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Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site

Maropeng and The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is an easy drive of about an hour from Johannesburg or Pretoria.  Maropeng means “returning to the place of origin” in Setswana, the main indigenous language in this area of South Africa. Our ancestors have lived in this area for more than 3-million years. By coming here, you are coming to the birthplace of humanity.

The Tour at a Glance

Sterkfontein Caves

Scientists have discovered many hominid and other animal fossils, dating back more than 4-million years, to the birth of humanity within Sterkfontein Caves. The most important and most famous of these fossils are “Mrs Ples”, a 2.1-million-year-old Australopithecus skull, and “Little Foot”, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton that is more than 3-million years old. These fossils, both found in the Sterkfontein Caves in the Cradle of Humankind, tell us much about the precursors of modern humans, Homo sapiens.