Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsScar of Grootkloof
Where? Mountain Zebra National Park, Cradock, Eastern Cape
Mountain Zebra National Park lies in amongst the Bankberg Mountains and a series of undulating hills just outside Cradock in the Karoo. This area receives 25% more rain than other more dry parts of the Karoo, mostly because of its proximity to mountains.
In 1974, just after a particularly heavy downfall of rain, when the rangers were setting the roads to rights along the Grootkloof area of the park, there was a sound like thunder rumbling, except that it sounded oddly off-key, not really like thunder at all. And it continued for about half an hour. The noises were such that people heard it in Cradock, 12 kilometres away.
On closer inspection the park discovered that a huge 22-ton dolerite rock had rolled down Bankberg Mountain, leaving a 250 metre-long scar on the landscape that is still visible today (you can hike the 10 km Idwala trail up to the Grootkloof scar).
The rock eventually came to rest at the foot of the mountain where it became known simply as the Big Rock, whilst the scar has been eroded by both wind and water over time to deepen into a visible scar; the scar of Grootkloof.