Origin Safaris Africa

Riverhorse Lodge has partnered with Origin Safaris to offer archaeology safaris – magical journeys that blend South Africa’s iconic archaeology and deep history with its extraordinary wildlife and natural beauty.


These safaris retrace our human origin story while exploring South Africa’s most vibrant, wild and captivating regions.


Each destination offers fully-catered luxury accommodation a short game drive away from the archaeological sites that anchor the tours.


Operating from Cape Town and Johannesburg, Origin Safaris focuses on a number of destinations. These include two of South Africa’s most exquisite but little-known archaeological sites: the Cradle of Humankind and Pafuri-Thulamela and the wildlife reserves that host them: the Greater Cradle Nature Reserve and the Kruger National Park.


The archaeological sites we visit – many of which are live dig sites – are only accessible by appointment with us and our partner lodges. Specialist guides will lead you through the fascinating stories of their discovery and excavation, and their ongoing historical and scientific relevance.


The Cradle Human Origins Tour


The tour operates in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


You will be guided by open safari vehicle through the pristine highveld and bushveld landscape of the Greater Cradle Nature Reserve to two of the world’s most important fossil sites – Gladysvale Cave and Malapa – home to Australopithicus sediba, a new hominin species discovered there in 2008.


The Reserve is home to over 20 animal species, including leopard, brown hyena, sable antelope, eland, giraffe, blesbok and kudu, and more than 230 bird species.


The tour concludes with a visit to the Malapa Museum, a beautifully curated space which takes visitors on a journey into the deep past, and tells the story of the seminal archaeological discoveries that were made on the Reserve.


The Lost Kingdom of Thulamela Tour


Discover Thulamela, South Africa’s best-kept archaeological secret in the Pafuri region of the Kruger National Park. This area is a little-known treasure trove of archaeology, biodiversity and cultural history.


Hauntingly beautiful, Thulamela is a partially reconstructed hilltop settlement surrounded by ancient baobabs. It is flanked by the Limpopo and Livuvhu Rivers which embrace a spectacular landscape of mountains and gorges, flood plains, baobab and fever tree forests.

The diverse landscapes, habitats and food sources support the richest biodiversity of the Kruger National Park.


Cape Town


If your journey includes Cape Town, you will experience the story of the Cape, from its earliest inhabitants, through colonization and apartheid to the magnificent present: a multi-cultural, vibrant cosmopolitan city with as much to offer as you have time for.

Guests are accommodated in the 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.

Our itineraries are customized around the interests and circumstances of our guests. These range from short-duration, single destination stays to multiple destination safaris.

Contact us to explore your interests and for guidance in planning your journey.