I worked in the field of HIV/Aids in KwaZulu-Natal in the early 1990’s. The virus had just begun to take hold in the country but, just as it is with Covid, conspiracy theories abounded; nonsense was taken as truth; lies and distorted thinking went unchallenged.

15469323112 2605526fe7 k

Why her?

Our MD, Michael Worsnip, looks back at the rationale behind the design of the ‘Genus Homo’ exhibit at Maropeng. He discusses why it was critical that South Africa’s history as well as the diversity of humanity on the planet be taken into consideration when deciding how to represent modern humans in this exhibit.

Cradle of Human Kind FB No words needed

Webinar - The age of emojis: from then to now to where we are going.

We are delighted to announce that we have joined forces with The Cradle of Human Culture, located in the Western Cape, to bring you a webinar titled “The age of emojis: from then to now to where we are going.

Jlee7768 A88724A973C6Ce56C72C06172A0Db19D

PICS: Celebrating our Unesco World Heritage Sites to round off Heritage Month

South Africa is home to 10 remarkable United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) World Heritage Sites that celebrate the country’s unique natural and cultural heritage. Here are some of our favourite photos of these must-visit places.

Homo Naledi Img 2341B Hires

Putting a face to a fossil: Meet John Gurche

We chatted to renowned palaeoartist John Gurche about his fascinating work of creating a face from a fossil. You may recognise his work from museums, publications and even some movies.

Photo 1532012197267 Da84D127E765

Curator’s Book Club

Who doesn’t love a good read? Every month, I share a new recommendation on Maropeng’s social media channels in a feature called #CuratorsBookClub. You’ll be able to keep track of the growing list right here.

Fireside Chat 1

Come drop in for #MagaliesRockstheCradle 2021

We have a some great events planned for the upcoming Magalies Rocks the Cradle Festival.

Pee Lab 2 Precious Chiwara

How to break new ground: we hear from women in the palaeosciences

A more diverse cohort of young scientists is emerging in the palaeosciences. To celebrate #WomensMonth, we’re turning the spotlight on some of the many remarkable women who are helping us understand the mystery of our own origins. They chatted to us about their proudest moments and the challenges they face.


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.

Copy Of Jlee7615

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.

Picture 7

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.

Stone Park

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.

Img E3524

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.

Cradle Of Human Kind Twitter Eat Out At Maropeng

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.

Molopyane Thesis Submission

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.

Heart 4243598 960 720

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.

Whatsapp Image 2021 01 06 At 15 46 06

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.

Whatsapp Image 2020 12 07 At 19 45 33

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.

Scrabble 4957948 1920

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.

Screenshot 2020 12 09 At 14 13 18

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.

Screenshot 2020 11 23 At 20 53 48

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.