Lanner Gorge

Useful Information

Location: Makuleke Area, Kruger National Park
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=11 km, D=150 m.
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Lanner Gorge was carved by the Luvuvhu River and is up to 150m deep and 11 km long. It is located in the north of the Kruger National Park, forming the border to the Makuleke Contractual Park in the north. The Permian sandstone rocks of the bottom of the gorge were formed in a huge desert, the dry center of the super continent Pangea. The upper part of the gorge are Triassic rocks, sandstones and shales which are full of fossils, typical are dicynodonts and glossopetrids.

The Luvuvhu River, which formed the gorge, also transported gravel from west to the area, which was the raw material for stone age tools. Between 1.7 million years BP and 250,000 years BP it was used by the Acheulean industry. The results can be found in abundance, byproducts of the manufacturing process but also stone tools, especially hand axes, can be found in abundance. Older remains, of Early Stone Age origin, have not been found, which suggests that the gorge may be relatively young (<2Ma).

This gorge is hard to reach, so there is very little tourism. Located in the Kruger National Park, there are trails and safaris to the gorge, but there is no easy way to get there by car. The Nyalaland Wilderness Trail is a guided walk, accompanied by an experienced and armed safari game ranger. The group size is only 8 people, the availability is very limited and they must be booked one year in advance. This trail includes the Lanner gorge and interesting fossil sites.