Why is the Cradle of Humankind important?

The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, due to the wealth of hominid fossils discovered here

The Cradle of Humankind is one of the world’s most important fossil sites because it has produced:

  1. The first adult Australopithecus, found by Dr Robert Broom at Sterkfontein in 1936.

  2. A second kind of ape-man found at Kromdraai and named Paranthropus robustus by Broom in 1938.

  3. The first fossils of a very early human called Telanthropus in 1949 by Broom and John Robinson, associated with Paranthropus robustus fossils at Swartkrans. Telanthropus is now classified as Homo ergaster.

  4. The first, and so far only, direct association between Homo ergaster (Stw 80)  and early Acheulean tools, at Sterkfontein.

  5. The oldest stone tools (Oldowan) in Southern Africa, at Sterkfontein.

  6. The only virtually complete Australopithecus skeleton, “Little Foot”.

  7. The longest sample of Australopithecus africanus fossils (at Sterkfontein).

  8. The longest sample of Paranthropus robustus fossils (at Swartkrans).

  9. A great number of cave sites containing fossils of our ancestors, their relatives, and the animals that populated their environment.

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Visitor Information

Opening times

Maropeng 09h00 - 17h00 every day

(Please note that Maropeng will be closed on Thursday, 26 July 2018 for a private event) 

Sterkfontein Caves 09h00 - 17h00 every day

Rates and specials


Adults: R120 | Children (under 18): R65
Children under 4: free
Pensioners: R65 (for both sites)
Students: R75
School groups: R65 per pupil

Sterkfontein Caves

Adults: R165 | Children (under 18): R97
Children under 4: free
Pensioners: R65 (for both sites)
Students: R100
School groups: R90 per pupil

Combination ticket

Adults: R190 | Children (under 18): R125

Pensioners: R65 

School groups: R120 per pupil

Contact    |   Map and Directions

Please note: No pets are allowed at Maropeng and Sterkfontein. Service dogs and guide dogs are the exception

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