Where do we come from? Relax and learn at Maropeng this Easter

  • March 30, 2011

22 March 2011

“Maropeng has so many exciting events planned this Easter for the whole family to enjoy – from accommodation specials and riveting tours, to fun, Easter-themed activities and competitions,” says Erica Jago, Maropeng general manager.

Has your child ever asked you one of those seemingly unanswerable questions? Such as, “Where do we come from?” Maropeng is a wonderful place to start investigating the answers – and you’ll have fun doing it.

Visit real excavations sites and mysterious caves, wander around Maropeng’s interactive displays and exhibitions and enjoy a relaxing and friendly atmosphere at the Cradle of Humankind this April.
Fantastic Easter specials at Maropeng
“Escape the madness of the city this April and escape to the tranquil Cradle of Humankind for the holidays,” says Ms Jago.

Maropeng is offering a great accommodation special at the award-winning Maropeng Boutique Hotel. For only R1000 per person sharing, per night, enjoy a delicious three-course dinner, bed and breakfast on the terrace where visitors can soak up some of the best views in Gauteng, of the Witwatersberg and Magaliesberg mountain ranges. This offer is valid from Friday, April 22 until Wednesday, April 27.

“An Easter buffet will also be on offer over the Easter weekend, from Friday, April 22 until Monday, April 25,” says Peter Langa, head chef at Maropeng.

Enjoy a delicious carvery lunch at the Tumulus Restaurant, reasonably priced at only R135 per adult, R75 per child, as well as a kiddies’ menu option for only R50 – sure to hit the spot after all that Easter chocolate!

“The Tumulus Restaurant is also running a special Easter competition, where diners stand the chance to win a host of incredible prizes,” says Mr Langa.

First prize is one night’s accommodation for two, including dinner, bed and breakfast, at the Maropeng Boutique Hotel. Second prize is a Stargazing evening for two with Maropeng, which includes a fascinating expert presentation, time spent under the magnificent star-studded skies and a delicious buffet. Third prize is a trip for two to the fossil-rich Cooper’s Cave site, which will give you a chance to see genuine fossils in the rocks, on a fun family outing.

While visitors are exploring Maropeng and its surrounds, they should keep an eye out for the Maropeng Easter bunny, who will be handing out special Easter treats. Children are also invited to enjoy the Maropeng playground where they can have fun and learn about how our ancient hominid ancestors lived in the past.

The Easter accommodation special can be booked online at http://www.maropeng.co.za

Do something new with Maropeng this April

This is a chance for people to do something different these holidays – get some fresh air while you learn and explore, get lost in the stars on a special stargazing expedition, or enjoy a simple picnic at one of the most beautiful parts of Gauteng.

Maropeng, the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, offers visitors and their families a learning experience like no other – a valuable and unique opportunity to discover their origins as a human being on this complex and beautifully diverse planet.

Cooper’s Cave picnic and walking tour – next session: April 2

A tour to Cooper’s Cave, guided by scientist Christine Steininger, will prove to be an experience to remember – for the whole family to enjoy. It includes a walking tour to Cooper’s, an interactive talk on the site and fossils still to be uncovered and the chance to look for fossils – all followed by a relaxing picnic, provided by Maropeng. The site is a gentle 1.2 km walk from the Sterkfontein Caves, costs R350 per person and is suitable for children. Guests must remember to bring comfortable shoes, protection from the sun and a torch for cave explorations!

Stargazing: Our Deep Southern Skies – next session: April 30

Did you know that two thirds of the world’s stars can only be seen in the Southern hemisphere? Spend some time under our magnificent starry skies and learn more about what makes the universe tick on a unique stargazing expedition with Maropeng. This month’s theme is Our Deep Southern Skies, with Maropeng’s resident astronomer Vincent Nettmann.

Guests can enjoy a fascinating illustrated talk, followed by a sumptious three-course dinner. Afterwards relax with family and friends on the cosy moonlit deck of the Maropeng Boutique Hotel and gaze at the stars through a range of large-aperture telescopes. Guests must remember to bring along a pair of binoculars so that they’ll be able to participate in a laser-guided tour of the sky. The experience, subject to weather conditions, costs R295 per adult.

