Burnt Mountain

When you pass “the Burnt Mountain” not far from Twyfelfontein you will probably not be very impressed.

It looks like something you would find outside any typical old industry, a slag heap.

But consider this: Once upon a time all the world’s continents were part of one very big continent – the Pangaea. This huge continent was first divided in two, Laurasia in the north and Gondwana in the south. Gondwana later separated into what is today South America and Africa (and Antarctica, Australia and the Arabian Peninsula). If you look on the map you can still see how well Africa and South America would fit as two giant jigsaw-puzzle pieces.

When Gondwana still was “one piece” the area of Twyfelfontein was a big lake. Later on (125 million years ago) the lake dried out and then Gondwana started separating. In conjunction with this, very hot magma was pushed up to the surface. It came in contact with old organic material from the time when the area was a lake. The organic material was burned and vaporized and the rest of this process is what is today called “the burnt mountain”.

Knowing that what you see is the result of a process that 125 million years ago parted South America from Africa makes visiting this site rather special.

Learn more!

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