When we bought the farm Ganora more than 18 years ago, we did not know about any of its hidden treasures. We started discovering the fossils the first time we had a picnic on the farm in a river bed.
The first Bushman paintings were discovered 6 months after arriving. We have now discovered many artifacts and fossils and like to share our discoveries with you in our private museum.
Our fossil museum 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. It was in the time when mammal-like-reptiles roamed the earth, pre-dinosaur time. You will also see small models which give an indication of what they looked like. We also have fossilized leaves from the Glossopteris trees, which formed the coal mined in South Africa today. The Compasia dela Harpi fish fossil is also on show in our museum, which we are very proud of as it is the only complete example of this fossil in the world. Children also enjoy the museum and we explain in such a way that they can understand and value the information.
We also have a fossil workshop where children can build their own mammal-like-reptile with recycled products. This workshop needs to be booked in advance. See school / educational groups.
JP showing & explaining to guests his collection.
JP doing a talk in our private fossil museum.
The only complete fish fossil of its kind.
Ganora Fossil Walk
After a visit to our private fossil museum where we explain all our discoveries, you are welcome to go on a fossil walk with JP. You can read about Meinrad Heck's Nieu Bethesda Fossil tour experience on Ganora.
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 average age 140 million years ago. Here you will come across our Gorgonopsian, some Dicynodon remains, evidence of mudslides, remains of the bottom of an old lake and even view bushman edgings.
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.