The Cradle of Humankind – An Enchanting World Heritage

The Cradle of Humankind – An Enchanting World Heritage

The Cradle of Humankind, many believe that this is the exact site from which humankind evolved! Which in itself is an amazing notion considering the vastness of the entire planet’s population. The Cradle of Humankind is one of the eight World Heritage Sites and the only one of its kind in Gauteng. It is at this 47 000 hectare site where some of the best evidence of humankind’s complex journey has been unearthed.

The Cradle of Humankind is so much more than a mere archaeological dig site, it is a place of ongoing scientific discovery, reflection and contemplation. It is a place that allows us to reflect on the different aspects of who we are as people, where we come from and our ultimate destination. To sum it up in one word The Cradle of Humankind is enchanting.

Situated approximately 50km or 90 minutes North-West of Johannesburg, The Cradle of Humankind draws visitors from far and wide. At this site you will also find other fossil sites such as Swartkrans, Kromdraai and the Sterkforntein Caves each place telling a part of the story that is our existence.

At the Sterkfontein Caves archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 500 Hominids in the lime stone. In 1997 the complete skeletal remains of a Hominid was discovered and appropriately named “Little Foot” or scientifically known as Australopithecus Africanus. Although Little Foot was smaller than the average human today, it is considered as one of our early ancestors as it walked upright. All that is said about “Little Foot” is that it is still in the process of being described!

The best known discover in this region was the discovery of “Mrs Ples” a pre-human skull that dates back approximately 2 million years, which co-insides with the archaeological findings of stone tools also dating back 2 million years.

Since being labelled one of the eight world heritage sites a lot of investments and development has taken place. Today The Cradle of Humankind offers 663 tourist attractions along with 163 tourist establishments some of which include accommodation, recreation and fine dining.

The Cradle of Humankind project promotes economic growth along with social upliftment, which in turn relieves the poverty burden on the disadvantaged communities in and around the area. All the facilities and attractions in the area employ approximately 7 000 permanent employees as well as 2 200 casual employees, aiding with job creation in the area.

If you’ve had enough of stones and bones for one day you can enjoy any number of the recreational activities in the area. These include cycling tracks, horse trails and hot air ballooning or you can sit back at one of the many coffee shops and just reflect on the day’s activities.

Cradle of Humankind Admission:

Combination tickets for Maropeng and The Sterkforntein Caves:

  • Adults: R175 per adult
  • Children: 4 to 14 years R102 per child
  • Children younger than for: Free
  • It is important to note that combination tickets are only sold until 1pm daily.

Maropeng Only

  • Adults: R105 per adult
  • Children: 4 to 14 years R60 per child
  • Children younger than for: Free
  • Students and Pensioners: R75 per person permitted a valid pensioner or student card is presented

Sterkfontein Caves Only

  • Adults: R110 per adult
  • Children: 4 to 14 years R65 per child
  • Children younger than for: Free
  • Students and Pensioners: R75 per person permitted a valid pensioner or student card is presented

A mere 50km outside of Johannesburg is not far to travel to experience the origins of humankind and enjoy the tranquillity of nature. Remember to pack comfortable shoes and get ready for a mind blowing experience who know what secrets that limestone still holds.

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