East London dinosaur lovers will have the opportunity to walk into prehistory when The Dino Expo company comes to town next week, bringing many favourite fossils to life.
In a first for the Eastern Cape, 10 life-like animatronic dinosaur adults and juveniles will be on display.
Some of the dinosaur models are based on fossils found in the Karoo.
Themed “The Young Palaeontology” with a strong focus on younger members of the audience, the show will give children the opportunity to walk in a palaeontologist’s footsteps.
Children will have a chance to dig for fossils, do some “dino” colouring and small dino painting, take a walk through a dino studio and enjoy a piece of dino musical theatre.
Other activities include a Jurassic Park tour, dino rides, dino excavation and a chance to view the exhibit based on Wits University’s original rock fossils.
Director David Huni said The Dino Expo began in Johannesburg three years ago with an idea to recreate the fossils discovered by Wits University in the Karoo.
“The exhibition served as the launch of the fossils and was held at the Origins Centre at Wits University,” he said.
“My company recreated the dinosaurs based on the fossils and we opened them up to the public.
“ It went so well and the exhibit was in such demand that we decided to continue to exhibit throughout South Africa.
“The show features skilfully detailed, hand-crafted, life-like robotic dinosaurs.
“Visitors can expect to have an up-close encounter that will take them back to what these prehistoric creatures were like. They will learn about the different dinosaurs that existed, their characteristics and origins.
“We have collaborated with Wits University to contribute by making available the resources needed to create these figurines, making them as realistic and accurate as possible, according to scientific research.
“Through these shows, we fulfil our purpose, which is to educate our people on the science of palaeontology and expose people to fossils and rock science.”
The show was put on at the Ditsong Museum of National History in Pretoria before moving around different Gauteng venues.
From there it was off to Krugersdorp and KwaZulu-Natal, before coming to the Eastern Cape.
The two Eastern Cape shows, to be held in East London and Port Elizabeth, will run simultaneously from February 27 to April 10.
The East London show will be held at Vincent Park shopping centre on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Vincent Park marketing manager Mariaan Hartwig said the centre was thrilled to be hosting the exhibition.
“Touted as an informative, educational and fun-filled dinosaur experience, we believe that this nationally acclaimed exhibition will prove popular with East Londoners.
“The organisers have promised a unique experience – an opportunity to travel back in time and discover the lost world as you walk among the dinosaurs,” she said.
Tickets costing from R85 to R120, based on different activities, are available from Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers. — firstname.lastname@example.org