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Vredefort Dome

Vredefort Dome
Photo provided by Michael Novins
The Vredefort Dome, a huge crater formed two billion years ago by a meteorite, is the largest meteorite impact site in the world. The crater has a diameter of roughly 300 km.

It is the second oldest known crater on the Earth, a little less than three hundred millions years younger than the SuavjƤrvi crater in Russia.

A potentially larger but unverified crater has recently been located under the ice at Wilkes Land in Antarctica.


lefutso (south africa):
I live next to vredefort i grew next to it and i did walked over it for almost 20yrs so all i can say i sthe place is very fine i think the contry should do something about the place.
Date posted: July 2009
Bobby Masuku (South Africa):
I am particularly worried about the developments that are forcefully intended to take place in the vredefort dome, by landowners of course.As an environmentalist and conservationist I seem to put much blame on the policies governing the WHS, they are definately not protective on these beautiful "protected areas" they intend to protect. The dome is quiet a beautiful place to visit, the landscape,the vegetation, the mammals, birds, the varying climates in the mountains during winter,etc., are a the factors that cannot be destroyed as they occured for a reason, and the history thereof shouldn't just disappear for the benefit of the few rich landowners who aim to get richest at the expence of a beautiful WORLD RECOGNIZED SITE like the dome. The place needs to be fully protected. This includes the Vaal River(the habitat for the endangered Yellow fish) which is extremely polluted.I go in there almost weekly to study the mammals in the area, and I tell you there is a decline in species variety and numbers although the figures are not definite,as yet. The reason for this is one, human impacto. Man can be as dangerous to the natural environment as evil to humanity.People should visit this place and discover the art of nature put to them...and will keep in touch with further comments. This first one was a complaint and I will be more positive soon, but this I will do with the improved involvement of the powers that be. The DOME cannot function all by itself, for evil might be within.
Date posted: July 2008

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Site info

Vredefort Dome
Country: South Africa
Inscribed: 2005
Natural Heritage
Criteria:  (8)
Category: Natural landscape, Eroded

Site history:
2005 Inscribed
Reasons for inscription

Site links

Official website:
»Vredefort Dome

In the news:
» 'Official mismanagement' sees Vredefort Dome fall into ruin (15-01-2015).
» Proposed five-star hotel and conference centre threatens Vredefort Dome as a World Heritage Site (24-08-2009).
» The Department of Minerals and Energy has granted an application for gold prospecting rights around the Vredefort Dome (17-04-2009).
» The Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site is to be struck on a 2 Rand gold commemorative coin (12-08-2008).
» The Vredefort Dome in the Free State is under threat from pollution in the Vaal River. (19-03-2008).

Related links:
» Good photos - Deep Impact.

Related Forum posts:
Not available

Getting there

This WHS has 4 location(s).


Petroglyphs .
Meteorite impact .
Neolithic age .
Human Activity
Gold production . Pastoralism .
Proterozoic .
Best seen from the sky . Built or owned by Dutch .
World Heritage Process
Inscribed on a single criterion only . Natural sites filling gaps cited by IUCN . WHC locations .

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