How do I book a tour?
Why should I choose Palaeo Tours to visit the "Cradle of Humankind" rather than another tour company?
Palaeo Tours is conducted by scientists. All our tour guides have a minimum of at least a Master's degree in either Archaeology or Palaeo-Anthropology. Our guides are either in possession of a PhD or in the process of completing their master's or doctoral degrees. The majority of the other tour companies only visit the site of Sterkfontein where local guides conduct your tour. While Sterkfontein is worth visiting, it is geared for tourism and as such is very touristy with the focus being on the underground cave tour. Most of these guides do not have the breadth of academic knowledge that all of the Palaeo Tours guides are required to have. Your experience will therefore be enriched by scientific and professional knowledge which encompasses all the fields related to the Palaeosciences (e.g. Archaeology, Palaeontology and Geology to mention just a few). We feel that it is the quality of our guides that make our tour. Furthermore, Palaeo Tours visits the private fossil site of Drimolen where you get to see the actual fossil deposits, which are off-limits and behind a fence at Sterkfontein.
What should I wear?
- As Drimolen is outside, we recommend comfortable clothing and shoes, a hat and sunscreen
In what language is the tour conducted?
Tours, at present, are conducted in English. However, if you wish, please arrange with your travel agent for a bilingual guide to accompany you.
Do you provide transport?
- We are happy to arrange transport for you at an additional cost. Transport will entail a private driver/guide that will collect you at your hotel/B&B and drop you off at the end of the day. Return can be to your hotel, airport, or the location of your choice.
Is transport included in the tour fees? If not, how do I go about arranging a vehicle?
The tour charges do not include transport costs. However, a vehicle can be arranged for you and your party.
Can I self-drive?
- Yes. If you have a car, please feel free to drive to the fossil sites. We can send you a map and you can meet us at the entrance to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. From there, you can follow us on to site in your own vehicle. Please note that the road in the Rhino and Lion Park is a very well maintained dirt road. Normal passenger vehicles with normal tires are perfectly adequate.
Is this tour just for academics?
Certainly not. The tours are conducted by scientists (either a Palaeo-anthropologist or Archaeologist), but geared for the general public. The tour starts with a broad, interactive prehistoric overview that provides you with the tools to understand human origins. If you are not au fait with human origins, the scientist will happily provide the background. As the tours are private, you can have a one to one interaction with your scientist guide.
May I join up with another group?
Unfortunately, this is not possible. Our clients have varied levels of interest and knowledge about human origins; thus we provide specialised tours to either a single person, couples or groups travelling together who want to spend exclusive time with a scientist actively engaged in research into human origins.
What sites are there in the "Cradle of Humankind"
There are several sites in the "Cradle", but the richest are Sterkfontein, Swartkrans and Drimolen. Click here for a Map of the fossil sites in the "Cradle of Humankind," South Africa.
What about Lunch?
- Lunch is available at a number of excellent restaurants in the area. For our full-day tour, we have lunch at one of these restaurants. Lunch is included in the full-day tour, with drinks for your own account.
Where is Drimolen located?
Drimolen is located at the back of the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. For all self-drive guests, we would meet you at the entrance of the reserve and then you can follow us onto the site. All our guests enjoy a short game drive in the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve on the way to the site.
How far is Drimolen?
Drimolen is located about 50 minutes from Johannesburg and 75 minutes from OR Tambo Airport (Johannesburg).