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The Kalkkop Crater is situated near Kendrew, about 50 km south of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

This is the third known crater in South Africa and can be found on private farmlands that are accessible via a dirt road without obtaining permission. The crater was created when a 20 meter wide meteorite crashed into earth approximately 250 000 years ago. The meteorite left a crater about 90 meters deep and 640 meters wide. It bears resemblance to the famous Meteor Crater of Arizona or Tswaing north of Pretoria, but only about half as big. The estimated date of the impact was determined after a borehole was sunk into the core of the Crater. The drilling took place between 1992 and 1994.

After time a shallow pool of water developed at the bottom and after evaporation a limestone layer was all that was left. After many years of this process taking place again and again and the Karoo becoming drier, erosion occurred leaving just the circular impact ridge of the crater visible today.

Things to do and see

  • Centre of the crater drilling site
  • Circular impact ridge

Admission

There is no admission charge

Access is available daily during daylight hours

Climate

Rainfall occurs mainly in the autumn months, with March seeing the highest levels. Winter nights can drop below freezing.

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 11˚C and 30˚C.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 2˚C and 16˚C.

Transport

There are flights into Port Elizabeth International Airport, from all major cities in South Africa, on a daily basis. Car hire facilities are available and the airport is approximately 264 km from Graaff-Reinet. The Crater is approximately an hours’ drive from Graaff-Reinet.

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