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. The name Tswaing means Place of Salt in Setswane, 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. 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.
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