- Lifelike replicas of hominids remind us of the path humanity has taken
- Maropeng’s exhibitions deal with fascinating topics, designed in eye-catching displays
- Browse through the interactive displays at Maropeng Visitor Centre
- Maropeng’s displays are meticulously researched and make complex subjects easy to understand
- Watch volcanoes erupting and travel through an iceberg on the boat ride
- Learn about how the Earth was born, 4.6-billion years ago
- An exhilarating boat ride takes visitors through the four classical elements: earth, air, fire and water
- The models of hominids are an especially popular part of the exhibition at Maropeng
- Maropeng is packed with exhibitions about the journey of humanity
- The exhibitions at Maropeng are housed inside the Tumulus building
The exhibition at the Maropeng Visitor Centre
Intriguing: See fossils, learn about how humankind was born, view stone tools up to 1-million years old, and much more.
Interactive: Ideal for children, the Maropeng Visitor Centre is self-guided and highly interactive.
The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an exciting, world-class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years.
On arrival, you will see a massive burial mound called the Tumulus, which is your entrance to learning the secrets of our ancestry.
Adventure: Tour 2500m² of exhibits with an underground boat ride.
Award winning: Winner of the 2008 Tourist Attraction category at the South African Tourism Welcome Awards and many others.
Sterkfontein Caves – recent discoveries
An hour’s drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Sterkfontein Caves are world famous for their fossil finds and a well-known visitor destination. After an extensive face-lift in 2005, the Sterkfontein Caves site is home to a top restaurant, conferencing facilities, easy access to the caves themselves, modern walkways and a boardwalk past the excavation site where world-acclaimed fossils have been discovered.
The Sterkfontein Caves are owned by the University of the Witwatersrand, whose scientists have been responsible for the main excavations of the World Heritage Site. They are credited with many of the famous discoveries including the world famous “Mrs. Ples” and “Little Foot”, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton dating back more than 3-million years.
The tours at the Sterkfontein Caves, which start above ground and then take visitors deep into the caves, run every half hour, seven days a week.
Cradle Game Reserve
The Cradle is a private nature reserve situated in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site, just 30 minutes from both Johannesburg and Pretoria. Covering over 3 000 hectares, the reserve is home to over 30 mammal species such as the White Rhino, Giraffe, Wildebeest, Rare Brown Hyena and Leopard. The Cradle offers a rich diversity of other fauna and flora too including over 200 species of birds, as well as a variety of indigenous trees, plants and wild flowers. The Reserve is well known for the number of palaeontological and archaeological sites it protects. Game drives, bush walks and palaeontological tours can be arranged.
Visiting hours: 08h00 – 22h00
Rhino & Lion Game Reserve
The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve is a privately owned, non-subsidized game reserve, covering approximately 1 200 ha on the typical Highveld of Gauteng. The reserve is situated in the “Cradle of Humankind”, a declared World Heritage Site, about 40 km north-west of Johannesburg and 60km west of Pretoria.
The reserve was founded in 1985 by Ed Hern, a well-known stockbroker, with the aim of preserving this beautiful area for private leisure. Prior to this the farm was utilised as a dairy and agricultural produce farm. From a modest beginning of two white rhinos, “Ouvrou” and “Bulle”, imported from a zoo in Germany, and some antelope species, the reserve now boasts 600 head of game representing 25 different species. Public demand to visit the reserve became overwhelming and this was met in 1990, coinciding with a name change from “Kiepersol” to “Rhino Park”. Emphasis was also placed on breeding and the success of this project is best illustrated by the fact that no less than 18 white rhino calves have been born at the reserve to date. Increasing the number of species is always hampered by external factors such as climate, habitat, grazing, availability, etc. but the reserve has always strived to reach this goal in order to enhance the entertainment and educational value to the public – many of whom would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience wildlife in this manner due to cost and distance constraints.
