N G Tswaingmeteoritecrater


Some 220,000 years ago a blazing meteorite the size of half a football pitch slammed into the earth’s crust, leaving a crater 100m deep and 1.1km across.
This crater, formerly known as the Pretoria Saltpan, is situated 40km northwest of Pretoria in Gauteng. It is one of the best-preserved meteorite impact craters anywhere in the world.
Today, Tswaing, meaning Place of Salt in seTswana, is a 1,946-hectare conservation area. The main features of Tswaing are the meteorite impact crater, a wetland area, a variety of ecosystems and the remains of a factory that produced soda ash and salt.
Tswaing’s natural and cultural heritage resources include a variety of ecosystems and plant species, game animals, a large number of bird species (about 240), smaller mammals (including otters, genets, brown hyenas, civets and steenbok), reptiles (including python, land and water monitor, tortoise and terrapin), frogs, a river with a large wetland, archaeological sites and the ruins of the soda mine and factory. Pretoria; Gauteng
Kruger House Museum; Pretoria Church Square; Pretoria Station; Union Buildings; Voortrekker Monument
Strong emphasis is placed on the protection and use of the area’s natural and cultural heritage for research, environmental education, recreation and community empowerment.
Among the 165 known terrestrial meteorite impact craters in the world, the Tswaing Crater is exceptional due to its excellent state of conservation and because there are very few small meteorite craters left on earth.
Originally the crater was 200m deep, and the 90m of sedimentary deposits on the original crater floor contain an unparalleled record of climate changes in the Southern Hemisphere over the past 220,000 years.


Latest posts

  • Johnny Clegg

    Jonathan (Johnny) Clegg was born June 7, 1953 in Rochdale near Manchester in England. Already in his youth, Johnny Clegg, a white, English-speaking person with what he called a ‘secular Jewish’ upbringing in Britain, Israel, Zimbabwe and South Africa, became interested in Zulu street music and took part in traditional Zulu dance competitions. As a […]

    Read more

  • Wessels

    Away fro city life… I met a European couple (the guy from the Netherlands and the girl from UK) in Australia a couple of years ago. They are now planning to come visit South Africa later this year and I thought it may be useful for European travellers to hear a South African’s opinion of […]

    Read more

  • how many months income do you need for a mortgage in south africa

    It is a common misconception that you need a large deposit to get a mortgage in South Africa. You can actually get a mortgage with a deposit of as little as 3% of the purchase price. However, the size of your deposit will affect the interest rate you are offered and the amount you will […]

    Read more