Five million years ago the Cape’s West Coast was very different from what it is today. A wide range of animals (now extinct) lived in riverine forests, wooded savannah, and ocean as well as on offshore islands. Phosphate mining operations at Langebaanweg uncovered one of the richest fossil sites in the world. Over the past 40 years bones of 200 different kinds of animals, many of them new to science have been recovered. A few years after mining operations ceased in 1993, a 14 hectare fossil-rich area within the mine property was declared a National Heritage Site. The West Coast Fossil Park, a component of Iziko Museums, offers visitors an opportunity to have an on-site fossil experience. Learn about mysterious ancient environments, fascinating animal life and the climatic changes that occurred in this region 5 million years ago on a guided tour. The West Coast Fossil Park also has a kiddie’s play park, gift shop, picnic areas as well as a lovely coffee shop. Need to know? The main tour runs from 11:30 – 13:00 every day of the week and includes a slide presentation and visit to the dig site. Mini tours are available every hour from 9:00 –15:00 weekdays (except at 12:00); phone +27 (0) 22 766 1606 for mini tour times over weekends and public holidays. The mini tour includes a visit to the dig site.