The Happy Challenge – Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

The Cradle of Humankind covers 47 000 hectares of land. The Site comprises a strip of a dozen dolomitic limestone caves containing the fossillised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and most importantly, hominids. The dolomite in which the caves formed, started out as coral reefs growing in a worm shallow sea about 2.3 billion years ago. Caves on the land have produced over 850 hominid fossil remains, so that to date they represent one of the world’s richest concentrations of fossil hominid bearing sites. The scientific value of this area lies in the fact that these sites provide us with a window into the past, to a time when our earliest ancestors were evolving and changing. Scientists have long accepted that all humans had their origins in Africa….

Lighted caves of Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site in Gauteng Province, South Africa, the site of 2.8 million year old early hominid fossil and Mrs. Ples

The location?

Google Maps https://goo.gl/maps/tHdQgTNvwXEu2VZN8

How to get there?

Follow the M5 from Johannesburg in a north-westerly direction. The trip is approximately 52km / 55 minutes.

Things to do?

The Cradle consists of 2 main sites that you can visit, namely Maropeng (which means ‘returning to the place of origin’ in Setswanaand) the Sterkfontein Caves which you can easily visit within a day.

Best place for your photo?

At the entrance of Maropeng which has a very unusual grassy dome, a design intended to make it blend into its grassland surrounds, however it looks very much like an ancient burial mound, which in a sense it is if you consider the skeletons unearthed in the nearby Sterkfontein Caves 🙂