Changes to SAHRIS!

The South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS) has undergone a generational upgrade and restructure. These changes to the site include, but are not limited to:

  • A new & modernised look and layout
  • Improved site usage flows with respect to applications and content creation
  • Improved site performance and stability

Launch for the new version of SAHRIS occurred on Monday the 30th of October 2023.

The new site can be found here:








West Coast Fossil Park, Langebaanweg quarry fossil site, Hopefield District






Group content visibility: 

Public - accessible to all site users





Post date: 07/08/2012
Site Comments:

Archive Import
History: The palaeontological site is situated in the Hopefield District near Langebaanweg in the Western Cape Province (32° 57' 53.8668" 5, 18° 6' 50.8968" E) and extends over an area of approximately 700ha. It was discovered during mining in the Varswater Quarry for phosphate for fertilizer by the company Chemfos from the 1960’s to 1993. The fossils are of late Miocene/Early Pleistocene age (approximately 5.2 million years old) and are deposited in the Varswater Formation. Fossil finds include now extinct saber-toothed cats, short—necked giraffes, hunting hyenas, elephants and a rare Africa bear.

The site is significant as it links up with other sites that are of slightly different age, for example Elandsfontein. After mining ceased, lziko Museums of Cape Town and Samancor (the holding company for Chemfos) launched the WCFP in 1998 to ensure the protection of the fossils and donated the land to the WCFP. The old mining buildings were renovated and are still being used as research facilities, visitor centre, offices, museum shop and coffee shop.

The WCFP was declared a Provincial Heritage Site by Heritage Western Cape (HWC) and a National Heritage Site in 2014 by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) for "archaeological and palaeontological sites, unmarked burials, the landscape and natural features of cultural significance and structures situated on or at Farm 1223 in the division of Malmesbury, Hopefield District, known as the : West Coast Fossil Park". In 2010, the WCFP secured financial support from the Lottery Fund, which was used for the design and build of a new exhibition centre that, besides a large area for exhibition of the fossils, includes offices v: and storage space, research facilities, a restaurant and event space. It was built in walking distance to the dig sites (Figure 1), where visitors can get a sense of a traditional excavation area and receive hands on experience by sorting through old mine dump material for macrofauna fossil bones.
Visual Description:
Site Features:
Construction Date:
Catalogue: , No: , Significance Category:


Search form