Sterkfontein Caves, Gauteng
The Sterkfontein (meaning strong spring) Caves are a series of limestone caves 50 kilometres north west of Johannesburg that are not only the richest, but most productive palaeo-anthropological sites in the world. They form part of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, named by UNESCO in 1999 and part of over 47 000 hectares of privately owned land.
The Sterkfontein Caves lay claim to some of the most important discoveries about man’s evolution, including the famous discovery of the hominid fossils “Mrs Ples and “Little Foot”. The caves are also well worth a visit. After something of a facelift the Sterkfontein Caves now have improved access into the caves, new walkways and a boardwalk past the excavation site, offering visitors a bird’s eye view of the spot where these famous fossils were found.
Part of the exhibition at the caves includes a reconstruction of a mined cave as opposed to a pristine cave, early life forms, cave formations and geology, mammals and hominid fossils, as well as detailed description of the finding of “Mrs Ples, the “Taung Child” and “Little Foot”. All of the lifelike hominid illustrations were interestingly produced by the man who worked on the film Jurassic Park and whose exhibits you can see at other museums in America.
Then there are also tours of the Sterkfontein Caves, which may start above ground, but which then go deep into the caves. Fossils discovered here date back more than 4 million years, to what is considered to be the birth of humanity. In the area also enjoy the Magalies Meander, hot air ballooning and a visit to the Maropeng visitor centre.
Additional Info: See Sterkfontein Caves for additional information.
Things To Do in Cradle of Humankind