Vredefort Dome, North West Province

Hiking trails have, in recent years, tended to offer upmarket accommodation in preference to basic camp sites. The impact Crater Trail caters for up to 12 people with cleared camp sites under the cover of trees. The trail is situated in a remote and rugged part of The Vredefort Dome, the impact site of the largest meteorite happening that the world has ever known, an event that took place 2023 million years ago.

 

The 6km access road to the camp is only 4x4 accessible and a one way journey takes about 40minutes. Gates are locked which necessitates meeting visitors. There is relatively safe parking down the road and the owner has an open bakkie in which to transfer hikers and their equipment.  Alternatively, if hikers arrive in daylight they can backpack to the
campsite.

The Trails


As the hiking trail crosses neighboring farms all hikes must be accompanied by a guide. Access to approx 1000ha. The valley and  mountainous area is grazed by cattle

in the winter, but they are normally moved with the first rains to the northern plateaus outside of the main trails.

The trail consists of 2 circular routes from the base camp with smaller routes on base camp farm (160ha) which can be done unaccompanied.

The area is rugged and consists of numerous kloofs, natural forest, mountain ridges and the highest peak within the core area of the Vredefort Dome. The first day of the trail is 12,6 km in length while the second day is about 6km.

Beautiful panoramic views are to be had of the area. There is  incredible birdlife along with a wide range of indigenous tree species, many of which appear outside their normal areas of distribution due to the special climatic conditions of the area. Free roaming fauna while present is not plentiful, but flora and beautiful vistas of this unique area make this trail something special. Old Gold mining exploration is evident in the area but this is unobtrusive. Take a torch along to explore these tunnels. 

As this is a pristine area, rather than have markings, the trail is guided



Base Camp

 

The basecamp lies in a remote area of the Dome nearly an hours drive by 4x4 from the provincial road. If you don't have access to a 4x4, the owners will help with transportation. Rendezvous time will have to be discussed with our the Jacana office.

Despite this being a basic trail there are amenities such as toilets and hot showers plus a two plate gas stove and a freezer.

BACKPACKERS:
- only one group at a time;
- Max group size 8 people

 

Morala bush lodge and camp:

Situated close to the entrance for groups that prefer not to camp.

4 bedrooms:

one room has a double bed with one single, the other three rooms have three single beds each - total 12 people

Covered mattresses

Electricity

Separate mens/ladies ablutions

 

NOTES:
- Midges are at times present depending on season and weather and insect repellent beneficial.
- Thunderstorms may determine the length/path of the hike in the summer.

Conclusion

The impact Crater Trail is a beautiful addition to South Africa's growing list of hiking trails. It is ideal for those wanting a true get away into nature that is in a World Heritage Site and just over an hour from Johannesburg.