Discover the Best Things to Do in The Cradle of Humankind


The Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Gauteng province of South Africa, is one of the world’s most important paleoanthropological sites. Spanning over 47,000 hectares, it is home to a rich array of fossils that offer a glimpse into the early development of humankind. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or an adventure seeker, The Cradle of Humankind offers a wide range of activities and attractions. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best things to do in this remarkable area.

1. Explore the Sterkfontein Caves

Delve into Ancient History
The Sterkfontein Caves are among the most famous fossil sites in the world. Here, visitors can take guided tours through the caves where some of the oldest hominid fossils have been discovered, including the famous “Mrs. Ples” and “Little Foot.” The tours provide fascinating insights into the early human ancestors and the geological formations of the caves.

2. Visit Maropeng Visitor Centre

Journey Through Time
The Maropeng Visitor Centre is the official visitor centre for The Cradle of Humankind. It features an interactive and educational exhibition that takes visitors on a journey through the history of humankind, from the origins of the universe to the present day. Highlights include a boat ride through the elements, fossil displays, and interactive exhibits that engage visitors of all ages.

3. Discover the Wonder Cave

Explore Stunning Geological Formations
The Wonder Cave, located in the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, is another must-see attraction. This impressive cave features stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone formations. Guided tours take visitors deep into the cave, providing an up-close look at these natural wonders and offering insights into the cave’s formation and history.

4. Experience the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

Wildlife and Adventure
The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve offers a range of activities for wildlife enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Visitors can go on game drives to see animals like rhinos, lions, and cheetahs, visit the animal crèche, or enjoy a picnic in the reserve. The reserve also offers the opportunity to interact with lion cubs and other young animals, providing a memorable experience for families.

5. Hike in the Cradle of Humankind

Outdoor Adventure and Scenic Views
The Cradle of Humankind offers several hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the area’s natural beauty and rich biodiversity. The trails vary in difficulty and length, catering to both casual walkers and experienced hikers. Hiking in this area provides stunning views of the landscape and the opportunity to see various wildlife and plant species.

6. Visit the Nirox Sculpture Park

Art and Nature Combined
The Nirox Sculpture Park is a beautiful outdoor space that combines art and nature. The park features contemporary sculptures set against the backdrop of manicured gardens, rolling hills, and tranquil water features. Visitors can stroll through the park, enjoy the art installations, and participate in events such as concerts and art exhibitions.

7. Explore the Kromdraai Gold Mine

Step Back in Time
The Kromdraai Gold Mine is one of the oldest gold mines in South Africa and offers guided tours that take visitors into the historic mine. The tours provide a glimpse into the early days of gold mining in the region and include explanations of the mining processes and the history of the mine. It’s an interesting and educational experience for history enthusiasts.

8. Discover the Origins Centre

A Deep Dive into Human Evolution
The Origins Centre, located at the University of the Witwatersrand in nearby Johannesburg, offers a comprehensive exploration of human evolution. The museum features exhibits on the development of early humans, rock art, and the archaeological findings from The Cradle of Humankind. Interactive displays and multimedia presentations make it an engaging and informative visit.

9. Relax at a Local Spa

Pamper Yourself in Nature
After a day of exploration, unwind at one of the luxurious spas in the area. Many local lodges and resorts offer spa treatments that incorporate natural elements and local ingredients. Enjoy a massage, facial, or body treatment while surrounded by the serene beauty of the African landscape.

10. Dine at Local Restaurants

Savor Local Flavors
The Cradle of Humankind boasts a variety of dining options, from fine dining restaurants to casual cafes. Many establishments offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape and serve dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Enjoy a meal while taking in the breathtaking scenery and reflecting on your day’s adventures.


The Cradle of Humankind is a destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, adventure, and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring ancient caves, hiking through scenic landscapes, or learning about human evolution, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Plan your visit today and discover all the amazing attractions and activities that this UNESCO World Heritage Site has to offer.

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