Swartkrans picnic and walking tour – next session: April 16

A trip to Swartkrans, which is usually closed to the public, includes fascinating guided tour and includes the rare opportunity to observe an active palaeontological dig.

Swartkrans is of great significance to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site as fossils of Paranthropus robustus were found there. Guests should put on their walking shoes and learn more about the incredible finds in the area from scientist Morris Sutton, who is currently excavating there. The cost of the tour, for adults only, is R350 per person, and includes a delicious picnic lunch.

Weekend accommodation special

“If people want to make the most of the weekend and get out of the city, why not combine one of these specials with a night at the Maropeng Boutique Hotel?” says Ms Jago.

We are running weekend accommodation specials at our award-winning hotel on the Saturday nights of our Swartkrans, Cooper’s and Stargazing events. For a combined discounted rate per person sharing, spend a night at the hotel and wake up to breakfast on the deck overlooking the best views of Gauteng in the Cradle of Humankind.

MAROPENG FAST FACTS

The following is a list of interesting and verified facts about the Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Cradle of Humankind:

• Maropeng means “returning to the place of our origins” in Setswana, the most commonly spoken indigenous language in the Cradle of Humankind area.
• Maropeng is the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind, and is located 45 minutes’ drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria.
• Maropeng has state-of-the-art facilities that will make any conference, strategy session or team-building event a unique and unforgettable experience.
• Maropeng’s main building in which the exhibition is housed, is called the “Tumulus Building”, and also boasts state-of-the-art conference facilities for up to 500 delegates.
• The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site, declared because of its contribution to our understanding of the history of humanity. More than 1 000 hominid fossils have been found here in this 47 000 hectare area – more than at any other place on Earth.
• The Cradle of Humankind is one of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa, and the only one in Gauteng.
• Maropeng was created through a public-private partnership between the Gauteng government, the University of the Witwatersrand and private business.
• Fossils discovered in the Cradle of Humankind include the famous Australopithecus sediba. A team led by Professor Lee Berger, a renowned palaeoanthropologist from the University of the Witwatersrand, described and named this new species of hominid, which is almost two million years old. Other famous discoveries include “Mrs Ples” and “Little Foot” estimated to be also over 2-million years old. “Mrs Ples” is a well-preserved skull of an Australopithecus africanus; “Little Foot” is a full skeleton of an early Australopithecine which is being excavated by Professor Ron Clarke from the Sterkfontein Caves, one of the Cradle of Humankind’s famous fossil sites, 10km from Maropeng.
• The universe was formed about 14-billion years ago. The Earth is about 4.6-billion years old. Life first emerged about 3.8-billion years ago. Some of the earliest fossils of life on Earth have been found in South Africa.
• South Africa has yielded fossils of some of the earliest known dinosaurs, at least 200-million years old.
• Africa is the birthplace of humankind. This is where our collective umbilical cord lies buried.
• Hominids – the ancestors of modern humans – first emerged about 7-million years ago in Africa.
• The first stone tools were made and used in Africa, at least 2.6-million years ago.
• Our ancestors were able to use and control fire at least 1-million years ago in the Cradle of Humankind.
• Homo sapiens, the species to which we all belong, evolved in Africa approximately 200,000 years ago. Africa ignited humankind’s imagination. Some of the oldest rock art in the world has been discovered in Southern Africa.
• All of humanity shares an African heritage. We are one, diverse species across the globe, with our roots in Africa.
• The visitor centre at Maropeng takes visitors on a journey of discovery of the origins of humankind concluding with an original fossil display. It is fun, interactive and educational for the whole family.


Issued by Flow PR on behalf of Maropeng.
For more information please contact:
Erica Jago                               Tshililo Ragimana
General manager                       Account executive
Maropeng a’ Afrika                     Flow PR
Tel: 014 577 9000                       Tel: 011-440-4841
Fax: 014 577 9200                     Fax: 086-630-9186
ericaj@maropeng.co.za                tshililo@flowsa.com
Skype address: ericajfs                 Skype address:tshililoragimana

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