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Nat Geo “Umsuka


The National Geographic “Umsuka” Public Palaeoanthropology Project (Nat Geo “Umsuka”), a public outreach programme of the Malapa-Motsetse Foundation, is committed to the mission of increasing the accessibility of our common fossil hominin heritage for South Africans of diverse backgrounds in order to engage them with the past in ways that unite us in the present and help us to work towards a shared future.

Umsuka is the beginning, the place from which we start, from where we go forth. By exploring our common origins via the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (i.e., the Cradle, CoHWHS, or more formally, the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa), Gauteng, South Africa, our participants go forth in search of a greater understanding of where we all began and return to their individual communities with fresh eyes.

Through the joint efforts of National Geographic and the Malapa-Motsetse Foundation Umsuka strives to increase the sophistication of understanding in human evolutionary concepts and to stimulate interest in the field of palaeoanthropology in all South Africans, especially those from backgrounds that have been previously underrepresented in palaeoanthropology and who have been unable to access tertiary education.

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.”


  • Improve our ability to convey complex scientific concepts in a fun and engaging way;
  • Improve access to the Cradle of Humankind for underprivileged communities;
  • Connect people with our common heritage; and
  • Unite South Africans in our shared future.