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Tswaing Meteorite Crater

Creative Feel interviewed Mr Fumani Simon Nyalungu, the Education Officer at DITSONG: Tswaing Meteorite Crater, to find out a bit more about the crater, it’s history & cultural background, and community & education programmes along with the beauty of its surroundings & the various activities available – like birdwatching & hiking, or a brief weekend getaway.

Some 220 000 years ago, a blazing stony meteorite the size of half a football field slammed into the earth’s crust. The impact formed a huge crater, 1.4 km in diameter and 200 m deep. This crater is one of the best-preserved meteorite impact craters in the world.

Tswaing Meteorite Crater

The name “Tswaing” means “Place of Salt” in Setswana, and refers to a saline lake that covers the crater floor. From 1912 to 1950, an industry producing soda ash and salt was based at the crater. Major attractions, besides the crater, are an extensive wetland system, the large variety of plant species of the Sourish-Mixed Bushveld, and 240 species of birds.

“There are interesting beliefs and practices related to cryptozoology at Tswaing Meteorite Crater. The local community believes the crater has spiritual healing powers. As a result, some locals bring the sick to the crater for healing.”

From the start, the Tswaing project has invited community participation in its planning and development. Local communities have already benefited from the Museum project through job creation, skills training, environmental education, income-generating projects and tourism.

Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum

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