Clarens, the picturesque little town in the Eastern Free State is well known for its restaurants, art galleries and scenic beauty. One of the things that it is not so well known for, are the numerous Dinosaur bones and other fossilized remains that can be found in the area.
If I were to ask you about fossils, the first thing that would come to your mind would probably be “dinosaurs!”. South Africa is especially rich in the fossilized remains of a group of animals that ruled the world long before the dinosaurs, known as therapsids (the mammal-like reptiles), as well as many of the early dinosaurs and mammals. The bones of organisms and plant impressions are not the only thing that can be found, however, and the footprints of prehistoric giants can be found in the rocks in the area as well.
Driving through the area, you may be wondering: “How did the various rock layers form? What did South Africa look like once upon a time?” Come and join one of our tours and we will answer all these questions and any others you may have.
On the tour, you will learn about what the world looked like in times gone past and how the different rock layers formed. You will also be shown a huge variety of fossils including teeth, vertebrae, skulls, limb bones and more. You will also learn about the numerous types of animals that these bones belonged to and which used to live in the area, like Dicynodonts e.g. Lystrosaurus, Diademodon; Cynodonts e.g. Diademodon; and of course dinosaurs like Massospondylus. One of the very special findings in South Africa that made headlines recently, were the Massospondylus nests in Golden Gate. The nests contained the oldest dinosaur eggs in the world with the complete fossilized embryos still preserved inside them.
After filling your head with knowledge and the amazing experience of seeing the fossils, you will have an opportunity to follow the fossilized tracks of dinosaurs that have been preserved in the rock. The trackway is typical of a modern river or watering hole scenario where numerous animals move in all directions churning up the mud and different species can be found in close proximity. Some of the tracks are the largest in this area, measuring close to 45cm long! The site is also one of the richest fossil footprint sites in the area in terms of the diversity of the tracks found. There are at least 4 different species’ tracks preserved!
The tours are suitable for children and adults of all ages and walks of life. The walking in the field is easy and short and we will be there every step of the way to ensure that your experience is as informative and enjoyable as possible. Tours are usually done in either the morning or afternoon.
Please phone David on 083 469 4703 for more information or to book your trip.