The Maropeng Visitor Centre is situated in the northwestern corner of Gauteng, in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, about an hourís drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria and just ten minutes away from the Sterkfontein Caves. It is a positively fascinating tourist attraction for young and old that provides invaluable insight into the roots of mankind.
Maropeng, meaning 'returning to the place of origin' in Setswana, has been home to 'people'í for more than 3 million years. Some of the earliest hominid fossils in the world have been found here and the area is considered to be the birthplace of humanity, hence the name of the area in which Maropeng is found: the Cradle of Humankind. The Cradle of Humankind, covering an area of over 47 000 hectares of privately owned land, is also home to the spectacular Sterkfontein Caves, beautiful Swartkrans, and the absolutely intriguing Wonder Cave in Kromdraai, which, together with Maropeng, make up a world-class tourism destination that focuses on the development of humankind and our ape-men ancestors over the past few million years.
The internationally acclaimed Maropeng Visitor Centre itself highlights, with the aid of stunning visual and interactive exhibits, the universal importance of the Cradle of Humankind as mankindís ancient ancestral home. As visitors arrive, they are greeted by a truly striking sight indeed: the massive circular Tumulus. The Tumulus is a huge grassed-over visitorís centre that was designed to resemble an ancient burial ground. It symbolises mankind's journey from ancient times to the present day, and beyond.
Walking along the path leading up to the Tumulus, be sure that you don't miss one of the Maropeng Visitor Centre's many highlights: a captivating Stone Age site that has been excavated by scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand since 2005. Amazing archaeological finds in the excavation include early stone tools belonging to the Acheulean period, including hand axes and cleavers. These fascinating finds indicates that early hunter-gatherers settled in the Maropeng area to use the local rocks for tool making. Scientists estimate that these Stone Age tools were fashioned between 1.0 and 0.5 million years ago, before the time of modern homo sapiens.
Other Maropeng attractions include: the extraordinary exhibits, an educational resource centre, conference facilities, an amphitheatre, a restaurant, a shopping area, and a four-star boutique hotel.
Maropeng Visitor Centre Physical Address
On the R400, just off the R563 Hekpoort road, Cradle of Humankind, West Rand
Tel: 014 577 9000
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