Maropeng celebrates 7 years as a major tourist attraction in Gauteng
The Maropeng Visitor’s Centre and new visitors’ facilities at Sterkfontein Caves officially launched seven years ago in December 2005, with the Gauteng attraction celebrating its seventh year as a major tourism drawcard and the only World Heritage Site in the province – one of eight in South Africa.
“In our first seven years of operation, we welcomed just over 1.7 million visitors – around 250 000 per annum – and we anticipate a continued growth pattern on the back of our comprehensive two-year expansion plan for Maropeng,” says Maropeng Managing Director, Tony Rubin. Plans include extending the hotel’s capacity, upgrading Hominid House, revamping the amphitheatre and upgrading the exhibitions.
Maropeng – which serves as the gateway to The Cradle of Humankind – is positioning itself as a one of Gauteng’s top “places of interest” for families over the festive season, offering a variety of activities that will appeal to multi-generational visitors. “What makes us such a popular destination is that visitors get to see, touch and feel part of their own history, which dates back 3.5 million years or more,” adds Rubin.
Some of the most popular exhibitions at Maropeng are the exciting visual displays such as ‘Birth of the Cradle’ explaining how the Sterkfontein Caves were formed and ‘The Path to Humanity’ which captures four billion years of humankind into a digestible ’12 hours’ of history. And at the Sterkfontein Caves, visitors love meeting the lady affectionately known as ‘Mrs Ples’, says Rubin. The landmark skull – the first fully preserved skull ever to be discovered in South Africa - of Australopithecus africanus was unearthed nearby, along with over 500 hominid fossils and 9,000 stone tools.
To make visits more affordable for families. Maropeng will offer a special discount on a family package from 10 December 2012 to 6 January 2013. The family package includes two combined tickets for children, two combined tickets for adults and two free torches for the kids to use at the Sterkfontein Caves. This special is only available online. For bookings call (014) 577 9000 or visit www.maropeng.co.za and click on shop.
Facilities at Maropeng include an award-winning visitor centre, a 24-bedroom 4-star Boutique hotel, conference facilities for smaller niche corporate groups, an outdoor amphitheatre housing up to 10000 people, budget accommodation at the Hominid House, and four restaurants.
PREPARED ON BEHALF OF MAROPENG BY CATHY FINDLEY PUBLIC RELATIONS. QUERIES TO NICOLLE KAIRUZ AT NICOLLE@FINDLEYPR.CO.ZA OR (011) 463-6372