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Full day trip to Maropeng, Sterkfontein caves and Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve - Cradle of mankind

Tour to Maropeng, Sterkfontein Caves and Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

Visit the world renowned Cradle of Mankind and world heritage site on this Johannesburg day tour. This is one of our popular tours that we offer. The cradle of humankind is about 47000 hectares in size and is situated 50 km from Johannesburg, one of the busiest cities in South Africa. It is also a world heritage sight, one of eight in South Africa named so by UNESCO in 1999. It contains a complex of limestone caves, including the Sterkfontein Caves, where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus(nicknamed "Mrs Ples") was found in 1947 by Dr Robert Broom. In fact, more than a third of all hominid fossils ever found, came from this area. On the Cradle of Humankind tour we will visit the following well known and very interesting places:

 Maropeng - The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an exciting, world-class exhibition opened in 2005, 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, where you will be taken back in time and which is also your entrance to learning the secrets of our ancestry. Along the pathway to the Tumulus building, stop to have a look at the site of an archaeological excavation. The Stone Age site has been excavated since October 2005 by scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand. The early stone tools found here belong to the Acheulean period and include handaxes and cleavers. Early humans and their ancestors came to the Maropeng area to use the local rocks for tool-making as they pursued a hunter-gatherer way of life. The technology of these tools suggests they were made sometime between 1.0 and 0.5 million years ago during the Earlier Stone Age, prior to the appearance of modern Homo sapiens. Once inside the Tumulus, stop for a moment in the lobby to take in the architecture and décor. Notice how the classical elements – earth, fire, water and air – are reflected in the various aspects of the building. These elements are important in the formation of our planet and you will experience and learn more about them throughout the exhibition. The boat adventure starts at the present and continues on a trip back through time, retracing the various stages of the creation of our earth. At the end of the exhibition is the original fossil display. This area houses original fossils on loan to Maropeng from various institutions across the country, and it changes regularly.

Sterkfontein Caves - 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 2.3-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.

The Rhino and Lion Park - Founded through Mr Ed Hern. This is prime example of the grassland biome typical of the highveld. This reserve is home to White Rhinoceros, Lion, Wild Dogs, Cheetah, Steenbuck, Springbuck, Hippopotamus, Black Backed Jackal, Suricate, Warthog, Common Waterbuck, Zebra, Cape Buffalo, Siberian Tiger, Bengal Tiger, White Tiger, White Lion, Blue and Black Wildebeest, Eland, Impala, Blesbuck and various other animals and bird life. Situated next to the Rhino and Lion Park is the Wonder Cave. This cave boast an enormous single chamber and one has to enter it by means of a lift.

PRICE : 1 Person - R2300.00; 2-3 People R1350.00 pp ; 4-12 People - R1250.00 pp
We also have another option to choose from by visiting Sterkfontein caves, Maropeng and Lesedi Cultural Village. This is also a very popular option by many of our clients wanting to experience the cultural elements. Should be interested in this option, or need more information, please contact us for a quote.