South Africa’s tourism just got a little more adventurous with a new Dinosaur national park in the Free State nearing its completion. 

The Dinosaur Interpretive Centre at Golden Gate Highlands National Park in Clarens, Free State is set to wow visitors when it officially opens its doors, after four years of construction. 

SANParks initiated the project for a world-class Interpretive Centre in 2018 and according to Business Insider, it’s near its completion.

The purpose of the centre is to retell the history of dinosaurs in the park and in the region. 

The cost of the centre is estimated to be almost R84 million and the design is inspired by the unique scales of dinosaurs

At the start, this was the intention of the building. As per World Buildings Directory, “the intervention is designed to have a minimal impact on the beautiful landscape of Golden Gate.”.

“It will be built on the only disturbed ground in the valley next to the Glen Reenen Campsite and will be a Visitor Centre that tells the story of the dinosaur eggs that were recently discovered when the road was cut through the valley.”

Drawing illustration of Dinosaur Interpretive Centre, Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Picture: Mashabane Rose & Associates/Phill Mashabane

“These are the oldest known dinosaur nests in the world, found at the same park where scientists previously unearthed the oldest known dinosaur embryo.

“The area is filled with fossils of large dinosaurs in the sandstone rock. The Centre will primarily be an interactive museum, located in an already-thriving tourist location, Golden Gate National Park.”

ALSO READ: Thanda Safari reminds you how unique Africa is

The intention of the centre is not only to be a tourist attraction and museum but a scientific research station in order to preserve the remains of the rich archaeological site of Golden State in the Free State, which were discovered in 2012. 

Drawing illustration of Dinosaur Interpretive Centre, Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Picture: Mashabane Rose & Associates/Phill Mashabane

The construction of the Dinosaur Interpretive Centre at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park started in 2019 and was completed in March this year.

What is left of the centre is the finishing touches of the interiors. The lead architect is Phill Mashabane, and the contract directors are GVK-Siya Zama.

By editor