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The Cradle of Humankind The Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind The Cradle of Humankind
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The Cradle of Humankind
Johannesburg Attractions

Gauteng

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(+27 11) 355 1400



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The Cradle of Humankind

The Cradle of Humankind is a World Heritage Site which has been nominated for the rich diversity of fossils found in the area which cast light on human ancestors and their relatives and the environments which they lived in. The declared area is 47 000 hectares and extends approximately between Oaktree, Hekpoort, Broederstroom and Lanseria. Most of the site is in Gauteng with about 10% of the site in North West Province. Most of the site is on dolomite, a rock type which is slightly soluble in water. This has two major consequences- the formation of caves and the formation of fossils.

There are currently over 200 caves on the site, with possibly more to be discovered. There are 13 fossil sites which have been extensively examined- and some have produced fossils of human ancestors and their relatives. A variety of stone tools used by human ancestors such as axes and scrapers have also been identified. The range of other creatures which co-existed in the area included extinct animals such as short-necked giraffe, giant buffalo, giant hyaena and several species of saber-toothed cats. Numerous fossils of extant creatures such as leopards and hartebeest have also been found.

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There are a wide range of activities, perhaps the best known is:
 
Sterkfontein Caves:
Phone Cecilia on (011) 956 6342
Adults R20*, children R10*
These dolomite caves are open every day of the year except Christmas and Easter.
Tours through the cave run every half an hour, with the first tour leaving at 09h00 and the last tour leaving at 16h00.
These tours last approximately 45 minutes.

Another popular cave which does tours is Wonder Caves:
Tel: (011) 957 0106/9.
Adults R40*, children R20*

*Please Note that Prices are Subject To Change Without Notice
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