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Will become one of the best

The new visitor centre and particularly the museum have barely been open for a month or so, and to... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
PipPaul W
,
Buckfastleigh, United Kingdom
via mobile
Phosphates and fossils

Located in what was previously a phosphate quarry, the fossil park represents maybe 20% of what was... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Sally W
,
Montrose, United Kingdom
via mobile
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All reviews guided tour fossil park million years dig site heritage site cape town world class no doubt day trip blown away extinct animals coffee shop well worth the visit new building friendly staff little gem knowledgeable guide
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The new visitor centre and particularly the museum have barely been open for a month or so, and to be fair there is still some installation work going on.
But, despite that what a great place.
Our arrival time was such that around 10 mins after arriving we had a guide join us who walked us out to the exposed dig site - no golf buggy offered, which was no problem, but can't answer therefore when /how these are used.

The guide spoke to 3 sections of uncovered dig, highlighting in situ bones from a range of animals deposited around 5m years ago.

On return to the visitor centre we were then shown around the museum by the guide (there was a temporary notice saying no entry without your tour guide. Don't know whether this will be permanent or when all interior work is complete you will be able to freely wander inside).
Some very nice displays and information. And a chance to watch someone, with a magnifying headset, separating the minutest of bones from fine 'rubble'.

Kids will really love this place too.

Tour companies should be putting this on their itineraries

1  Thank PipPaul W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Located in what was previously a phosphate quarry, the fossil park represents maybe 20% of what was originally there. Before being grabbed up by vast machines. The tour starts with a short ride by golf cart to a covered rest from whence you walk into the 'tunnel' . The only specimen of the now extinct African bear was found here but it is no longer on site. Instead you are invited to look at the fossilized bones of a plethora of beasts, the most common of which is the short necked giraffe. An enormous great creature judging by the size of the bones. There is an explanation given of what you are seeing then another short ride back up to the exhibition centre and museum, which you are free to wander in your own time. Please do. It's not often you get to gaze at remnants from 5 million years ago. A stop at the cafe with its friendly staff is a must. I can recommend the cheese toasties, which come with little pots of salad.
One of the highlights is the chance to run your fingers through ancient shards of bone. See if you can find the remains 9f birds or mice!

Thank Sally W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We had such a great time learning about the fossils and what the land looked like millennia ago, out guide was very informative and had a passion for the subject, it was crazy to learn about what things were like so long ago. The exhibition centre is also awesome, giving you a great sense of scale of our history.

Thank PeeKayGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2018

The Fossil Park is amazing, We had a guided tour by one of the staff members and not only learned about the prehistoric findings of long extinct animals but also about the flora.

Thank hanns b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2018

Whilst on holiday at nearby Langebaan we saw a sign for the West Coast Fossil Park and being a pair of old fossils ourselves...we decided to go look.
AMAZED....who knew this was here?. A complete exhibition and museum centre with educational facilities (classroom and auditorium) Well trained staff and our amazing tour guide Wendy Wentzel who surprised me with her knowledge and detailed explanation of what we were seeing. She took us in the golf cart from the main centre down to the covered dig site where we could see clearly everything she was explaining. Who knew there was once a Short Necked species of Giraffe and a species of elephant that had 4 tusks. Yep....I didn't know either. Afterwards we stopped in their restaurant for some lunch and it was divine. Very well cooked and served and the manager came to chat (we were the only ones in there at that time).
The centre had only been open since December 2017 and it is already an excellent place to visit with our without children. Theres something for everyone. including the lovely gift shop where I was promised soon they will have their books printed with all the information and photographs to purchase.

Thank MilkwoodCottage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2018

Most interesting visit where I learnt a lot of new things about the prehistoric animals which lived in our country, presented by a well-informed guide. Unfortunately the new museum was not complete when we visited the site, so we will definitely return when we are in the area again.

Thank Jan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2018

The experience was well worth the long drive from Paternoster.The tour could have gone on forever. The history and geography with wonderful specimens of fossils were mind blowing.

Thank brianross596
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2018

A museum built around an ongoing excavation. This is a great place to visit, between Cape Town and the West Coast National Park. Could be done as a day trip from either.

We went on the tour with expert guide Nicky Engelbrecht, who is a brilliant old-style story-teller. Very engaging and knowledgeable. Nicky did a great job of helping us to visualise the pliocene geography and ecosystem, then took us into an excavation, where we could see the amazing pliocene megafauna laid out. He explained how the fossils got there, and all of the different animals, including relatives of modern animals like the giraffe. There are also lots of informative diagrams and photos around the site. We then looked through the trays of excavated materials to find small bones.

After the tour, we had a look through the windows of the new museum building, to see the exhibits that are just now being created. It will be great when finished (soon).

They use an electric golf cart to get around, but you can walk if you want.

Then we had a superb lunch in the restaurant - great South African food.

Finally, the gift shop has a good selection of local crafts, books and fossil related gifts.

Thank Robert O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2018 via mobile

Wonderful site
Not quite finished yet and will def be a must see when done
The preserved fossils are a true South African treasure
The staff are friendly and knowledgeable
Can't wait to go back
Tour could be longer as the kids were captivated
The mock dig was also a really fun experience for the kids

Thank Seaside676163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2018

We had a wonderful visit to the Fossil Park. It was amazing to view the dig and learn about the animals that had lived in this area 5 million years ago. Thanks very much to Nicky for the tour and answering our questions.

While at the Fossil Park, we booked a mock dig for our young son in the education centre, where he got to search for bones and clean and sort them. As someone obsessed with everything prehistoric, this was definitely a highlight for him. Thanks very much for Lefty and Lehandre for their patience, encouragement and enthusiasm.

We'll definitely return when the new museum opens. This is currently a work in progress and is scheduled to open later this year (2018). However, we were able to look through the windows to view the some of the models of the fossiled animals found there.

3  Thank M7224MGchris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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