Cradle of Humankind – World Heritage site

45 minute drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport.

This Face Changes the Human Story. Fossil Naledi

Scientists have discovered a new species of human ancestor deep in a South African cave, adding a baffling new branch to the family tree.

This is the story of one of the greatest fossil discoveries of the past half century, and of what it might mean for our understanding of human evolution.


A trove of bones hidden deep within a South African cave represents a new species of human ancestor, scientists announced Thursday in the journal eLife, Naledi, as they call it, appears very primitive in some respects—it had a tiny brain, for instance, and apelike shoulders for climbing. But in other ways it looks remarkably like modern humans. When did it live? Where does it fit in the human family tree? And how did its bones get into the deepest hidden chamber of the cave—could such a primitive creature have been disposing of its dead intentionally?

Maropeng, situated in the Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng province, South Africa, it is a world-acclaimed tourist destination that is not only part of the South African national pride, but appeals to the world. The Tumulus building at Maropeng is a first of its kind in the world! It is designed to look like an ancient burial mound from the front, upon exiting one then looks back on a very modern structure. The architecture is symbolic of the journey through the evolution of life. Maropeng, which is a Setswana word meaning ‘returning to the place of our origins’, takes visitors on a fun and informative journey of discovery using spectacular methods to tell stories of the evolution of life and the origins of humankind. It denotes the universal relevance of the Cradle of Humankind as the ancestral home of all, no matter what color, culture or creed.

A visit to Maropeng takes you into a Tumulus with a 4-billion year journey on an underground lake, through the element forces -water, air, fire and earth-dipping through waterfalls and icebergs into the eye of a storm, past erupting volcanoes and through the depths of earth to the beginning of the world, incorporating an underground extensive display which immerses visitors in touching, hearing, feeling, seeing and experiencing the unique history of humankind. There are also real fossils on display on the site. (Cradle of Humankind).Maropeng also offers you fine restaurants, kiosks, public bar, and African souvenir shops to round the visit off.

Tours & Prices 2024

(NB – No scheduled times & days for all tours. Tours done on requests & bookings)

Half Day

Maropeng – MARO01

R 1,600-00 per person sharing
R 2,450-00 single

Full Day

Sterkfontein Caves  / Maropeng (6 Hours) – STERKMAR01

R  1,850-00 per person sharing
R  2,850-00 single

Full Day

Sterkfontein Caves  / Maropeng / Kromdraai Gold Mine (6 Hours) – STERMARKR01

R  2,180-00 per person sharing
R  3,250-00 single

Inclusive of tour cost: Pick-up and drop-off, guiding, entrance fees.

(Prices are subject to change without prior notice)

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