Channeling Your Inner Archaeologist in South Africa
Scientist-led fossil tours take travelers back in time to the Cradle of Humankind
Just a one hour drive northwest of Johannesburg is the UNESCO World Heritage Site referred to as the Cradle of Humanity. Named as such for the bounty of hominin fossils discovered there, it lays claim to one of the most famous of the human ancestors – the virtually complete Australopithecus skeleton nicknamed “Little Foot.” The tours offered by Palaeo Tours are led by degree-carrying Palaeo-anthropologists and archaeologists who will narrate the actions of archaeologists mid-dig as well as answer everything you ever wanted to know about human evolution.
A half-day tour centers around Drimolen, a working site reputed to be the third richest in pre-human fossils, where visitors may get to witness the unearthing of some 1.5- to 2-million-year-old remains. The guides will also present information on everything from how to excavate fossils to how to cast them.
The full-day tours continue on with a provided lunch and an afternoon visit to Sterkfontein, a site that’s been under excavation since 1936. It’s known for its underground limestone caves which were the home to discovered fossils that date back 3.5-million years.