Dear Maropeng friends,
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 the Cradle of Humankind. We are now tentatively able to announce our timeline for reopening.
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.
Our team has been working on preparations for a safe reopening. This has included undertaking risk assessments and deliberating on ways to ensure that visitors enjoy the safest possible experience and making all the necessary changes.
When lockdown was partially lifted in August, our dedicated operational team returned (under strict safety conditions) to maintain our historic site and to carry out deep-cleaning and put in place Covid-19 safety measures and plans for visitors once we reopen. These have to a large extent been finalised.
Despite the fact that we have not received revenue over the past seven months, we are grateful that we have been able to pay our team during the lockdown period.
It has been difficult, but there is no doubt in my mind that remaining closed has been the only course of action to take. We have seen the devastating impact that Covid-19 has had in places in the world where safety has not been fully prioritised. And I cannot stress this enough: your safety as members of the public and the safety of everyone in the Maropeng team, from our brilliant guides and our curator to our tireless maintenance and administrative staff, must come first.
We are delighted that we now have a reopening on the cards for December. Between now and then, we will communicate everything you need to know in order to once again enjoy a memorable visit to the Visitor Centres to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.
Until then, thank you for joining us online as we continue on our quest to share the science and the wonder of one of the greatest stories on Earth – the story of how humankind came to be. In a short while, we will be able to once again say: welcome home!
Michael Worsnip, MD