The Dome and its surrounding crater cover an enormous area with great variety in the tours. Here is a selection but you can always ask for a customised tour, eg for research.
Choose what you’d like to do and ask for details. The most popular routes are shown here but we’re always keen to adapt to your interests. Our base, Otters Haunt Eco Retreat, is where we start most routes.
Popular driving tours
- YELLOW – The main World Heritage Site route on public roads or 4×4
- HALF DAY: After a brief introduction to the area we demonstrate an impact and its ripple effect. Videos and a map presentation follow, with samples of unique rock samples from the blast. A walk-and-talk to see features of the Dome revealed by the Vaal River includes fascinating tales of the early peoples and settlers in the area. After refreshments we drive and/or walk to a spectacular viewsite from which much of the World Heritage Site can be seen. A highlight is the pseudotachylite rock, a form of melted glass produced by friction.
- FULL DAY: Same as the morning, then we drive into the Dome Bergland or first ring of the crater, known as the collar. Views of the Vaal River show how the river (and previous glaciers) have eroded the landscape. Lunch may be at one of the quaint hotels in the mountains, or bring your own picnic basket. After lunch the drive takes us past cliffs filled with shattercones and up to a highpoint from which the external ring, the Witwatersrand, may be glimpsed on a clear day (100km away). The drive proceeds across Schoemansdrift, scene of a famous battle, and we return to base.
- RED – The life & cultures of the Dome, along with prehistory & wildlife
- FULL DAY ONLY: For those interested in a very different perspective on the Dome, we offer a tour covering the origins of life, ancient and modern artwork, wildlife, archaeological digs into the stone age and iron age, old gold mines, astronomy and the planetary system that produced the asteroids & comets, making possible the conditions for life to evolve. This tour takes in natural and human ecology in the Big Picture of earth’s origins and our own.
- BATTLEFIELDS – the tours cover a very large area. Go here.
- TOURS OVER ONE OR TWO DAYS. For thousands of years the Vaal River in the Dome has drawn migrants from north and south. Inevitably there were wars of occupation and dispossession. Bushmen and Khoi peoples lived here before the arrival of black tribes and white settlers. We can do an overview of the history of warfare or concentrate on one or two episodes.
- Matabele-Voortrekker battles (1836 and later)
- Gold Rush (1880s)
- Anglo-Boer Wars (1880, 1899-1902)
- Rebellions (1914, 1922, 1939)
- Sharpeville, Tumahole, Sasolburg – ANC resistance (1960-1993)
- Rightwing sabotage (1990s)