Malapa Fossil excavation

MalapaDeath Traps and Bone Collectors and streams that disappear into vast underground lakes …. Plus, rock-eating termites with magnesium mandibles! All this and more on a Malapa Tour.

The Malapa Tour is an exclusive private guided tour in an open game drive vehicle that affords guests the unique opportunity of experiencing firsthand two famous fossil dig sites in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind.

Two world-famous fossil sites – Gladysvale and Malapa – are the key attractions visited on this tour. They are situated within the Nash Nature Reserves which comprise the core of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. The Malapa Tour is the only private guided tour designated to conduct fossil tours to these two fossil sites.

We also visit the Malapa Museum and will explore the geological origins of the region and gain a deeper understanding of the three million year fossil bearing history of this wilderness situated at the heart of the World Heritage site. Visitors will also learn about such famous fossils as Australopithecus sediba. They will also view reconstructions of the ancestor of wild dogs, false sabre tooth cats, and giant hyena’s that once roamed the dolomitic hills of the highveld and whose fossils have been found in the caves of the region.  With films, interactive displays, dioramas, and reconstructions of the landscape and animals of the past, the Malapa Museum Experience is a not-to-be-missed introduction to our deep human journey.

Together the reserves are almost 9000 hectares in extent and they protect some of the largest and most pristine areas of the remaining high altitude dolomitic grasslands which are second only to the Cape Floral Kingdom (Fynbos) in terms of floral diversity. The reserve is home to leopard and brown hyena and antelope such as the magnificent eland, blesbok, kudu, blue wildebeest, and red hartebeest amongst other species. Amazingly, all this is within sight of the second-largest urban area on the African continent.

The area is an ancient landscape – truly ancient geology protecting and slowly revealing the ancient origins of the human race.

Duration Total Distance Departure Times Notes
6hrs 100km 07:00 and 11:00 
Private guided tour