Maropeng is the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.
Maropeng, which is a Setswana word meaning returning to the place of our origins, takes visitors on a fun and informative journey of discovery using spectacular methods to tell stories of the evolution of life and the origins of humankind. It denotes the universal relevance of the Cradle of Humankind as the ancestral home of all.
Located, on 100 hectares, and within easy reach of Johannesburg and Pretoria, Maropeng overlooks the magnificent Magaliesberg and Witwatersberg mountain ranges and is en route to the popular resort of Sun City.
Other attractions include a fully equipped conference centre a 24 bedroom boutique hotel, Hominid House (budget accommodation) for students and tour groups, numerous eateries and a fabulous restaurant and bar, a Kiddies Cave and an underground boat ride.
Upon arrival, a huge ancient burial mound (the Tumulus) comes into sight and from there on its one thrilling experience after another as the secret to our ancestry is revealed. Along the pathway to the Tumulus stop to have a look at an excavation site.
The tools found in this excavation belong to the Acheulean period and include handaxes and cleavers.
The underground boat ride leads to 2500m of underground exhibition space that brings the history of humankind alive by way of exciting exhibits that are entertaining, educational and interactive.
The underground boat ride takes visitors through a sensory immersion of the four elemental forces of nature: earth, fire, water and ice. After having sailed past icebergs, volcanoes and braved curtains of water, molten lava, sheets of lightning and fire walls, you land on the other side, billions of years back, to the very birth of our planet - in time for an expedition of discovery.
The exhibition is a self guided one and can take anything from 1.5 to 3 hours, it is highly interactive, the children have a wonderful time. There is also in depth information for those wanting to grapple with the topic of hominids.
At the end of the exhibition is the original fossil display. This display area houses original fossils on loan to Maropeng from various institutions across the country
The market place restaruant serves delicious breakfasts and light meals. Enjoy a tasty snack before embarking on your journey of discovery. A number of curios and souvenirs can be bought at the Maropeng shop.
The visitor attraction is open to the public from 09h00 to 17h00 everyday, the last boat ride departs at 16h00.
The visitor attraction and the restaurants are wheel chair friendly.
Tel +27 14 577 9000
Where to Stay
Krugersdorp Accommodation, Magaliesburg Accommodation and Muldersdrift Accommodation options are varied and a comfortable drive from the heritage site.
Things to Do
The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site covers an area of over 47,000 hectares and is an area filled with family-friendly activities, and perfect for weekend or week-long getaways.
The Magalies Meander and hot-air ballooning are examples of activities you can take part in after enjoying the sights and wonders of the Sterkfontein Caves, and the Wonder Cave.