Cradle of Humankind is very different from any other tourist areas because of the obvious reasons. The foundation of life is what this place stands for, and we are forever humbled by the atrocious presence of nature. One of the most prominent tourist areas of South Africa, Cradle of Humankind is a paleoanthropological site that has been a subject of interest for thousands of people across the world. A World Heritage Site, its area is a whopping 47,000 hectares of land and limestone caves. .
About Cradle of Humankind
The significance of this place goes back in the discovery of about a third of all hominid fossils ever to be unearthed in the history of archaeology. The extensive research and fieldwork that has led to this revelation of early humans are striking and surreal at the same time. These discoveries date back to as early as 2.5 million years, and the timeline that follows after that is another reason why this place stands out in the collective significance of evolutionary research throughout the world.
Africa is the seat of natural evolution, and this particular place had suitable weather conditions to led to the preservation and formation of fossils. Research began in 1938, and there has been no looking back since. The Cradle of Humankind caves is now a major attraction for tourists since 2005 when it became available to regular visitors. Since then, the tourism industry around this place has flourished, and many new half-businesses have cropped up across the entirety of the place.
How to reach Cradle of Humankind
The area of Cradle of Humankind is located at a distance of just 50 kilometers from the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. It lies in the Gauteng province and is quite accessible by all modes of transport. Reaching Johannesburg by flight and train and then taking a car down to the site is what people ideally do. By road, the route follows N1 from Johannesburg. Take the exit 80 at Roodepoort, and you will find yourself on the Hendrik Potgieter road towards the north. This road merges into N14 and leads up to the Cradle of Humankind.
Cradle of Humankind: Entry Free and Visiting Hours
There are various categorical admissions at the various sites included in the Cradle of Humankind. However, the Cradle of Humankind entrance fee for adults is between INR 535-891 and for children between INR 3000-600.
The visitor center and caves are open between 9 AM to 5 PM every day. There are Cradle of Humankind tours that leave at 4 PM.
Best time to visit Cradle of Humankind
Cradle of Humankind is open to public every day, and one can plan a trip down there during any given time of the year.
Places to Stay near Cradle of Humankind
There are multiple standard and luxury Cradle of Humankind accommodation around the site where tourists can stay and make the most of their time there. The Maropeng Hotel near the Maropeng visitor’s center is one handsome option that is affordable and yet provides quality services.
The Forum Homini Boutique Hotel is another option in Kromdraai and offers a stunning view of the valley in front. The rooms are customized as per the evolutionary significance of the place and long with its fine-dining addition; the hotel is one of the best-recommended places to stay near Cradle of Humankind.
Cradle Of Humankind Activities: Things To Do
There is nothing more enjoyable than to feel the remains of life in general right here in Cradle of Humankind. Here are all the activities you can do here:
This education and exhibition center is a fascinating experience of human evolution through the ages. This place also hosts a beautiful underground boat ride that takes you through the excavated ruins of research. There are bars, coffee shops, gift shops and restaurants to make the place even more tourist-friendly.
2. Sterkfontein Caves
The most surreal experience you will ever have is around the caves of Sterkfontein. It is advisable to hire a guide and walk through the chapters of history. There is also a museum that exhibits relative artifacts. The 2 km long journey is indeed a testament to how mankind has survived and sustained through the cruel lashes of nature.
3. Lion and Rhino Nature Reserve
A beautiful terrain consisting of animals living free, this reserve within the cradle is definitely a must visit for everyone. The ‘nearet faraway place’ in Johannesburg has a variety of activities lined up for its visitors. From wildlife feeding, cheetah talk, and snake display, each of this fascinating activity make it worthy of visit.
4. Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
This beautiful botanical garden is where flora and fauna live under compatible geography. Enjoy the vistas of nature and symphonies created by the chirping birds. Pack a picnic basket and spend an afternoon among the lush greenery of the garden.
5. Kromdraai Gold Mine
Another surreal experience that is going to stay with you forever is the Kromdraai Gold Mine walkthrough. It can be called a dark hole inside a hill that connects inside through tunnels. Although the mine is no longer in use, the stories still remain.
6. Bill Harrop’s Balloon Safari
A balloon safari at sunrise is something one should never miss. This thrilling experience during a time when the first rays of the sun touch Earth is so beautiful that it cannot be expressed in words.
7. Lesedi Cultural Village
Get your reality check straightened out by visiting the rustic simplicities of the Lesedi Village. Located north of Johannesburg, this village is a center of attraction due to its rudimentary culture, basic lifestyle, and means of sustenance through hunting and farming. An experience of a lifetime that you ought not to miss!
Is it not just the strategic location the place but the whole of Africa that stands witness to this existential change in human life. Why is Africa considered the Cradle of Humankind? Well, it needs no validation from us as it will always remain the seat of evolutionary depiction through its relics and ossified proofs of early humans.
If you are willing to pay silent respect to the magnanimity called life, visit this place. If you wish to get mesmerized by the pre-historic trails of this place and learn about the evolution, then pack your bags and set out to South Africa now!