STERKFONTEIN CAVES & MAROPENG TOUR
Sterkfontein is a set of limestone caves of special interest to paleo-anthropologists located in Gauteng province, about 40 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa in the Muldersdrift area close to the town of Krugersdorp. The archaeological sites of Swartkrans and Kromdraai are in the same area
The Sterkfontein Caves, situated in the Cradle of Humankind, represent one of the world’s richest fossil sites, and discoveries there continue to astound the international scientific community. Here is a collection of sometimes surprising facts about the caves.
In the late 1890s gold miners dynamited the Sterkfontein caves in search of limestone which they converted into the quick lime required for processing gold. Their explosions revealed entrances to the cave system.
Around 2.5-billion years ago, the area now known as the Cradle was a shallow inland sea.
Fossils discovered at the caves date back more than 4-million years and are commonly accepted as representative of the birth of humanity.
An estimated 40% of all the world’s human ancestor fossils have been found in the Cradle.
he Cradle of Humankind is one of 10 World Heritage Sites in South Africa, and the only one in Gauteng. It is widely recognised as the place from which all of humankind originated.
The 47 000-hectare site has unearthed the best evidence of the complex journey that our species has taken to make us what we are – and is therefore a place of pilgrimage for all humankind. The area is not only a place of ongoing scientific discovery into our origins, but also a place of contemplation – a place that allows us to reflect on who we are, where we come from and where we are going to.
MAROPENG “THE CRADLE OF HUMAN KIND” including sterkfontein caves
Departure Daily at : 08h30 – about 6 hours
Departing from your hotel we will take you on a visit to this world heritage sight – The Sterkfontein Caves, located just north of Johannesburg, South Africa. For the people interested the beginnings of our civilisation this tour can not be missed.
These caves consist of many limestone formations and an underground lake. It is said to be the “cradle of mankind” In 1947 the skull of Mrs Ples was found, a perfect cranium of an adult Australopithecine.
These magnificent caves have yielded many discoveries of our human evolutionary past such as a three to four million year-old hominid and its legendary “little foot” lying in a limestone pit in the Sterkfontein Caves. The discovery of bones protected the caves from being mined for their limestone and other mineral content.
Sterkfontein is one of the worlds most productive and important palaeoanthropological sites. From Sterkfontein we drive to Maropeng, the newly opened site where you will go on a boat ride on an underground river and see the 4 elements: earth, wind, fire and water. Here you will find a gallery that you can spend time looking through. You will see the birth of the Cradle, the path to humanity, what it means to be human and then a real fossil display.