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Cradle of Humankind, South Africa
Fast Facts
Historic Interest
Natural Wonder
Tourist Attractions




Points of Interest Nearby

The Tumulus building, Cradle of Humankind


Photo by Maropeng

The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, also known as the Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and Environs, is one of the world's most important palaeontological and palaeoanthropological sites. It covers an area of over 47,000 hectares and comprises 9 fossil sites and more than 200 limestone caves. It has produced some of the oldest hominid fossils ever found. It has revealed much about the evolution of modern man and the earliest ancestors of humanity. It has shed light on the prehistoric man's way of life as well his environment.

Start your journey at the Maropeng Visitor Centre, geared to school-aged children, and learn about human evolution as well as the history of planet Earth. Tour Sterkfontein Caves, widely known for its fossil finds, and learn about old bones. Visit the Wonder Cave, believed to be 2.2 million years old, and marvel at impressive stalactite formations.
Getting There
The Cradle of Humankind is located in the South African province of Gauteng and is 1-hour drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria. Sterkfontein Caves are accessible from R563. The Maropeng Visitor Centre is located on R400 and is accessible from R563.
When to Travel
Western Gauteng has two distinct seasons, warm, wet summers and cool, dry winters. The warmest month is January with an average high temperature of 25° C or 77° F. The coldest month is June with an average high of 15.5° C or 60° F. The nighttime temperature is significantly lower than the daytime high. Western Gauteng receives most of its rainfall from October to March; January is the rainiest month. Snowfall is rare.
Things to Keep in Mind
Other area attractions include South Africa's first gold mine, game reserves, cultural villages and hot air ballooning.
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Travel Trivia
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