About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

14 December 2008

Cradle of Humankind

There was only one tourist attraction I knew of in Gauteng - the Cradle of Humankind. And it has taken me almost a year to actually get round to going there. The Cradle of Humankind is in itself a bit of a distracting idea as a tourist site - because the area covers a very large area, which includes towns, farms and game reserves. At its core, there are two major "attractions": Maropeng Visitor Centre and The Sterkfontein Caves. Both can be easily visted in half a day, and thus a combined ticket of R130 for adults is quite affordable.

The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an incredible showcase about evolution of man - and a very interesting exploration of the homo sapien species. It is incredibly hands on, and the information is very interesting and very accessible. More than a musuem, it is also somewhat of an experience - from the idea of exploring the various facets of the evolution of earth itself to the various aspects of biological evolution.

The Cradle is off course famous for the various fossils discovered of our earliest ancestors, and Maropeng has a fairly sizable collection of original fossils and casts.

The Sterkfontein caves is off course what made this area famous; and with the improvements in facilities it is certainly a lot more accessible (although there are areas where one needs to crawl through). The caves themselves are not that impressive in themselves, but it is still a very interesting experience.

Over all, the recent focus on improving the facilities have meant that these are really accessible to visitors. They are both facinating places to visit; and I am glad I finally went.

Wonder Cave

Wonder Cave, also in the Cradle of Humankind is inside the private Rhino and Lion game reserve. An abandoned mine, the cave is a massive cavern with some spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. It is a steep climb down stairs, followed by a small mining lift - but it definitely worth the effort and the R50 entry fee. It is a small detour onthe R512 from Johannesburg, and definitey worth a stop over.