Ancient sites to visit in South Africa

Posted on 3 July 2024

South Africa is believed to have been home to the earliest modern humans over 100,000 years ago.

With such a deep and significant history, South Africa is home to many ancient and archaeological sites that are both educational and exciting to visit.

ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape, Northern Cape

ancient sites

ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape is situated on the border of Namibia and Botswana and coincides with the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. Archaeological evidence of human occupation from as far back as the Stone Age is seen through rock engravings, tools, and other findings in the area.

Mapungubwe, Limpopo

ancient sites

View from Mapungubwe Hill, Mapungubwe National Park.

A powerful African kingdom that was established between the 11th and 13th centuries was located in Limpopo. It was the subcontinent’s largest kingdom until it was abandoned in the 14th century. Near-untouched remains of the palace sites survive today, so it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bushman’s Kloof, Western Cape

Sunset in the Cederberg, near Bushmans Kloof.

Bushman’s Kloof is a private reserve within the popular Cederberg Mountains with over 130 well-preserved San rock art sites. Some of the sites date back over 10 000 years and symbolise the San people’s cultural and spiritual practices.

Border Cave, KwaZulu Natal

Border Cave is situated within KwaZulu Natal’s Lebombo Mountains and has yielded significant archaeological finds. Tool, preserved plant materials, and bones that date back over 200,000 years have been discovered in Border Cave.

Klasies River Caves, Eastern Cape

The Klasies River Caves are a collection of caves that have been eroded into the sandstone bluff and are situated along the Tsitsikamma coast. Anatomically Modern Human ancestors lived in these caves between 125,000 and 55,000 years ago. Archaeologists have been able to study behaviour of Homo Sapiens at their ‘earliest moments of existence’ through evidence discovered in these caves.

Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

ancient sites

The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. Significant fossil finds have been made here like ‘Little Foot’ and ‘Mrs Ples.’ Over one million years ago, the Homo Sapiens species used and controlled fire in the Cradle of Humankind, which is why this area is such a well-known ancient site in South Africa.

Pictures: Getaway Gallery

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