August line-up: Stars in your eyes, Billings on brains and fun for the kiddies

  • July 30, 2013

Brendon Billings will be presenting on neuroscience, as it relates to palaeontology, on Saturday 24 August 

Maropeng activities planned for August are guaranteed to have visitors seeing stars – for all the right reasons.

On Saturday 3 August, resident astronomer Vincent Nettmann will be giving an illustrated talk on Earth’s galaxy, the Milky Way.

Planned for clear, moonless winter evenings typical of this time of year, Nettmann’s presentation will focus on our celestial backyard, a galaxy containing an estimated 100-billion stars.

The presentation is open to everyone and includes a buffet dinner at the Tumulus Restaurant at 18h00, followed by a laser-guided tour of the heavens, courtesy of Maropeng’s large-aperture telescopes.

The cost of this unique evening’s entertainment, weather permitting, is R230 per adult and R145 per child (four to 14 years). Dress warmly and bring your binoculars.

Click here to book.

On Saturday 24 August, emerging scientist Brendon Billings of Maropeng’s Bone Detectives tour fame, invites you to join him for an evening of fine dining and robust discussion on palaeontology. 

Having hosted a series of popular themed walking tours at Maropeng over the past two years, Billings, who is described as bringing a “refreshing new perspective and energy to the field”, will be adjusting his research focus to explore neuroscience – the brain and behaviour.

Growing interest in neuroscience has increased globally over the past few years, prompting a number of requests from the South African public for Billings to present on the topic.

His agenda will include a historical review of pioneers in the field, with special attention devoted to the contribution of the late Professor Phillip Tobias. Interactivity, fun and a chance to handle fossils and bone casts are designed to captivate attendees. 

Billings (29) is currently completing his MSc degree in the History of Science at the University of Witwatersrand, with specific reference to primatology and the evolution of consciousness.

An adults-only affair, Billings’s presentation starts at 18h00 with welcome drinks, followed by a three-course set menu at Maropeng’s Boutique Hotel. The cost is R375 per person.

Click here to book now, or take advantage of an opportunity to sample Maropeng’s overnight offering by calling Mmathabo Maine on +27 (0)14 577 9000, or emailing to make a reservation.

As always, Maropeng has come up with more fun, educational kiddies’ birthday party packages for children of all ages who will be celebrating during the month of August.

While parents relax and absorb the splendour of Maropeng’s surroundings, birthday boys and girls and their friends will be given a guided tour of the Sterkfontein Caves or the Maropeng Visitor Centre, followed by supervised party games. Confirm your choice of location – Sterkfontein Caves or Maropeng – when you book.

A number of optional party extras such as a birthday cake, lunch pack, lucky packet, jumping castle and child minders are also available.

For more information on costs, events, bookings and essential requirements, call us on + 27 (0)14 577 9000, or visit and click on “shop”.

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