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Kruger National Park

A cache by Carbon Hunter Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/07/2007
2.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The largest game reserve in South Africa and one of the largest in the world. Larger than the country of Israel! 350km north/south and around 54km east west. Home to countless species and protected for over a century.


The park can be divided into three distinct sub-region - North / Central and South. The Eastern border is the Lembombo Mountains bordering with Mozambique and the Crocodile and Limpopo rivers on the south and north. Overview of species: 450 species of birds; 300 species of trees; 106 mammal species; 50 fish varieties;
40 types of frogs; 34 snake species; many lizards (including geckos and 5 different types of iguana)
three species of tortoise and
countless different insects. Including the Big 5 (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo).
A really wonderful African bush experience - experience the REAL Africa.

South Africa is underpinned by one of the oldest rock formations to have formed on earth. The Kaapvaal Craton formed in excess of 3,600 million years ago, and has remained floating on the surface of the planet ever since, anchoring surrounding cooling rocks around it over subsequent aeons.

By 3 billion years ago it was the size of the state of Texas and, as such, is the largest structure geologists have identified from that time. Together with the West African and Congo cratons, the Kaapvaal formed a pivot around which, current theorists believe, the rest of today's continents crystallised- the original supercontinent of Pangaea.

Subsequently this singular land mass fragmented into Laurasia, which drifted off to the north, and Gondwanaland, which fragmented into the southern hemisphere's continents, including present day Africa.

The Bushveld Igneous Complex extruded to the surface of the planet some 2 billion years ago and brought with it platinum, gold, copper, nickel and tin as well as a number of highly valued minerals. The Kimberley diamond pipe is also unique, a volcanic eruption from deep within the planet's molten core that created conditions that created over 90% of the world's diamond supply.

Particularly unique to the region, and to the south of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, is the Barberton Mountain Land which forms part of the Kaapvaal Craton. This constitutes the oldest exposed rock on the planet and has provided a wealth of insights into the formation of the planet for geologists.

African landscapes have evolved remarkably free of climatic cataclysms for at least 100 million years. This has allowed the evolution and maintenance of unusually diverse fauna and flora, intricately adapted to each other and to their environment. The successive ecological layers of plants, herbivores and carnivores can only be as abundant as the supply of nutrient permits. Similarly, the soil can only be as rich as the rock from which it is formed.

The geology of the Lowveld is organised into broad bands, oriented in an approximately north-south direction. The bands represent successive layers, once horizontal but now tilted downward towards the east by the immense forces that were associated with the shifting of the continents. So, a journey from east to west across the Lowveld Savannah is also a trip backward in time, from a mere 50 million years ago to the beginning of the world.

The evolution of the Lowveld landscape dates back to the break-up of Gondwanaland and the opening of the Mozambique Channel which initiated drainage to the Indian Ocean. At that time Karoo sediments and lavas covered the whole area. The greater part of the area was underlaid with Archaean Old Granite and, in the case of the Murchison Range, even more ancient metamorphic rocks of the Primitive System.

Westwards, the old rocks are covered in turn by igneous and sedimentary rocks of the Witwatersrand and Dominion Reef systems. A subsequent tectonic uplift in the Miocene era and major warping that produced the Lebombo range in the east, accelerated erosion, planation, scarp recession and drainage producing in time the great escarpment of the Drakensberg.

(acknowledgements: Friends of the Biosphere)

To qualify:
1) Place a photo in your log with your team and the GPSr in front of these 3 men. [OPTIONAL]
2) Place a photo in your log or an explaination with one geological or geomorphological feature that you observed (ensure that your GPSr - or team and GPSr are in the photo). Explain the formation and significance of this (as you would to a 7th grader - 14 year old).
3) Give a brief description of your visit explaining the animals seen (various sizes) - geological/geomorphological structures seen - impact of at least one interesting natural phenomenon (fires / rivers/floods/tree roots etc.)on the physical landscape.
4) There are many granite outcrops in the area surrounding this cache. Why does this rock differ from other rocks in the region and what does it indicate about the formation/geology of the area? Include an explaination about the shape of the boulders and the possible weathering process and how the granite got there in the first place even though it is not the only rock in the area.
5) Explain your understanding of the trans-frontier Peace Park that Kruger forms part of.

Cachers not email the answer to me will have their logs deleted - as per the rules of the Earthcache.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ng gur znva erprcgvba va Fxhxhmn Pnzc.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)