I feel extremely lucky being so close to what is possibly the birthplace of mankind…
I frequently used to visit the Sterkfontein caves as a kid and they always stuck in my mind as a very exciting place to go. Even now I still go at least once a year. It’s not even an hour’s drive out of Johannesburg centre to rural, savanna landscape.
The Cradle of Humankind is a huge area littered with limestone caves, its two standout attractions being the Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Sterkfontein caves. When I last went to Maropeng, it was beautiful with the aloes in full bloom. The Visitor Centre itself is interesting to look at, built in the form of a mound. One of the first things that happens when you enter is a journey through the earth’s history; a gentle ride on a small circular boat while learning about how the earth evolved. The ride takes you to the exhibition area where you could spend hours. It’s excellent for families.
Sterkfontein’s dark, limestone caves are fascinating. You literally walk down into these huge underground caverns with incredible stalactites and stalagmites. And they’ve done it really nicely – short, sweet, impactful and very educational. Mrs Ples is the reason that Sterkfontein became renown, being one of the oldest fossil skulls to ever be discovered. Just to see that skull and to know that it’s more than two-million-years old is oh, quite mind blowing. The other famous discovery is Little Foot – a nearly complete, millions-of-years-old Australopithecus fossil skeleton. It is pretty spectacular!
There’s a beautiful quote on the official Maropeng website:
All of humanity shares an African heritage. We are one diverse species across the globe, with our roots in Africa.
Afterwards, for Alfred& clients, we’ve included lunch at the Cradle restaurant located at the Cradle Boutique Hotel known for the most amazing champagne brunches sitting outside on the deck with a view of the African savannah.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.
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