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Cradle of Humankind

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Cradle of Humankind: Our most recommended tours and activities

Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves Half-Day Tour

1. Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves Half-Day Tour

After collecting you from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg or Pretoria, your local guide will give you a quick pre-departure tour briefing before departing to the Cradle of Humankind. You will enjoy a guided tour in the Sterkfontein caves, recently made famous in the discovery of the Homo Neledi Fossils and a number of other significant fossils and artifacts. After visiting the Sterkfontein caves, your guide will take you on a short drive to the Maropeng Visitors center for a wonderful journey through the development of the human race. Enjoy a relaxing indoor boat ride and experience the interactive museum artifacts and displays.

From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind Tour

2. From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind Tour

Discover the birthplace of humanity and see the place where our collective umbilical cord lies buried on a day tour to the Cradle of Humankind. Start your morning with a convenient hotel pickup and head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site located just outside of Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind. Begin your sightseeing adventure with a tour of the Sterkfontein Exhibition Center and Caves. Follow your guide as you explore the exhibition above ground before heading deep into the caves. Learn about the fascinating history behind this archeological site and the discoveries that have been made here, some dating back more than four million years. Next, head to the Maropeng Visitor Center to see the award-winning, world-class exhibition focused on the development of humans and our ancestors. Take a journey through time and learn about the evolutionary processes that worked together to create the world as we know it today.

Cradle of Humankind: Shared Half-Day Tour

3. Cradle of Humankind: Shared Half-Day Tour

Experience the Cradle of Humankind on a half-day tour from Johannesburg. Have the unique opportunity to learn about stones and bones and wine and dine in tranquil surroundings in this region in South Africa, which is approximately 90 minutes' drive from the Johannesburg city Centre. Explore the world’s richest hominin site and home to 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils as well as an area home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of these are rare or endangered. Explore the caves on site including Sterfontein Caves where the 2.3 million year old fossil “Mrs Ples” was uncovered in 1947. Visit Maropeng Visitors Center, an exhibition full of fossils, tools and everything millions of years old. Back in Johannesburg, experience Sandton a well-known area in Gauteng and a main business hub. Sandton is known to be a wealthy and influential area where many of Johannesburg's top business men and women work, live and play. 

From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind and Lion Safari

4. From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind and Lion Safari

Visit the world-renowned Cradle of Mankind on a popular full-day tour from Johannesburg. Transfers from your accommodation in Johannesburg or Pretoria are provided. The Cradle of Humankind is about 47,000 hectares in size and is located just 50 kilometers from Johannesburg. It is one of 8 places in South Africa listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1999. You’ll find a complex of limestone caves, including the Sterkfontein Caves, where the 2.3-million-year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus was unearthed in 1947. In fact, more than a third of all hominid fossils ever found have come from this area. At the Sterkfontein Caves, head off on a 1-hour guided tour through the caves. At the Maropeng Visitor Center, check out the world-class exhibition opened in 2005 that focuses on the development of humans and hominins over the last few million years. Marvel at a massive burial mound called the Tumulus, which is also your gateway to learning the secrets of human ancestry. Then, buckle up for an open-vehicle safari through the lion enclosures at the Lion Park, a prime example of the grassland biome typical of the highveld.

Lion and Safari Park & Cradle of Humankind Full-Day Tour

5. Lion and Safari Park & Cradle of Humankind Full-Day Tour

Discover the Lion and Safari Park, an established tourist destination. The park offers a wealth of exciting activities including a 4x4 game drive for 1.5 hours. You have the opportunity to see a selection of animals including giraffe, ostriches and various other antelope species that roam freely in the park. The Lion and Safari Park is home to a vast selection of indigenous species. The park has a kids play area and food facilities. Amazing photo opportunities await around every corner in the park. Share your memories with friends and family. After visiting the Lion and Safari Park, continue to the Cradle of Humankind Sterkfontein Caves, here you can see the oldest hominid fossils from the cradle which are more than 3 million years old. Visit the exhibition centre, which showcases geological concepts such as cave formations and fossils of early life form. It is highly interactive and enjoyable, and will engage visitors off all ages.

Private Cradle of Human Kind + Lesedi Cultural Village Tour

6. Private Cradle of Human Kind + Lesedi Cultural Village Tour

Depart from your accommodation in Johannesburg and begin your tour, which is full of history and culture. Drive through the suburbs of Johannesburg North, heading to the Cradle of Human Kind. Your tour guide will answer any questions you may have about the destination you are heading to. Legend has it that African ancestors lived here for 3 million years and that it is the birthplace of Humanity. Explore the Sterkfontein Caves and the Maropeng Visitor Center to learn more about why this place is called the Cradle of Human Kind. See different fossils and discover a lot of information about the birthplace of humankind. Continue on to the Lesedi Cultural Village to learn about the different cultures of South Africa and how they shape the modern lifestyles. African culture is very rich and the Lesedi Cultural Village provides the perfect opportunity to explore the rainbow nation of diverse cultures. Wrap up the day with a famous African dance that will be a wonderful end to your tour. After Lesedi, the driver will bring you back to your accommodation. 

Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve Tour with Carnivore Dinner

7. Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve Tour with Carnivore Dinner

Discover the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, an established tourist destination in Johannesburg. Located in the northwest of Johannesburg, the park has some of the world's greatest species of wildlife. Join a small guided group tour perfect for families, friends, and adventure-seekers alike and spend 2 hours exploring the reserve. Get a chance to see the white rhino, lion, buffalo, hippopotamus, and other species that roam freely in the park. Come and say hello to the exotic animal species in their naturally enclosed habitats. Take part in a game drive through the park and try to spot lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, and others. With the help of your guide, search for scenic locations for the most incredible views of the reserve. Stopover for dinner at the Carnivore restaurant, the gastronomic destination of choice for tourists. Enjoy a selection of succulent, charcoal-grilled meats such as crocodile, zebra, giraffe, impala, and ostrich and more skewered on the Masai swords and cooked in perfection over an open fire(vegetarian and fish dishes are also available).

From Johannesburg: 5-Day Johannesburg and Cape Town Tour

8. From Johannesburg: 5-Day Johannesburg and Cape Town Tour

Day 1: JohannesburgYour South African sightseeing tour begins in Johannesburg at the Radisson Blu Four-Star Hotel. From here, travel to Pretoria to visit the Voortrekker Monument where you'll learn about the history of the Afrikaners and the Great Trek. Drive through the beautiful city of Pretoria and pass by Church Square before heading to the Union Buildings, the seat of the South African Government, for a photoshoot. See the iconic Nelson Mandela statue while here. Next stop, Soweto. Visit the Hector Pieterson Museum and Mandela House before wrapping up your first day with a visit to the Apartheid Museum. Day 2: JohannesburgDepart from the Radisson Blu Hotel and head to the Cradle of Humankind. Located about 50 kilometers from Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind is one of eight places in South Africa listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Sterkfontein Caves where the 2.3-million-year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus was unearthed in 1947, and see the Maropeng Visitor Center, a world-class exhibition that was opened in 2005 and focuses on the development of hominins. Day 3: Cape TownGet picked up from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Johannesburg in the morning and travel to Cape Town. On arrival in Cape Town, embark on a full-day tour that takes you around the entire Cape Peninsula. Discover the wonders of Cape Town, from the pristine beaches to the spectacular sight of Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Your day also includes a visit to the sensational Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Day 4: Cape TownStart your day with another convenient pickup from the Radisson Blu Four-Star Hotel in Cape Town and set out on a full-day wine tour. Start in Stellenbosch and make your way through the best Winelands in the Cape. Take part in an optional wine tasting. Day 5: Cape TownSpend the final day of your tour on a full-day safari in a beautiful private game reserve. See South African wildlife in its natural habitat. The reserve is home to over 1,200 species including lions, cheetahs, black rhino, eland, leopards, the Cape clawless otter, and many more. Enjoy the prolific birdlife in the park, which includes the African fish eagle, black-breasted snake eagle, giant kingfisher, Cape vulture, Cape eagle owl, flamingo, ostrich, secretary bird, sacred ibis, spotted eagle owl, black stork, barn owl, and jackal buzzard to name just a few. Your tour concludes with a return flight to OR Tambo International Airport. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Cradle of Humankind

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What people are saying about Cradle of Humankind

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 153 reviews

We had an amazing time on our tour! Jason was so knowledgeable and ensured that we got the most out of our day. Lion's Park was gorgeous and we were able to safely get up close to lions, cheetahs, and African wild dogs. The Sterkfontein caves were really cool and Jason organized the tour well, so that we followed the caves with Maropeng and got more history/background on the amazing fossils and humanoids that have been found there. We would highly recommend both this tour and Jason!

The visits to the Sterkfontein cave and the Maropeng museum were very interesting. The children really liked the experience of the descent into the cave as well as the museum which is designed in an educational way. Vincent, our guide, gave us a lot of explanations and did the translations when necessary.

Our tour guide was awesome and very patient. We started off with a little confusion and had a mishap but our guide handled the situations very professional. He was funny and fun to be around

This tour guide Jason was very polite and informative. we enjoyed our time a lot during this tour and got great guidance. Thank you Jason

My family enjoyed the tour they can't contain their excitement