Crocworld Conservation Centre to host talk on the Geological History of the South Coast

Crocworld Conservation Centre to host talk on the Geological History of the South Coast


On 14th November, Crocworld Conservation Centre will welcome Professor Mike Watkeys to deliver the latest of the Centre’s monthly environmental talks. Entitled ‘How The South Coast Came To Be The South Coast: 1.3 Billion Years Of Earth History’, the talk will offer those that attend a fascinating insight into the geological processes that created the landscape we call home. In the past, the Centre’s monthly talks have focused primarily on the flora and fauna of the present-day South Coast – but Professor Watkeys’ talk will go back millions of years in time to explore how the ecosystems we know and love today were first created.


With this goal in mind, Professor Watkeys’ talk will outline the geological evolution of the South Coast from the time of the region’s oldest rocks until the present day. With some rocks dating back approximately 1.3 billion years, there is a considerable amount of time to be covered! Professor Watkeys will talk specifically about how the region’s continental crust was formed, before focusing on the breakup of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana – an event that led to the creation of our present coastline. This promises to be a truly fascinating event that will instil in all guests a greater appreciation for the South Coast’s incredible history – a history that exists right beneath our feet.


Professor Watkeys has spent the greater part of his life exploring the planet’s geological past. Born in Malta in 1952, he grew up in Ghana and Germany before attending boarding school in England. He graduated from the University College of Swansea in Wales in 1975 with a degree from the Department of Geology & Oceanography, then returned to Africa to work for the Rhodesian Geological Survey. In 1978 his work was interrupted by conflict, and so Professor Watkeys moved to South Africa to study for a masters degree at the University of Witwatersrand. Upon completing his PhD, he joined the Department of Geochemistry at the University of Cape Town as a post-doctoral researcher, and in 1989 was appointed to the academic staff of the Department of Geology & Applied Geology at the University of Natal, Durban. Today, he is a professor of Geological Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus.


With such experience under his belt, it is difficult to imagine a person better qualified to speak about the geological history of the South Coast than Professor Watkeys. The talk on 14th November is a rare opportunity to hear a true expert speak on the subject that has been his passion for the past four decades. Those that attend should arrive at Crocworld Conservation Centre at 8:30am in time for registration and welcoming before the talk begins at 9:00am. Professor Watkeys is expected to speak for approximately an hour and a half, including ample time for questions – after which guests are invited to stay for tea, coffee and scones.


Tickets are priced at R70 per adult with a concessional price of R30 for scholars and pensioners, and include admission into the Centre itself. For those that wish to make a day of it, the Centre’s exhibits are well worth exploring, including walk-through aviaries, an impressive selection of snake enclosures, and ponds that house three species of crocodile and one species of alligator. The Centre’s on-site restaurant, Le Rendez-Vous, is a great place to stop for lunch – especially since its spectacular sea views showcase the magnificent coastline whose creation is the focus of Professor Watkeys’ talk.


The talk on 14th November is expected to be very popular, and as such advance booking is required. To make your reservation contact: Nolean Allun, Crocworld Conservation Centre on (039) 976 1103/ (083) 654 9651 or e-mail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.