In 1976

A poem by Maropeng MD, Michael Worsnip


What’s on the menu for Father’s Day at Maropeng?

We’ve got a delicious spitbraai planned for Father’s Day this year. Here’s what’s on the menu.

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Five African fossil discoveries to celebrate on Africa Day

The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site has been the backdrop of some of the most remarkable hominin fossil finds in the world. But the Cradle is not the only site on the continent that has offered intriguing evidence of life that existed millions of years before modern humans. To celebrate Africa Day, we’re looking at some of the most incredible fossil finds from this continent.

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Scientist, storyteller, textbook writer: meet our new curator

Kimberleigh Tommy’s curiosity about the past started with a childhood fascination with Egypt. The idea of piecing together the story of a people by carefully examining what they left behind was intriguing. But was this a viable career option for her? She didn’t think so. However, Tommy, now a fully fledged biological anthropologist, proved herself wrong. She has just been appointed curator at the Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves Visitor Centres.

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Enjoy a picnic at our beautiful Stone Park

Is there a better way to enjoy Gauteng’s fresh, crisp autumn and winter days than with a picnic outdoors, under blue skies in the Cradle of Humankind? Yes, there is: enjoying a picnic that’s already been packed with delicious treats for you. Here’s what’s on the menu.

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Our curator’s farewell: it’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later

We’re sad to see her go, but our curator, Dr Keneiloe Molopyane, is about to embark on an exciting new chapter in her career in the palaeosciences. Molopyane will be leaving her position as curator at Maropeng at the end of March to head back into academia and exploration. We chatted to her as she prepares to take the next step.

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Eat out at Maropeng this Easter

Take a break this Easter, and bring the family out to lunch at Maropeng. We have delicious lunch options at our iconic Tumulus Restaurant and the Maropeng Boutique Hotel. If you’re looking for a day outdoors, you can enjoy a delicious picnic at Stone Park.

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Introducing Dr Keneiloe Molopyane

Maropeng’s intrepid curator, Keneiloe Molopyane, has dived fearlessly into caves and oceans in search of answers to one of humankind’s most intriguing questions: “Where do we come from?” Yet, despite her adventures, she counts her journey to her doctorate as among her most daunting challenges.


Changing perspectives; creating memories: meet our world-class guides

Every year, tourist guides at Maropeng lead thousands of people along a complex and fascinating journey through the visitor centres in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. To celebrate International Tourist Guide Day on 21 February 2021, we speak to three of our guides about their experiences on the job and the journey that led them to Maropeng.

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Come gaze at the stars for a Valentine’s treat

On 13 February, we’re offering a special Valentine’s package that includes stargazing, welcome drinks and a gourmet picnic.

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Karabo and Neo: a homecoming story – and a tantalising teaser!

It is 2021! The new year we have all been waiting for. The year we would all get out of our funk.

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Taking the world on our journey of discovery: UW 105

Maropeng’s intrepid curator, Keneiloe Molopyane, has been part of a team uncovering a mystery at a new fossil site in the Cradle of Humankind. The site is called UW 105 and since September, teams of scientists have been meticulously mapping out the underground area and creating an above-ground replica to analyse their findings thoroughly. She’s penned a piece on the fascinating work going on at the site.


We’re reopening! Here’s what you need to know

The Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Sterkfontein Caves will be open during the festive season. Please note, we are only allowing online bookings in order to limit the number of visitors to our site. No tickets will be sold on site.

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Got a question? Here’s our Covid-19 FAQ

We’ve put together an FAQ to help you plan your trip to our sites in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site in Gauteng, South Africa.

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Exploring battlefields in the Cradle of Humankind: the secret Swartkop Commando

South Africa’s own history means there are many old battlefields across our country. Celebrated environmentalist and author Vincent Carruthers is producing a three-part series for Maropeng on old battlefield sites in the Cradle of Humankind. Here’s the third and final instalment, on the secret Swartkop Commando.

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Exploring battlefields in the Cradle of Humankind: the Battle of Kalkheuwel

In the second instalment of his remarkable series on old battlefields in the Cradle of Humankind, Vincent Carruthers takes us back to the Battle of Kalkheuwel - a deadly confrontation on a high ridge honeycombed with lime mines and the dolomitic caves.


#FossilFriday feature: Drimolen skull shows evidence of microevolution

A skull discovered at the Drimolen Palaeocave System in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is making global headlines. Researchers say the Paranthropus robustus specimen shows evidence of microevolution. The findings were published earlier this week.

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Exploring battlefields in the Cradle of Humankind: The Battle of Dwarsvlei

On 11 November each year, millions around the world mark Remembrance Day in tribute to lives lost in World War I. South Africa’s own history means there are many old battlefields in areas across our country. Celebrated environmentalist and author, Vincent Carruthers is producing a three-part series for Maropeng on these sites in the Cradle of Humankind. Here’s the first instalment, on the battle of Dwarsvlei.


On reopening Maropeng: a letter from our MD

Since we moved to lockdown level 1 in September, we have received a flood of enquiries from South Africans eager to visit or revisit our vast site. In all likelihood, and at the very least, Maropeng, the official visitor centre to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, and the Maropeng Boutique Hotel, will be able to reopen in December this year.

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A tale of two Cradles

There is only one Cradle of Humankind - and although it is foregrounded in the amazing world heritage site in Gauteng, with it unparalleled collection of early hominin fossils, in fact the Cradle of Humankind is the entire continent of Africa, in its unparalleled diversity. In South Africa, we have two “Cradles”.


From Barbies to bones: Hi-Tec celebrates our curator

“Once upon a time there was a little girl obsessed with Barbies - 23 Barbies – watching an episode of Tintin and then everything changed.”


The Maropeng family mourns the loss of a shining star

The team at Maropeng is mourning the loss of a dear friend and colleague, Dinaledi Esau. Dinaledi joined the Maropeng team in 2013 and was a member of the first team of Cradle Ambassadors when the programme was launched in 2017.

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Spring in the Cradle of Humankind

It’s nearly that time of year again when the landscape in and around the Cradle of Humankind becomes a blaze of colour as the weather starts to warm up. While the area is best known for its fossil treasures, it also boasts a remarkably rich biodiversity that is on full display in the warmer months.

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Maropeng’s women share their words of wisdom

Women’s Month is all about celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of our female leaders, heroes and icons. So, in this month of August, Maropeng is turning the spotlight on the women who are making a contribution to palaeosciences in South Africa.