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The Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail in the Kruger Lowvled

  • Friday, 28 December 2018
  • Linda Chivell

Iconic Kruger Lowveld -  The Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail

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One cannot visit the Kruger Lowveld without visiting what is likely the oldest mountain range on earth, the Barberton Mokhanjwa. The rugged Makhonjwa Mountains are perhaps the most complete portrait of the earth approximately 3.2 to 3.5 billion years ago.

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The Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail tells an astonishing story of the earth soon after it had cooled sufficiently to have a crust and liquid water, but earth unrecognisable to us – wholly different to the blue planet we inhabit today.

The 3.2 to 3.5 billion-year-old beach deposit is so well defined you can see tidal intervals; trace fossilised biomass in sandstone, the first signs of life on earth that you can see with the naked eye; piles of volcanic pillows formed by lava extruding on an ocean floor, or volcanic hailstones preserved in dove-grey chert sediments. All of these and more can be found at geosites along the scenic road to Bulembu, and on to Piggs Peak.

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Striking and informative roadside panels have been installed along the 40km of tarred road between Barberton and Swaziland. A dozen attractively landscaped geological laybys and viewpoints have been built, illustrating how the earth evolved from a lifeless, hot steaming planet, to an environment that supports life.

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The geotrail provides visitors of all ages with an enjoyable and educational outdoor experience, guaranteed to provide new and fascinating insights into how life on earth began.

Baberton Greenstone belt
www.geotrail.co.za

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