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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.

Maropeng means “returning to the place of origin” in Setswana, the main indigenous language in this area of South Africa.

A TOUR OF STERKFONTEIN CAVES AT THE CRADLE OF MANKIND The Sterkfontein Caves is a geological wonderland of underground caves found in the Cradle of Mankind which is located roughly halfway between the capital cities of South Africa, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

A day tour with Mo Afrika Tours to this historical masterpiece is the ideal way to round off a week of interesting excursions with a knowledgeable guide, like a Johannesburg tour, Soweto tour and a Kruger safari tour.

The stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone contain a carbonate compound made up of calcium, carbon and oxygen that, when burnt, create a valuable by-product called lime.

An Italian miner, Guglielmo Martinaglia, was blasting in the area and reported on the extent of the caves at the time.

These fossils are suspected to be candidates for the transitional species between the southern African ape-man, Australopithecus africanus (of which “the Taung Child” and “Mrs Ples” are examples) and Homo habilis, or even a direct ancestor of Homo erectus.An hour-long guided tour of Sterkfontein Caves takes visitors on a journey deep under the earth to the place where the remains of some of our oldest ancestors have been discovered.However, this fascinating tour starts a lot earlier as you enter the mystical valley of the Cradle of Humankind and enter the gateway to geology heaven at the Maropeng Visitor Centre.World-class displays at Maropeng Visitor Centre provide incredible insight into the evolution of humankind and a tiny glimpse of life a few million years ago.Meet Mrs Ples, a 2.1 million-year old Australopithecus skull and Little Foot, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton more than three million years old.Our ancestors have lived in this area for more than 3-million years.

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