About Dome Bergland Nature Park

The Dome Bergland Nature Park lies right on the border of two provinces – the North West and the Free State - 100 km south west of Johannesburg.

Did you know? Visitors are often confused between the nearby Vredefort Dome and Dome Bergland Nature Park, but in fact Dome Bergland Nature Park is at the Vredefort Dome.

The Free State call it Vredefort, after the little town close by, whilst the North West have formed a park on the dome's northwest border, and called it Dome Bergland. In a rather confusing fashion each province lays claim to the site. Different names, but same natural phenomenon.

Dome Bergland Nature Park (Vredefort) is a meteorite impact site dating back about 2-billion years. What makes it compelling as a place to visit is the obvious difference in vegetation and shape from the areas that surround it. The park lies just outside Potchefstroom and is an outdoor adventure centre offering hiking, mountain bike trails, canoeing, white-water rafting, mountain climbing, and abseiling.

Voted South Africa's seventh World Heritage site in July 2005, the meteorite that caused the impact was thought to be larger than Table Mountain. It left a clearly visible impact site – the best visible impact site in the world. Originally the crater would have been roughly 300 kilometres in diameter. The northern and western rims remain fairly pronounced but the other edges have been eroded away.

Visitors to the site describe how vividly the landscape changes from flat grasslands to hills and thorn trees, and how immensely interesting it is from a geological perspective. Most advocate having a guide to take you through the crater. If you want a really good view of the dome, take the route along the Vaal River via Kopjeskraal.

According to SouthAfrica.info, the world has about 130 crater structures of possible impact origin. The Vredefort Dome is among the top three, as it is the oldest and largest clearly visible meteorite impact site in the world.

Need to Know

WhereDome Bergland Nature Park, Vredefort Dome, Borders on Free State and North West Province, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Potchefstroom Accommodation, North West Province

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