Talks and tours

CONTACT
Graeme, mobile:
+27 84 245 2490
Karen, mobile:
+27 82 475 8767
Tel/fax: +27 56 8181814
Based at Otters' Haunt, Kopjeskraal Road, opposite Parys, North West Province, South Africa

The Dome is so big it can only be seen from space - as in the image here (false colour highlighting the features). Come to our Vredefort Dome information centre to learn all about the mightiest asteroid impact of them all. The Unesco World Heritage Site draws tourists, school and student groups, scientists and adventurers. We are 2km from the town of Parys, on the Vaal River in central South Africa. Get hold of us to arrange your visit and plan a tour to suit your interests - from geology to battlefields, from driving and hiking to cycling and rafting.
Stay at Otters' Haunt Wonderful riverside accommodation in the Dome with direct access to many sites of interest.

What kind of tour suits you?

What kind of Dome experience are you looking for? Scientific, geological, historical, educational, archaeological, cultural, ecological or broadly general? There are many ways to see the Dome and learn its amazing story. We do talks, demonstrations, drives, hikes, rafting through the Dome, and research field trips.

Just let us know what interests you most and we’ll put it together with programme and pricing.

Go here for Tour Options

In general

The Vredefort Dome is the oldest and largest asteroid impact crater on Earth, right? No! It used to be… until we learnt that there is at least one older crater nearby (much smaller) and probably a bigger one under the Antarctic icecap. But we can be sure that the Dome represents the largest visible impact site on Earth and is very, very old – just over 2 billion years. The whole crater (of which the Dome is merely the central core) is so big it can only be seen from space, but there are some pretty good viewsites on the mountains from which to get an idea of the scale of the thing. The crater stretches from Johannesburg to Welkom, some 300km or more.

Viewing the Dome

It is impossible to see the whole of the crater from the level of the Earth: it is simply too big. But it can be clearly seen from space, as the NASA Shuttle picture above shows. It is also very difficult for visitors to understand what they are looking at on the landscape unless there is someone explain it. The whole epic story of the Dome is like a scientific Whodunnit – a detective tale in which we have the body (the crater itself with its central uplift) but not the killer beyond any further doubt. Whatever its origins, the site marks the greatest energy release on the Earth’s surface of which we have any record.

Expert guides

Graeme Addison is a writer on popular science writer living near Parys. A former Professor of Communication, he has written seven books including four on innovations in science and technology, and two on rivers, and has published extensively on the Dome in articles and books. He is currently working on a new book about the Dome, the Vaal River, and the evolution of life down to the present. Graeme was the founder of South Africa’s whitewater rafting industry in the 1980s and continues to run rivers, including Dome rafting and canoeing trails.

Karen Addison is an environmental activist and a leading mountain marathon runner. A former teacher specialised in educating the deaf and dumb, Karen has taught impaired children and others in primary schools in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng. She has a strong interest in the birdlife of the Vaal valley and the wildlife of riverine environment, and leads walks among the islands and in the Bergland where great views can be had of the Dome surroundings.

Graeme and Karen own and manage Otters’ Haunt, a guest house,  bush camp and chalets on the Vaal River. They are assisted on tours by young trainee guides Ashley (videographer), Shadrach and Eddison – the latter as seTswana translators during school tours.

What kind of tour suits you? Go here for Tour Options

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>