For obvious reasons, the rare and dangerous species have a greater attraction value, and this led to the introduction of lions, cheetah and later, the highly endangered Cape wild dog. The latter have formed part of a very successful breeding programme which has, in turn, led to breeding programmes for Bengal tigers, Siberian Tigers and the extremely rare White Lion (one of which was born at the reserve in 1999). These activities have seen the staff complement at the reserve grow from 5 to 39 people employed on a full time basis.
Once again the name was changed to “Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve” in order to reflect the new attractions and to differentiate between the reserve and its competitors.
The management of the reserve were still not satisfied and hence the re-introduction of warthog, after a long absence from the Gauteng Highveld, was successfully implemented. A natural development was the establishment of a vulture restaurant which caters for the groups of these magnificent birds which live in the nearby Magaliesberg. Through the generosity of the general public and farmers, who donate carcasses to the reserve on a regular basis, this venture has proven highly successful. Often one can view as many as 200 birds feasting at the reserve. Visitor numbers increased to such an extent that the reserve became a proud member of the Johannesburg’s Big 5 Tourist Destinations. This growth necessitated the construction of peripheral visitor facilities which include, for the general public, individual barbecue (braai) areas, a kiosk, restaurants, curio shop, swimming pool, children’s play park and the Crocodile Pub where visitors can enjoy a quiet sundowner while watching crocodiles at close range.
Accommodation is available in different concepts but both on an exclusive basis. Firstly, three fully equipped, self-catering chalets are available with a private swimming pool and lapa. This complex sleeps 12 – 16 people and is ideal for family gatherings or small business workshops. Secondly, the reserve’s newest addition, 6 x log cabins, fully equipped, electrified, DSTV, 6 seater Jacuzzi’s, built in braai, 2 en-suite rooms. This complex sleeps 16 – 24 people and is ideal for family gatherings or small business workshops.
Visiting hours: 08h00 – 22h00
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot air ballooning is available on request. On offer is more than just a hot air balloon ride, but rather a total experience encompassing all the good things that make Africa great, from sun rise to great food, from wildlife to breathtaking scenery.
Air Ventures can meet all your requirements with a choice of high quality, exciting flight packages. Their attention to detail, and focus on exceptional service will ensure that your balloon flight with them meets all expectations.
Cradle Stone Mall, discover a new experience
Perfectly located in the heart of Mogale City in Johannesburg’s West Rand, Cradlestone Mall is fast becoming a formidable shopping destination.
Named for its close proximity to the World Heritage Site – The Cradlestone of Humankind, Cradlestone Mall is both an architectural masterpiece and, is optimally located at the intersection of the N14/R28 highways and Hendrik Potgieter and conveniently adjacent to the new Pinehaven Interchange.
Cradlestone Mall offers the perfect mix of 160 quality shops, restaurants and services- all in a fresh and vibrant atmosphere. Shopper enjoyment and convenience are at the forefront of every visit to Cradlestone Mall, whether meeting friends for a meal, finding the perfect gifts for family, or buying that well deserved item.
In addition to the nearly 4300 convenient parking bays, specialised facilities for the disabled and family parking, the Mall also makes use of the very latest energy saving technologies, reducing the Mall’s carbon footprint and ensuring that Cradlestone Mall is an exceptional and unforgettable shopping experience.
Cradlestone Mall is proudly owned and developed by Sasol Pension Fund, Pivotal Property Fund and Retail Africa.
Silver Star Casino
The odds are in your favour at Silverstar Casino with fantastic entertainment on complex and the Silverstar Centre, great food at their fast food outlets and restaurants, and plenty of winning opportunities in their casino featuring over 700 slot machines and 28 table games! Come and enjoy the experience of a lifetime at Silverstar.
Southern Sun Silverstar is a 38 roomed, luxurious and contemporary hotel with a magnificent view of the Fountain Spectacular, lake and boardwalk.
Indulge yourself at the Soulstice Day Spa and let them nurture your mind, body and spirit. For breakfast, lunch, dinner or a cocktail, the Silver Star Casino has a restaurant venue to suit your taste buds.