Cradle of Humankind

Sterkfontein Caves

Travel to Cradle of Humankind – Fossils and Caves Galore

The Cradle of Humankind is a listed World Heritage Site, shared between the South African provinces of Gauteng and the North West, about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg. This site currently occupies 474 square kilometres amd comprises a strip of a dozen dolomitic limestone caves containing the fossillised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and most importantly, hominids. The dolomite in which the caves formed, started out as coral reefs growing in a worm shallow sea about 2.3 billion years ago.

The hominid remains at the Cradle of Humankind are found in dolomitic caves and are encased in a mixture of limestone and other sediments called breccia and fossilised over time. Hominids may have lived all over Africa but their remains are found only at sites where conditions allowed for the formation and preservation of fossils.

Sterkfontein Caves, the Wonder Cave, Bolt’s Farm, Cooper’s Cave, Drimolen, Gondolin, Haasgat, Kromdraai, Minaars Cave, Motsetsi, Plovers Lake and Swartkrans are among the interesting sites to be visited while in the Cradle of Humankind. You can also visit the Rhino & Lion Nature reserve as well as Maropeng; an exhibition and educational centre that includes a short underground boat ride.

Cave tours, game drives, mountain bike trails, overnight hiking trails and craft rambles are among the activities you will enjoy while visiting the Cradle of Humankind. Also if you visit the exhibiton and educational centre you can take a short underground boat ride through the caves, an unforgettable experience that is unlike any other.

  • Take an underground boat tour to really get a feel for the caves.
  • Explore the Rhino & Lion Nature reserve.
  • Visit the Cradle of Humankind exhibition and educational centre to learn more about this fascinating site.

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Africa Travel Information