Of the many wonderful thing we experienced in our month long trip to SA, this was a highlight. Our guide Christopher led us on an amaxing journey to 160,000 years in our past. We stood on the same ground as the common ancestors of every living human on earth. We touched tools used by our ancestor 160,000 years ago. Beside the physical beauty of the coast the mental pictures drawn were unforgettable.
A life chaging experience
St. Augustine, Florida
Incredible walk with awesome views. Our guide was extremely passionate and knowledgeable & answered our questions eagerly. All details were expertly and thoroughly explained with interest and context. I really felt that if I had squinted my eyes a little I could have seen these early human families sitting in the caves getting on with their lives. This experience is the only time I have felt a real connection with our ancestors....a wonderful learning opportunity and not a stuffy museum in sight.
Nestled somewhat incongruously beneath a modern clifftop golf course are the caves which form the Point of Human Origins. Once inhabited by our ancestors of 200,000 years ago, the spectacularly beautiful location certainly makes you think. The visits here are small group tours with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, in our case it was Christopher. He explained how the caves were first discovered (through the environmental surveys for the golf course!) and explored, with relevant geographical, historical and archaeological detail. Series of wooden steps and walkways take you into some of the caves below the clifftop where flint artefacts can still be found and the lives of those who made them are described. It is a fascinating and humbling story. There are historic connections with the Cango Caves (near Oudtshoorn) which were also inhabited. A highly recommended visit - awesome in it's truest sense of the word.
Prehistory meets the 21st Century!
I contacted the Point of Human Origins via their website for a group of Americans visiting the Mosselbaai area. They responded right away and were extremely accommodating for everyone in attendance. Chris, our guide, was very informative and kept everyone interested in the history of the area. I learned more on this tour than I have on most other tours I've been on. We also arrived early and had time for breakfast at the Club House.
Couple things to note:
You must have a car to go through the main entrance point down to the Club House. We had a larger tour bus and it had difficulty going back & forth.
There are 175 steps you go down - and you have to go back up them. It's a good workout, so wear your tennis shoes.
We made a special trip and stay over at Mossel bay specifically for this visit to the caves. we were not disappointed ! It was one of the highlights of our whole trip to south Africa. it was awe inspiring and Dr Nilssen's enthusiasm was inspirational , we felt privileged to be part of the session. the caves were stunning and we would recommend this trip to anyone
We are so glad we took this trip ... To literally experience where it all started ! Our Tour guide was punctual , extremely well informed and gave us a great insight on our origins against the breathtaking sights of the waves crashing against the rocks . It was quite surreal , actually . Absolutely well worth the few hours that we spent there. Highly recommend for one and all .. And more so if you are a history buff.
Pretoria, South Africa
I visited the Point of Human Origins whilst in Mossel Bay on the Earthstompers Garden Route tour. Our guide was incredibly accommodating and fitted a tour in for us at short notice, and was really engaging, informative and friendly. I would recommend visiting the caves to anybody - worth visiting Mossel Bay especially for this!
Go and see it before it increases in popularity and you'll feel like you have the caves and the stunning views all to yourself, just like those who lived there 162,000 years ago.
Having experienced the Points of Origin activity for the first time in my capacity as Tourist Guide, but more importantly with two high profile academics from Cornell University in the USA. I would highly recommend this interesting, intriguing, and practical glimpse into our own origins. From the intriguing, ground setting presentation, to the practical visit to the very sensitive, and protected archaeological cave sites, Dr Peter Nilssen makes the morning educational, thought provoking, and fun.
Cape Town, South Africa
Most informative and interesting experience. Fantastic picturesque site and very well informed and pleasant guide. Never new that the oldest 'modern man' originated in Africa and lived at this beautiful site. A must visit site when in Southern Cape. Excellent guide.
I had never been to an archaeological site like this before, and I loved it. You can see artifacts--evidence of campfires, worked stones, etc-- on the ground of the cave and still in the rock wall. The hike down is steep, but the view is lovely and awe-inspiring. The guide was knowledgeable, and kind enough to give just the two of us a tour when another group backed out.
Dr S A Schumacher
Surrey, British Columbia
We were in Mossel bay on our honeymoon and found details of this trip locally. The staff at the booking office were exceptionally helpful and did a great job of handling our booking at such short notice. Our guide was an encyclopedic source of information and not only gave a thorough and comprehensive tour but also gave wonderfully detailed answers to all our questions. The location itself was just incredible and to be able to reach out and 'touch' the history here was one of the inadvertent highlights of our honeymoon :)
The Point of Human Origins cave tour was an unexpected highlight! Our guide, Chris, is quite knowledgeable and made the day special for all of us!
Did the tour in March '15. First Peter Nilssen gave a really interesting talk about archaeology, the area and the caves at Pinnacle Point. Even though it was a bit on the longer side it was never boring! After the talk we went to see the caves which was fascinating.
All in all it was a great and super interesting experience. Peter Nilssen shared his passion for the project and that made the tour even more memorable. Thank you so much, Peter!
It was a seriously miserable day when we arrived, but a peek through the billowing curtains enticed us outside to see the spectacular view. And that was the start of the magic. Peter's passion for his subject and expert delivery of the presentation, despite all the questions and interruptions which he had said he would welcome, proved that he REALLY LIVES for what he does. And all of us present LIVED WITH HIM in that ancient world as he spun magic tales and possibilities.....it was quite a bump when we landed after that imaginative trip.
And then the 179 steps with rain spotting and wind blowing....still grabbing our imaginations and thus stimulating questions galore, proving everybody was totally entranced. And whilst we were in 13b the sun appeared and brightened an already shining experience. Some of us had to stop for breath on the return up the 179 steps....and grabbed the opportunity to drink in the amazing view we were surely sharing with our ancestors of all those preceding millenia.
THANK YOU PETER, for a very repeatable experience which will live in my mind for many years to come.
George, South Africa
Our cycling tour group had a rest day in Mossel Bay and what better way to spend it than with Peter Nilssen giving us all a fascinating insight into into the early people who inhabited this area 160000 years or so ago. A two hour wonderfully illustrated presentation by Dr Nilssen prepares you for what you will visualize later as you explore the caves with him. Gazing from the mouth of the cave where most of the excavations have taken place you can imagine the plains that use to exist where now the swirling Indian ocean smashes on to the rocks. A super experience.
Cape Town, South Africa
Peter Nilssen is an extraordinary person and scientist, and we really enjoyed.
His presentation and the walk to the cases.
A really fantastic experience
Found this outing just by searching online and it was an amazing experience! The lecture was truly thought provoking and really puts things into perspective. Thoroughly enjoyed Peter's enthusiasm for the topic and passion of the subjects. Visiting the caves was also really interesting. The walk down was amazing with the ocean crashing onto the rocks - a great view!