The Cradle of Humankind World; 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 includes the Maropeng interpretation centre as well as several excavation sites such as the famous Sterkfontein caves.

Maropeng Centre
Housing one of South Africa’s most exciting exhibitions, the Maropeng Visitor Centre is an award-winning attraction and has a lot to offer to Gauteng visitors.

The exhibition centre is housed in the Tumulus, a unique architectural structure resembling an ancient burial mound. Visitors walk down a ramp, underground, and discover how the world began millions of years ago.

This is followed by a thrilling underground boat ride back in time through the various stages of Earth’s creation. The exhibition then continues informing visitors about the evolution of humankind through fun interactive displays and games.

It also inspires visitors to become more aware about threats to the environment. The sustainability wall runs across the length of the main exhibition room and highlights important facts about modern humans and our consumption of rapidly decreasing natural resources.

In addition, Maropeng provides visitors with a rare opportunity to view original hominid and dinosaur fossils, as well as ancient artifacts, which hold many secrets on how life on Earth existed millions of years ago. These are housed in the fossil display room and the collections on display change throughout the year, ensuring that there is always something new to see at Maropeng.

Sterkfontein Caves
In 1947 a well-preserved skull of a species of early man known as Plesianthropustransvaalensis was discovered. The skull became known as Mrs. Ples, dating back 2.5-million years. The total of over 700 hominid specimens found here has made Sterkfontein the world’s richest hominid site.

The tours at the Sterkfontein Caves, which start above ground and then take visitors deep into the caves.

The Sterkfontein Caves site is home to a top restaurant, conferencing facilities, easy access to the caves themselves, modern walkways and a boardwalk past the excavation site where world-acclaimed fossils have been discovered

We visit a section of the caves on an hour long guided tour in which the excavation site can be viewed. A visit to the newly built Sterkfontein Orientation Centre is also included, displaying information about significant local findings as well as general information on human and cultural evolution.

Underground boat ride                                                                                                                                       
The boat adventure starts at the present and goes back on a time warp, retracing the various stages of the creation of Mother Earth. Snow-making and ice-producing machines give voyagers some conception of the most recent Ice Age. The journey goes back to when the world was a water mass, and to the formation of the earth’s crust and the shifting of the tectonic plates. Finally “in the beginning” is reached, when the earth was a fiery ball of molten rock. The ride ends dramatically in a simulated ‘black hole.’ One theory asserts our world came into existence on the collapse of the first star, creating a ‘black hole’ with a powerful gravitational pull that produced the ‘Big Bang’ some 14-billion years ago.

The tour includes an audio-visual presentation of the formation of the earth.

R 2 080.00

1 Pax

R 1 250.00

2-3 Pax

R 1 050.00

4+ Pax

Price includes:

• Transfer to & from Gauteng
• Entrance fee (Maropeng centre +Sterkfontein Caves + Boat ride)
• All administration & conservation fees
• Guiding fees

Not included:

• International flights
• Travel/medical insurance
• Items of a personal nature – food/beverages, phone calls etc.

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