The festive season is almost here, and rest, family and fun are in the offing. It’s also a great time to dig into one of South Africa’s most fascinating historical attractions: the Cradle of Humankind.
Know nothing about this archaeological wonder and recent events there? Here are some fun facts about the area, and some things to do with the family!
Something for the kids
Keep the youngest ones of the family busy with pre-booked activities that are run in collaboration with the Cradle of Humankind.
If a zipline adventure or a horse riding lesson in the area don’t get your kids excited, then an educational and engaging walk through the Maropeng Visitor Centre is just the ticket. A guided walk with your children through the Sterkfontein Caves should also be high on your and your children’s holiday bucket list!
Exploring the Sterkfontein Caves
Probably your best tip before going to the Sterkfontein Caves during the festive season is to call ahead and find out what the tour availability is. Planning ahead is crucial at this time of year.
So what can you expect at the caves? Guided tours will take your family deep underground – and into the past. If you have to wait for a tour (because of the crowds), then make a note of taking your family past the famous “Mrs Ples” and “Little Foot”, which can be found at the museum. They’re the stars of the Sterkfontein Caves!
Cradle of Human Culture – for the folk in the Western Cape
If you’re in the Western Cape and can’t make it to the Cradle of Humankind, consider doing the Cradle of Human Culture tour.
April 2019 saw the start of the new tour, which strings three archaeological sites together: the Diepkloof Rock Shelter on the West Coast, the Blombos Cave near Stilbaai and Pinnacle Point near Mossel Bay. Learn about the activities and movements of our ancestors while on the tour.
You can read more about this archeological adventure in a previous blog post here.
In Cape Town this festive season?
On one of its pit stops, the Long March to Freedom exhibition was based at Maropeng for almost a year. Artists created 100 life-sized bronze statues that make up the legacies of some of South African’s greatest figures: Nelson Mandela, Miriam Makeba, Oliver Tambo, Mohandas Gandhi and Ruth First are just a few.
After Maropeng, the exhibition moved to Cape Town’s Century City in November 2019. If you find yourself in the Western Cape this holiday, make a point of seeing the lifelike bronze statues.
Fun fact: The Ndlovu Youth Choir’s hit YouTube video was shot at the Cradle of Humankind
Earlier this year, the Ndlovu Youth Choir caught the attention of the world with their stellar performance on America’s Got Talent. As South Africans, we watched fervently and cheered when the choir progressed through the rounds.
Now they’ve gone on to win a Hollywood Music in Media Award for the music video for their rendition of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, which was shot at the Cradle of Humankind last year. To date, the video has racked up over 4.7-million views on YouTube! If possible, ask guides at Maropeng to point out the exact location of the video shoot.