Ever since I was a little boy I was fascinated with the wonderful world of dinosaurs. Their existence was one of chaos and savagery, but also of unfathomable beauty and wonder! The mystery of these times still has the ability to enthrall people of all ages.
It is interesting to note that most South Africans seem to know all about the more ‘well known’ dinos, such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brachiosaurus and Pterodactyl. However, we know very little about the creatures that inhabited our own country. This is rather sad in my opinion, which is why it’s great to see that the West Coast Fossil Park are unearthing our ancient heritage and sharing it with the world. The team at the park have only just scratched the surface of what is out there and there are certainly many more discoveries just waiting to be found – it’s like a treasure hunt really.
The West Coast Fossil Park gives visitors to the area the opportunity to gain insights into how the region has transformed over the past 5.2 million years since the Miocene period. This is a mega important period in the landscape of not only our country but the world at large, because it has been discovered that it was the last era where humans and chimps shared their last common ancestor. That ‘missing link’ that everybody likes to talk about may just be buried in our own back yards – very exciting stuff!
It really is extraordinary work that they are doing. The fact that they are piecing together the ancient history of the West Coast for future generations is truly something amazing. The fact that you can get up close and personal with the fossils make you feel like you can touch the distant past, where the West Coast was still a lush sub-tropical climate teeming with saber-toothed cats and short-necked giraffes.
There is no surprise that everyone that we spoken to, who has visited the park, have left with a completely fresh perspective on our spectacular country and the natural diversity we are blessed with.
Aside from the amazing fossil displays and talks there are also some beautiful mountain biking and walking trails to try out. You can either hire a bike or bring your own!
If you would like to get something to eat, or perhaps some coffee, the park has a lovely little café that makes some tasty food.
The West Coast Fossil Park offers tours throughout the week. They suggest that you call ahead to confirm tour times, to avoid disappointment – 022 766 1606
Here are the tour details:
Weekday Times – 10:00 / 11:00 / 12:00 / 13:00 / 14:00 / 15:00.
Weekend & Public Holiday Times – 10:00 / 11:00 / 12:00 / 13:00
* The tour itself last +/- 45mins
Prices: Adults – R50.00 / Students & Seniors – R25.00 / Children – R15.00
WEST COAST FOSSIL PARK CONTACT DETAILS:
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
website – http://www.fossilpark.org