|At a Glance|
|Location||Krantzkloof Nature Reserve|
Krantzkloof’s breath-taking scenery is the result of deep incisions of the Molweni and Nkutu Rivers – tributaries of the Umgeni – into the Kloof Plateau. The plateau comprises erosion resistant Natal Group Sandstone , which forms the reserve’s orange-red, iron oxide stained cliffs.
Within the reserve we can see three types of rock - granite basement, Natal Sandstone and intrusive dolerites.
The granite basement is most visible on the Molweni river bed where massive smooth granite boulders provide striking river scenery
The Natal Sandstone is most visible on the vertical cliff-faces forming the gorge
The dolerite intrusions have mostly weathered and eroded to leave behind a number of stunning “cracks” often a few meters wide and up to 50m deep within the reserve the most notable of which are the Nkonka and Wyebank “Cracks”.
To understand and appreciate the geology of the reserve visitors need to observe the cliff-faces as they descend into the gorge and then observe the massive granite boulders on the river bed. Walking to the end of the Uve trail and the Forest trail will enable visitors to observe the cracks left by the erosion of the softer dolerite intrusions.
The sediments which form the Natal Group Sandstone were transported by the river systems which flowed from an active mountain belt to the north, about 490 million years ago. At this time the earth lacked plant cover and the oceans were dominated by faunas such as tribolites (extinct arthropods) and clam-like creatures as well as the ancestors of today’s sea urchins, starfish and corals.