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LOCAL TIME: 12:02 am | Wednesday, 29 November
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The Maropeng Museum, Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

‘Where do we come from? And where are we going?” The answers to these questions are attempted at the world-class Maropeng Museum situated within the Cradle of Humankind Heritage Site in the Magaliesburg, north-west of Johannesburg.

Though the exhibitions are based on the ground-breaking hominid fossil discoveries at the nearby Sterkfontein Caves and at the other archeological sites on the 47000ha Cradle of Humankind in the Magaliesburg, the Maropeng Museum offers far more to satisfy not only those interested in the archeological finds.

A unique introductory feature takes you on a boat ride through the ‘Elements’ of Fire, Water (and Ice), Earth and Air. Further exhibitions display and detail various themes from and related to the birth of the planet and the development of DNA and life on Earth; to evolution, extinction, the evolution of mankind and fossils, The Gaia Principle (the theory of a living Earth), right through to modern society, how we function as a species, and on to our ‘ecological’ footprint and future.

In addition to the fixed exhibitions at the museum and visitor centre, Maropeng also offers a number of other activities such as stargazing and astronomy talks and exhibitions by a resident astronomer, as well as archeological tours and excursions.

Winner of the 2008 Tourist Attraction category at the South African Tourism Welcome Awards, the Maropeng Museum is not just for archeology buffs and school groups. As a tourist destination it will inform at the least, and very possibly change the way you think of yourself and the world around you.

Its location near the Sterkfontein Caves (where you can also take tours of the Caves and the active archeological dig there) in the beautiful Magaliesburg, with all that it has to offer make Maropeng a must see for visitors to Gauteng. For more information, please visit the website.

The Maropeng Visitor Centre and the Sterkfontein Caves are open to the public from 9am to 5pm every day. The last tour in each location departs at 4pm.

Getting there:Take the N14/R563 north out of Johannesburg, past Roodepoort and Krugersdorp to Maropeng. Turn left on to the R400 at the sign for the Maropeng Museum. Then take the R563 to Hekpoort. Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves are situated on the same road, about 10km apart.

More info on the quaint town of Krugersdorp More info on the West Rand area

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