Vredefort is a small town 20 km south-west of Parys and 76 km north-north-east of Kroonstad. The small town of Vredefort is the gateway to the world’s oldest and largest crater, the Vredefort Dome. Vredefort World Heritage Site (2005). The Vredefort Structure in the Vredefort/Parys area has been declared South Africa’s 7th International World Heritage Site and is recognized worldwide as the oldest and biggest meteorite impact site. Dating back 2,023 million years, it is the oldest astrobleme found on earth so far. With a radius of 190 km’s, it is also the largest and the most deeply eroded. Vredefort Dome bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which caused devastating global change, including, according to some scientists, major evolutionary changes. Both Parys and Vredefort are located within the Vredefort Dome’s original impact area.

It was laid out on the farm Vischgat in 1876, proclaimed in 1881 and became a municipality in 1890. Literally ‘fort of peace’, the origin of the name is unknown.

Vredefort is part of the Ngwathe Local Municipality is situated in the northern part of the Fezile Dabi District Municipality, in the northern part of the Free State Province. It is composed of 5 towns, namely: Parys, Vredefort, Heilbron,Koppies and Edenville town areas as well as the rural areas as demarcated by the Demarcation Board of South Africa and is further divided into 19 wards.

Vredefort’s original impact scar measures 380 km’s across and consists of three concentric circles of uplifted rock. They were created by the rebound of rock below the impact site when the asteroid hit. Most of these structures have eroded away and are no longer clearly visible.

Distances from nearby towns and cities:

Bloemfontein 305 km’s via N1

Kroonstad is 76 km’s traveling south on the R721

Parys is 20 km’s away

Welkom is 150 km’s way via R34 and R721

Johannesburg is 125 km’s via N1 and R59

Potchefstroom 65 km’s via R53

Vredefort Tourism

  • White Lion Breeding Programme – Tel: 082 336 3095
  • Vredefort Dome – Tel: 083 406 0841
  • Vredefort Dome Adventure Festival (Nov) -Tel: 083 406 0841


Tourism Contact: – 016 970 8600

Vredefort is on the Lion Route in the Free state.

If you want a taste of everything that is typically “Free State”, the Lion Route has it – from culture to nature to history.
The towns along the Lion Route are:


The small town of Vredefort is the gateway to the world’s oldest and largest crater, the Vredefort Dome. Recently named a World Heritage Site, the 300 km’s – wide crater was created when a meteorite the size of Table Mountain-sized struck the earth 2,000 million years ago. Attractions include:

  • Spectacular rock formations, including the world’s only pink granite.
  • A wealth of plant, bird and animal life.
  • Water sport on the Vaal River.
  • A nearby Lion Breeding Programme.


Nature Around Vredefort

Chazen Private Nature Reserve & Wellness Centre

ChaZen Private Nature Reserve and Lodge is situated on 12 Km from the town of Vredefort in the FreeState province, South Africa. We have interacted with numerous people and wildlife at ChaZen over the years with wildlife tourism being our main aim. With the knowledge we acquired from various organizations we have decided to dedicate our time and efforts on a new venture – the ChaZen Educational and Breeding Centre.

Contact: +27 (0) 56 931 0357

Thwane Bush Camp

Thwane Bush Camp is nestled in the hills of the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site, approximately 12 km from Vredefort and 17 km from Parys. Where leopard still dare to roam, you will find Thwane Bush Camp an exclusive Safari-style tented camp offering comfortable and affordable accommodation for up to 72 guests. Situated on a bushveld farm with a large variety of game such as wildebeest, blesbuck, red hartebeest, zebra, springbuck etc.

Contact:            +27 83 534 3570

email:                reservations@thwanebushcamp.co.za

Website:            www.thwanebushcamp.co.za

Dimalachite River Lodge

We are situated on the banks of the Vaal-river, close to Parys and Vredefort, in the Vredefort-Dome World Heritage Site. Dimalachite is named after the MALACHITE KING FISHER (Aloeda Cristata) that nests along the banks of the Vaal-river, surrounded by water, wild life and nature – where the call of the Fish Eagle can be heard from time to time.Accommodation options range from three star lodges, regular chalets, camping sites on the riverbank and a youth hostel.

Conatct: 056 818 1860 / 1 / 2

Venterskroon campsite

Venterskroon campsite is situated in the heart of the Vredefort dome. The campsite existed since 1975 on the church grounds of the Venterskroon congregation. The congregation were disbanded in 2014.  The campsite was completely upgraded in 2015. The historic church building has been restored and available for weddings. There are also a hall that can be used for weddings, conferences and other functions.

Call Us : 082 551 1846

Vredefort Dome

One of South Africa’s World Heritage Sites.The Dome is so big it can only be seen from space. Come to our Vredefort Dome information centre to learn all about the mightiest asteroid impact of them all. The Unesco World Heritage Site draws tourists, school and student groups, scientists and adventurers. We are 2 km’s from the town of Parys, on the Vaal River in central South Africa. Get hold of us to arrange your visit and plan a tour to suit your interests – from geology to battlefields, from driving and hiking to cycling and rafting.
Stay at Otters’ Haunt Wonderful riverside accommodation in the Dome with direct access to many sites of interest.

Contact: +27 56 8181814

Email: impact@vdome.co.za

Dating back 2,023 million years, it is the oldest astrobleme yet found on Earth. With a radius of 190 km, it is also the largest and the most deeply eroded. Vredefort Dome bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which had devastating global effects including, according to some scientists, major evolutionary changes. It provides critical evidence of the Earth’s geological history and is crucial to understanding of the evolution of the planet. Despite the importance of impact sites to the planet’s history, geological activity on the Earth’s surface has led to the disappearance of evidence from most of them, and Vredefort is the only example to provide a full geological profile of an astrobleme below the crater floor.



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Key Statistics 2011

Total population 1,326
Young (0-14) 19,6%
Working Age (15-64) 64,8%
Elderly (65+) 15,5%
Dependency ratio 54,2
Sex ratio 98,5
Population density 79 persons/km2
No schooling aged 20+ 2,3%
Higher education aged 20+ 8,5%
Matric aged 20+ 41,7%
Number of households 561
Average household size 2,3
Female headed households 30,7%
Formal dwellings 95,9%
Housing owned/paying off 52%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage 93,9%
Weekly refuse removal 89,3%
Piped water inside dwelling 94,1%
Electricity for lighting 93,2%