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In The Area: Gem Stone Trail

The area around Pongolapoort consists of ancient Karoo basalts. The outflow of these basalts covered most of South Africa, and heralded the break-up of Gondwanaland approximately 180 million years ago. The rapidly cooling basalts trapped gas bubbles, and percolating fluids carrying minerals in solution, led to the growth of amethyst crystals in cavities and openings in the rock. A mineral hike in the Lebombo Mountains, provides you with an excellent opportunity to collect your own amethyst crystals.

The Tour with Digs Pascoe, local expert: Learn why the Lebombo Mountains have a powerful influence over this region, how they were formed. Follow Rider Haggards footsteps, inspiring him to write classics like King Solomons Mines, through the time span of the formation of crystals and gemstones in this majestic range and share the Zulu’s rural way of life. Then, together with the diggers at their primitive gemstone mine, dig for your own treasures of the earth.

A typical early prospector’s lunch and drinks will be served at the pithead. The local community sell lovely gemstones, crystals and crafts so bring along small change. The excursion takes us over Lake Jozini to the ancient seabed of the continental shelf where cretaceous fossils have been hidden for some 65 million years. We discuss the awesome geology of the area.

It is a long trail suggested for the fairly fit person, rated Grade 3.

Guided by Digs Pascoe, advance notice is required for this outing.

Tel: 082 926 2571

Email: digspascoe@zulukingdom.co.za