Cape Town and the Cradle of Human Culture

History and Archaeology

Cape Town is South Africa’s ‘Mother City’, the place where the country’s people and cultures first met and intermingled. It is a city steeped in history and rich in culture, from the indigenous Khoi and San/Bushman who have inhabited the area for thousands of years to the Dutch colonizers who first settled there in the 17th century. Its contemporary mix of international residents and visitors adds a further layer to its historical charm and excitement.

The Cradle of Human Culture defines the area in and around the city where early humans – Homo sapiens – first
evolved.  It was here that the final leap was made in our evolution as humans. Our tours will take you to key sites which present the history, life and culture of the San/Bushman while exposing you to the area’s exquisite natural beauty.


Guests are accommodated at Return Africa’s exquisite Welgelegen House, a restored Victorian treasure in the heart of Cape Town, within easy reach of excellent restaurants and all the city’s main attractions.

 We offer three tours, whether as day tours or as multi-destination journeys, starting and ending in Cape Town.

The Cape Point Human Origins Tour includes Cape Point National Park, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, and a visit to the new Human Origins Museum. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the area, its free-roaming animals, the exquisite ocean and mountain views – and in the discovery of your early human origin story. The full-day tour includes a visit to an African Penguin colony, a stroll around the charmingfishing harbour and village of Kalk Bay and a beautiful lunch – with or without wine tasting.

!Kwha ttu, is an authentic, living museum of Bushman-San life and culture. Here you will learn about the San history and culture, be guided by descendants of the original San, and experience the life, culture and craft of South Africa’s first nation, who were fully harmonized with nature and the environment. We can include the West Coast National Park – a must-see destination in the spring flower season (August – September) when the park is carpeted in a blaze of flowers, fynbos and vygies – overlooking the wild Atlantic ocean and the magnificent Langebaan lagoon.

The Grootbos Fynbos Reserve andthe nearby Klipgat Cave system up the east coast. Here you will explore the caves at a breathtaking coastal site overlooking the rolling Indian ocean at Walker Bay, the heart of South Africa’s Whale Coast. Learn how the temperate micro-climate of the
Cape south coast and its abundant coastal marine environment supported our evolution from Hominin to modern humans from 200,000 years ago.




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