Graaff-Reinet Accommodation, Graaff Reinet Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, B&B, Self Catering

Sidney Rubidge, who took over the farm from his father Richard in 1913, also inherited his thoroughness and inquiring disposition. In his farming activities, he became intrigued with the many rocks he found containing bones and the fossilised remains of ancient reptiles, relics of a much earlier time when the Karoo was swampland and lake. He began collecting these in earnest in 1934, enlisting the help of CJ Kitching, a local overseer for the roads department, who became internationally famous for his uncanny ability to sense where fossils might be. The collection grew rapidly, much of it identified and assembled by renowned palaeontologist Dr Robert Broom. As the mud of the swamps hardened into rock, the Karoo strata had preserved a remarkable record of species as they existed and evolved over 50 million years. Broom declared the Rubidge collection to be the most important one of Karoo reptiles in the world because from these skulls and bones revealed a crucial sage in the evolution of warm-blooded mammals from these reptiles who lived 200 million years ago.

The collection continues to serve as a vital source of reference for modern palaeontologists and a visit to the museum under Marion’s expert guidance is a revelation not to be missed and yet another good reason to stay at Wellwood.