The development includes world class attractions, which brings the history of humankind alive in an entertaining, educating and interactive way
Full Day Tour
Pick up (unless stated) at any venue in Johannesburg in a luxury vehicle by your driver / tour guide.
R 1 370.00 per person -2 - 3 people on the tour
R 1 230.00 per person - Based on 4 - 6 people on the tour
- Return transfers in a air-conditioned vehicle thought the tour
- Entrance fees
- Guided tour of the Sterkfontein Caves
- An interactive experience of the Maropeng visitors centre consisting of:
- Boat ride
- Interactive exhibits
- Audio-visual Displays
- Kiddies cave
- 2 Course Meal at the Tumulus Restaurant (Drinks at own expense)
Welcome to Maropeng and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Maropeng means “returning to the place of origin” in Setswana, the main indigenous language in this area of South Africa. The Cradle of Humankind is an easy drive of about an hour from Johannesburg or Pretoria. Our ancestors have lived in this area for more than 3-million years. By coming here, you are coming to the birthplace of humanity. Welcome home!
The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 because of the area’s exceptional contribution to our understanding of the history of humanity, over more than 3-million years. All together, there are 15 major fossil sites in the Cradle of Humankind, of which Sterkfontein Caves is the most famous. The fossils “Mrs Ples” and “Little Foot” were both discovered at the Sterkfontein Caves, as well as thousands more fossils of hominids, which are human ancestors, as well those of plants and animals. More hominid fossils have been found in the Cradle of Humankind than anywhere else on Earth.
The visitor centre at Maropeng takes visitors on a journey of discovery of the origins of humankind. The Maropeng Visitors Centre is an exciting, world class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years. On arrival, you will see a massive burial mound called the Tumulus, which is your entrance to learning the secrets of our ancestry. The journey begins with an underground boat ride and concludes with an original fossil display, and is fun and educational for the whole family.
Within the caves, scientists have discovered many hominid and other animal fossils, dating back more than 4-million years, to the birth of humanity. The most important and most famous of these fossils are “Mrs Ples”, a 2.1-million-year-old Australopithecus skull, and “Little Foot”, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton that is more than 3-million years old. These fossils, both found in the Sterkfontein Caves in the Cradle of Humankind, tell us much about the precursors of modern humans, Homo sapiens. Archaeological finds within the Cradle of Humankind also include 2-million-year-old stone tools. The oldest recorded, at Swartkrans, near the Sterkfontein Caves, is a collection of 270 burnt bones that reveals how our ancestors learned to master fire more than 1-million years ago – a significant development and an early technological innovation. The ability to do this has taken us from the basic skills needed to keep ourselves warm and to cook our food, to being able to control and harness the power of fire to the extent that we can now create and burn rocket fuel to reach space and beyond.
Please wear comfortable shoes when going to the caves and leave your handbags and other luggage behind. There are a number of tight spots and pathways to negotiate in the caves and it is not advisable to do the tour if you are claustrophobic. It is also not advisable for people who suffer from acute asthma or chest problems to do the tour as there are a lot of stairs
Enquire about The Cradle of Humankind Here