The West Coast Fossil Park provides insight into the wildlife of millennia past.
The West Coast Fossil Park is located around two hours’ drive from Cape Town near the picturesque seaside resort town of Langebaan. Phosphate mining excavations led to the discovery of rich fossil deposits, including the bones of more than 200 different animal species. The fossils date to around 5 million years old. The site has subsequently been declared a National Monument and offers an exciting visit.
A variety of animals from the Mio-Pliocene age have been discovered, from early species of wild pig, giraffe and hyenas to hipparion (three-toed horses) and elephants. These excavations indicate that this coastal area once consisted of riverine forests and wooded savanna, presenting a great diversity of fossil deposits.
The Fossil Park offers an ideal family outing, with informative and educational tours as well as hiking trails, mountain biking trails and horse riding. Excavations are continuously underway, making the park a site of sustained scientific interest and an intriguing visit on a South African tour.
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