Ganora Fossil Museum
- Nieu Bethesda
- Nieu Bethesda
Last Updated: October 2015
Contact Hester & Jan-Peet Steynberg
- Longitude: 24.591797
- Latitude: -31.854614
About Ganora Fossil Museum
The Ganora Fossil Museum in Nieu Bethesda was registered in 1998 and, although small, houses mainly the finds we have made on Ganora. The fossils we exhibit are on average about 280 million years old. That was in the time when reptiles roamed the earth before the age of the dinosaurs.
You will also see small models which give an indication of what these reptiles looked like. We also have fossilized leaves from the Glossopteris trees which formed the coal which is mined in South Africa today. The Compasia dela Harpi fish fossil is also on show in the museum, of which we are very proud as it is the only complete example of this fossil in the world. Children also enjoy the museum and we explain things in such a way that they can understand and value the information.
We also have a fossil workshop where children can build their own reptiles with recycled products. This workshop needs to be booked in advance.
Ganora Fossil Walk
After a visit to the fossil museum where we explain all our discoveries, you are welcome to go on a fossil walk with JP.
On the fossil walk JP will show you sites where he has discovered various prehistoric animal fossils which have been covered in mud to be preserved as the fossils that you can experience today. You will also see evidence of the rivers that flowed in a northerly direction in the time when the continents were joined to form Pangea.
The walk is not strenuous as you drive from one point to another. The Karoo contains fossils of the mammal-like–reptiles which lived in the basin on average 280 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs of only 140 million years ago. Here you will come across our Gorgonopsian, some Dicynodon remains, evidence of mud slides, remains of the bottom of an old lake and even view bushman etchings.
You are welcome to order sunset drinks and snacks to be enjoyed in the veld. These excursions must be booked ahead of your arrival at Ganora.
Map and Directions to Ganora Fossil Museum
Enter Nieu-Bethesda and turn right at the (only) 4 way stop. Take the third street on the left (signposted Middelburg and Nieu-Bethesda station).
After 7km you will see the turnoff to the right (signposted Ganora Guest Farm). 1km up this road you will find our homestead.
Approximately half way to Graaff-Reinet on the you will see the "Gods Rehab" sign on your right-hand side. About 2km after you passed it, turn right at the Nieu-Bethesda sign. 20km further on you will see our turnoff to the left (signposted Ganora Guest Farm). 1km up this road you will find our homestead.
Turn right just outside of Cradock to get on the Graaff-Reinet road. At the T-junction = Middelburg and Graaff-reinet turn towards Middelburg. After 500 meters turn left towards Nieu-Bethesda. After 20km.you will see our the turnoff to the left (signposted Ganora Guest Farm). 1km up this road you will find our homestead.