Have you touched down in Johannesburg and looking to explore beyond the verdant suburbs, (Jacarandas, the Purple Haze) vibrant city (Out & About in Johannesburg) and world class shopping malls? Why not take a short drive north to Maropeng which is the official visitor centre of The Cradle of Humankind where our human ancestors have lived for more than 3-million years. The Cradle of Humankind is one of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa and is the world’s richest hominin site, home to around 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils.
Close by you find the Sterkfontein Caves, which is well known as one of the main fossil sites of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. The caves are under the ownership of WITS (University of the Witwatersrand) whose scientific teams have been responsible for the main excavations at the caves and within the World Heritage Site. This area has abundant dolomitic limestone ridges which create unique preservation conditions resulting in a particularly rich fossil history. These fossil sites have produced more hominin fossils than any other sites in the world and you can inspect 15 different sites in the core area.If you are an adrenaline junkie looking for a fix, Maropeng also has a thrilling zipline including 7 slides and 10 platforms ranging from 2m – 14m in height. If you like your adventure fast and furious then think about the longest slide of 240m from the highest platform which offers amazing views of the surroundings area. Another option for thrill seekers is a flight over the Cradle of Humankind and the Magaliesberg mountains in a vintage 1930’s Tiger Moth biplane. Aviation enthusiasts can channel their inner Biggles famous fictional pilot and adventurer)by putting on a leather helmet and goggles and sitting next to the pilot in the open-air cockpit. Flights start from the Krugersdorp airfield where conditions are best at sunrise or late afternoon. Once up in the skies you can take in the beautiful scenery and get a chance to experience some “real Out of Africa” game viewing – channeling Denys George Finch Hatton, an icon from this era who was an ace pilot of his own Gypsy Moth.Chat to our experienced and knowledgeable reception staff who are on hand to make suggestions and bookings. (Behind the scenes with Duty Manager Enoch Banda). They can also help you get familiar with some of the “Local Lingo”.
(All images above sourced)