Ways to inspire and entertain your children these holidays

  • November 26, 2015 | Lethabo-Thabo Royds

The school holidays are fast approaching, and provide a great opportunity to take your children to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site for some memorable experiences. Who knows, one of these experiences may inspire them in their future careers?

Here are a few things to do in and around the Cradle of Humankind ...

Children having fun at Maropeng. Photo courtesy of Flowcomm

Maropeng Visitor Centre

The Maropeng Visitor Centre has fantastic interactive exhibitions that are perfect for young historians and aspiring palaeoanthropologists. The experience from when you enter the Tumulus building to when you complete your tour is a great reminder of how far our species has come.

Our current exhibit is Beasts of the Cradle, which exposes visitors to the fossils of some remarkable beasts of a bygone era (click here for a glimpse of the exhibition) – great stuff for kids.

What could be more exciting for a future scientist than visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Sites? It's also a great story for you, the parent, to tell your child about how their love for history and fossils began here at Maropeng.

A sign at the entrance to the Maropeng Visitor Centre

Sterkfontein Caves

The Sterkfontein Caves are where fascinating discoveries like Mrs Ples and Little Foot were made. They are a great place to explore – you can crawl, squeeze and climb through a world-renowned, fossil-rich set of caves. It's the perfect place to inspire the minds of young geologists (but if you or your children have trouble with being in small, tight spaces, perhaps give this a miss).

We offer a combined ticket for both Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves if you would like to experience both. In December and January we are running a holiday special – 25% off your ticket.

Mrs Ples. Photo courtesy of Flowcomm

Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve

The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve gives your children an opportunity to be inspired by wild animals – great for the budding vet, game ranger or conservationist. Here you and your family can see a range of animals like rhino, lion, tiger, cheetah, leopard, jaguar, hyena, giraffe, eland and gemsbok, as well as a range of birds and small animals .You can explore the park on a game drive or a self-drive trip, and then relax in the children's play park. It's the perfect family daytrip after a day at Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves and a night at the four-star Maropeng Boutique Hotel.

A giraffe at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve. Photo courtesy of Werner Vermaak

White lion cub at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve. Photo courtesy of Crystian Cruz


Good food is an important part of any family trip, and the Cradle of Humankind offers a selection of restaurants to feed you and possibly inspire your children to become famous chefs or restaurateurs. The Tumulus restaurant at Maropeng always serves tasty treats, and this year there is a special three-course Christmas lunch being served.

The Maropeng Boutique Hotel is also serving a Christmas lunch.

Whatever you choose to do in the Cradle of Humankind is bound to be inspiring and fun for you and your children. Come and discover interesting facts, meet great people, enjoy delicious food, and be inspired. We look forward to welcoming you and your family to Maropeng these holidays.

The pool at the Maropeng Boutique Hotel. Photo courtesy of Francois van Jaarsveld

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