Tswaing Crater Trail

Soutpan, North of Pretoria, Gauteng


Situated just 40Km north of Pretoria lies the Tswaing Asteroid Crater which is believed to have been created when an Asteroid collided with Earth about 200,000 years ago. All that is left of the collision is a crater surrounded by a ring of hill about 100m high and a kilometre across. These hills are believed to have been originally twice this height. Tswaing is the Tswana work for Salt Lake and refers to lake at the bottom of the crater.

         
 

The Tswaing Crater is believed to have been created by an Asteroid weighing about 300,000 tonnes and traveling at 16Km a second.

 
 
         
 
 

The trail skirts the rim of the crater and then descends down to the lake.

The reserve has a good variety of birdlife and the area has a large number of species of indigenous trees.

 
         
 

The trail is relatively easy and should not take more than 2-3 hours to complete. The trail is about 7,5Km long. Heat could be a problem in summer months. It is important to carry water with you.

 
 

 

         
 
 

After the hike it is time to relax and have something to eat and drink. There are braais available as well as ablutions. There is also an interpretive centre which is worth spending a few minutes visiting

 

Conclusion

Well worth a visit. It is not that well known although it is very interesting, especially for those interested in rocks and strange occurrences

How to get there

 

 From Johannesburg

·        Take the N 1 (north) through Pretoria towards Polokwane.

·        Drive past Zambesi/Cullinan off-ramp.

·        Take N 4 (west)(Rustenburg) at next off-ramp (Bakwena Platinum Freeway).

·        Drive for 19 km west.

·        Toll R6,60 at Doornpoort Plaza.

·        Take M 80 Pretoria/Soshanguve off-ramp and go towards Soshanguve.

·        Drive north along M 80 (Mabopane Freeway) until a point where this freeway. stops at three-way stop-sign intersection (distance about 18 km).

·        Turn right towards M 35 Soutpan (old name for Tswaing) at this intersection.

·        Turn left at T-junction with M 35 Soutpan or Tswaing Road.

·        Drive on for about 15km north past Soshanguve’s informal settlements.

·        Watch out for game fence (left) and Coca-Cola sign indicating Tswaing Crater 2,7 km.

·        Turn left at brown tourist signs after 2,7 km into gravel road leading to main gate

 

Bookings and enquiries

The Curator, Tswaing Crater Museum

Telephone 012 790 2302 Fax 012 790 5034

e-mail tswaing@nchm.co.za


Footprint Hiking Club.

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