Geology of Meiringspoort

Meiringspoort De Rust Old Wall

Meiringspoort is the spectacular final product of geological processes that have taken place over more than 200 million years. Here it is clear how the sandstone layers of the Cape Mountains were lifted up, pleated and folded back and forth. This can be seen throughout the drive through Meiringspoort.

Terrestrial forces, greater than we can imagine, created an impressive home for a wide variety of living organisms in this area. Meiringspoort took shape about 250 million years ago when Africa was still part of a larger continent.

The gradual distortion and upheaval of the earth’s crust formed the Swartberg range, with Meiringspoort ravine cutting through it.At least three different formations of the Table Mountain Sandstone group are visible near the waterfall.

The Tchando formation at the top, a narrow shale band of the Cederberg formation lower down, and below it, is a much folded cliff which consists of a 75 meter layer of Peninsula sandstone. These different formations differ in drainage pattern, the degree of eroding ability and nutrient content. Different plants and animal species occur on each of them. The variation in the geology is one of the reasons why such a great diversity of plants and animals occur in this region.

Meiringspoort De Rust Cliffs near Waterfall
Meiringspoort De Rust Cliffs
Meiringspoort De Rust Waterfall