Back to school with Maropeng in 2011

  • February 17, 2011

School has officially started and Maropeng is looking forward to welcoming many more learners in 2011. Make sure that this is a memorable year for learning and book your school tour to the Cradle of Humankind.

“School groups can be accommodated at Hominid House, which offers lots of place to play and relax after spending the day exploring Sterkfontein Caves or learning about the origins of humankind,” says Maropeng Education and Marketing Executive Magel van de Venter.

“Maropeng has many educational events where families can learn about the Earth and have a good time doing so,” adds Maropeng General Manager Erica Jago.

The following events in February give visitors ample opportunity to explore the Cradle of Humankind. Readers should visit the Maropeng website–www.maropeng.co.za–to book online for these events.

• February 5: Cooper’s Cave picnic and walking tour
The popular Cooper’s Cave picnic and walking tour is back, with palaeoanthropologist Christine Steininger guiding visitors, teaching them about human evolution and how to make stone tools. The cost is R350 per person. Future dates for this event: March 5 and April 2.

• February 11 to 14: Valentine’s Day accommodation special
Enjoy a romantic getaway at the Maropeng Boutique Hotel, only an hour out of Johannesburg and Pretoria. This special includes bed and breakfast for only R895 per person, per night sharing. Wake up to breakfast on the terrace and a feast for the eyes – the hotel boasts some of the best views in Gauteng, of the Witwatersberg and Magaliesberg ranges.

• February 12: Valentine’s Day celebration dinner
Dine out on mushroom florentine, herb-crusted kingklip and vanilla panna cotta, among other items, as part of a three-course meal at the Maropeng Boutique Hotelfor only R350 per person.

• February 12: Stargazing, “Our summer sky”
As summer comes to an end in Gauteng, take time to reflect on the highlights of your holiday and the prospect of the year to come under a night sky. Join resident astronomer Vincent Nettmann Maropeng’s first stargazing evening for 2011, a family friendly affair, and kickstart your astronomy journey with a presentation on the best “beginner” areas of the sky.

Remember to bring binoculars so you can participate in this laser-guided sky tour. Subject to weather conditions, you will be able to observe the summer sky objects and the moon through a range of large aperture telescopes. The cost for this special evening is R190 per adult and R90 per child (4 to 14 years), which includes the stargazing presentation and a delicious buffet dinner. Future dates for this event: March 12, “Living amongst the stars” and April 30, “Our deep southern skies”.

• February 19: Swartkrans walking tour
Swartkrans, one of the Cradle’s richest fossil sites, is usually closed to the public, but visitors can experience it on an exciting walking tour followed by a picnic lunch. A small group will have a rare opportunity to observe an active palaeontological dig, guided by scientist Morris Sutton, who is currently excavating in the area.

Swartkrans has yielded the largest sample of Paranthropusrobustus, and it is also significant for the discovery of the earliest evidence of the use of controlled fire in Southern Africa, dating back more than 1-million years. Future dates for this event: March 19 and April 16.

Treasures of our Past fossil display reveals secrets of history

Don’t forget about the Treasures of our Past fossil display currently on at Maropeng, which is full of wonderful fossils and artefacts which give insight into how life on Earth existed millions of years ago.

Maropeng Curator Lindsay Marshall says that interesting fossils on display include “the oldest fossilised dinosaur eggs discovered to date, the skull of a pre-dinosaur which contributed evidence to prove continental drift theory, as well as the almost complete skeleton of the oldest land-living reptile ever discovered”.

All items on display are from the collections of the Bernard Price Institute and the Institute for Human Evolution. Both institutes are based at the University of Witwatersrand and are at the forefront of research in the field of palaeosciences. The fossil display will run until the middle of February.

Issued by Flow PR on behalf of Maropeng.
For more information please contact:

Erica Jago
General manager
Maropeng
Tel: 0145779000
Fax: 0145779200
ericaj@maropeng.co.za
Skype address: ericajfs

Tshililo Ragimana
Account executive
Flow PR
Tel: 0114404841
Fax: 0866309186
tshililo@flowsa.com
Skype address:tshililoragimana

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