The Dome is extremely scenic with its ring of mountains, the Bergland, and the picturesque Vaal River running through it. Ecotourism in all its forms is flourishing, as the Dome attracts visitors who come to enjoy its adventure offerings, from whitewater rafting to horse-riding and hiking.
All kinds of talks, tours and trails are offered from Otters’ Haunt. You can do the Dome in a car, on foot, by boat and on a cycle. Ask about the options from just an hour to several days.
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.
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.