Dome is a high impact meteorite site with a world heritage site status. Yet, driving through the pastoral countryside gives no evidence of the catastrophic event that took place here millions of years ago.

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Quite frankly, you do not even realise that you are driving through a crater of huge proportions!

The learned people say that over 2000 million years ago...

  • A meteorite over 10 cubic kilometres in size crashed into the earth with devastating effect.
  • It ploughed a hole into the earth over 16 kilometres deep and roughly 90 kilometre in diameter.
  • The entire upheaval in our planet's crust resulted in a crater over 300km in diameter now called the Vredefort Dome, named after the little town of Vredefort roughly in the middle of this massive crater.

There is even a river that flows through it!

The Vaal River is one of South Africa's main rivers and it meanders peacefully through the Vredefort Dome. The town of Parys (Named after Paris, France) is situated on the banks of the Vaal River in the dome.

Yellow fish, endemic to the inland waters of Southern Africa is prolific in this river. They can be caught on many types of bait, but since a river runs through it...come on the fly fisherman!

The main road through the town used to be the main artery from the Witwatersrand down to the Cape. When the N1 National Highway which bypassed the town was built, Parys suffered a severe economic blow but the town rallied and became a popular weekend and holiday getaway destination for the crowd from Gauteng.

Anyway, back to the pictures!

Please click on any of the Images in the Gallery below to make them bigger...

Vredefort Dome Here is one of the entrances to the Vredefort Dome Conservancy. This entrance can be found if you are travelling from Potchefstroom on the R501 towards Viljoenskroon. The turn off to the dome is well marked on your left hand side a couple of kilometres outside of Potchefstroom. All the pictures in this gallery were taken along this route to Parys.
Vredefort Dome As anywhere else in South Africa there are many places offering accommodation in the Vredefort Dome Conservancy such as the Suikerbos Resort. I took this picture while driving by their entrance.
Vredefort Dome Welcome to another resort along the way to Venterskroon. Here you can do river rafting, canoeing and other fun water activities...says the friendly little guy inviting you in!
Vredefort Dome This photo was taken on the road to Venterskroon. It is a good gravel road that can be safely travelled with an ordinary sedan.
Vredefort Dome Autumn and winter months are great to travel in South Africa. For that matter it is great anywhere in Southern Africa. The gravel roads and tracks are dry and make it so much easier than driving on dirt roads during the rainy season. That is when even good roads such as this one can become a challenge when muddy.
Vredefort Dome Around another bend...the road continues to the small village, Venterkroon, which got started due to mining exploration activities in the area.
Venterskroon, Vredefort Dome
And this is Venterskroon. If you swerve to miss a chicken in the road you will miss the whole town!
Venterskroon, Vredefort Dome
The Vredefort Dome Information centre in Venterskroon. It is worth it to stop and take a look around inside. There is a lot of interesting and historical information including a very interesting video on the formation of the dome.
Venterskroon, Vredefort Dome
The Venterskroon Hotel is currently closed and for sale. Are there any investors out there looking for a peaceful and quiet country living home? For the right person this could be a great opportunity to offer lodging to the city dwellers who are always looking for a weekend away from the rat race.
Venterskroon, Vredefort Dome
And that was Venterskroon...a couple of buildings, a few houses and a dirt road running through the middle. The peaceful countryside and surroundings enhances the sleepiness of this little village situated in the heart of the dome.
Vaal river, Vredefort Dome
On route from Venterskroon to Parys you get your first glimpse of the Vaal River.
Vaal river, Vredefort Dome
Here is another view of the Vaal River through the trees with the hills surrounding the central dome in the background.
Vaal River, Vredefort Dome
Same view of the Vaal River, but from a bit higher up on the road.

Vredefort Dome Accommodation:

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures in this gallery. If you would like to explore this peaceful destination in person and are looking for a place to stay in the area, the small town of Parys especially has a lot of accommodation options available ranging from bed and breakfast establishments to cottages and lodges.

If you would like to see what lodging can be found simply follow the link below to the Safarinow holiday accommodation service. Here you will be able to view what accommodation is available along with pictures, descriptions and at what price they can be rented. I have made use of their service myself and have found them to be professional in all their dealings.

Click here to find accommodation in the Dome...

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