Maropeng revs up support for water conservation

  • March 30, 2011

22 February 2011

March 2011 marks the start of a national campaign on awareness of water security. “Maropeng supports this initiative as we believe that preserving water is the responsibility of every human being on the planet,” says Maropeng managing director Tony Rubin.

“Maropeng will be raising awareness about the lack of water preservation through a series of articles on our website, which will highlight different issues regarding water preservation,” says Rubin.

“The exhibition at the Maropeng Visitor Centre also contains extensive information about global environmental sustainability, water shortages and water preservation. In addition, we have created an educational resource pack, which is free for anyone to download.”

He says Maropeng is also actively engaging with water preservation practices by maintaining its own artificial wetland system.

“We encourage visitors to go to Maropeng this month to learn more about how they can make a difference in preserving our water.”

Gaze at stars and explore caves with Maropeng
“As we head into the third month of the year, Maropeng has organised amazing events, ensuring that there is something for you to do every weekend at the Cradle of Humankind,” says Maropeng general manager Erica Jago.

Next Cooper’s Cave picnic and walking tour: March 5

Cooper’s Cave is a fossil excavation site only 1.2 km from the Sterkfontein Caves. Join paleoanthropologist Christine Steininger as she gives an informative presentation on evolution with her cast of hominid characters. Afterwards, visitors will get the rare opportunity to venture into the cave, as well as explore the nearby excavation site, which is like a “living museum” as it is extremely rich in animal and plant fossils. The morning ends off with a delicious picnic lunch, catered by Maropeng.

The cost for the whole morning is R350 per person. This is a great event perfectly suited to families, as it is an opportunity for children and parents to learn and explore together.
Visitors can go to to book online for the following events: March 5, April 2 and May 7.

Next Stargazing presentation – Living amongst the Stars: March 12

At this month’s stargazing event, Living amongst the Stars, discover the stories that the stars hold about how the universe began. Maropeng’s resident astronomer Vincent Nettmann will reveal how the stars are related to the origins of humankind on Earth.

After the presentation, enjoy a buffet dinner. A range of large-aperture telescopes will be set up on Tumulus Restaurant deck for stargazing. Visitors must remember to bring binoculars so they can participate in this laser-guided sky tour.

The evening is subject to weather conditions and costs R190 per adult and R90 per child (four to 14 years).

Visitors can go to to book online for the following events: March 12, April 30 and May 21.

Next Swartkrans picnic and walking tour: March 19

The Cradle of Humankind is home to fascinating fossil-rich sites, which have revealed many secrets about how our ancient hominid ancestors survived on Earth many years ago. Swartkrans is one of these sites and is well known for evidence of some of the first controlled use of fire by hominids. Fossils of Paranthropus robustus, a hominid which is believed to have lived around 2-million years ago, have also been found at Swartkrans.

This site is usually closed to the public, but Maropeng is giving adults the opportunity to explore it with Morris Sutton, a researcher from the University of Witwatersrand who is currently excavating there. The Swartkrans walking tour and picnic is R350 and is open to adults only.

Visitors can go to to book online for the following events: March 19, April 16 and May 14.
Weekend accommodation specials

Maropeng is running weekend accommodation specials at our award-winning boutique 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.

Visitors can go to to book online for the following events: Cooper’s Cave March 5, Stargazing March 12, and Swartkrans March 19.

Sunday carvery lunch
The Sunday carvery lunches are a long-time favourite at the Maropeng Visitor Centre and a perfect getaway not too far from the city.

Gautengers can enjoy lunch on the Tumulus Restaurant deck and then spend the afternoon exploring the award-winning exhibition or visiting the nearby Sterkfontein Caves to learn more about the origins of humankind.

The carvery includes a choice of two roasts, salads and desserts. Lunch costs R135 per adult, R75 per child or you can choose the R50 menu option for children.

Visit Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves for the combined ticket price of R190 per adult and R110 per child (four to 14 years).
Visitors can go to to book online for Sunday carvery lunch.


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      
Skype address: ericajfs                 Skype address:tshililoragimana

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