” Maropeng is educational and great fun “

” Maropeng has top quality exhibits . . . had an interesting, entertaining guide “

” . . . fun and educational for children and a lot for adults to think about “

The entrance to the Tumulus building at Maropeng
INFORMATION CORRECT

July 2020

PLEASE NOTE : DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, DETAILS GIVEN HERE COULD BE INACCURATE.
PLEASE CHECK WITH STERKFONTEIN CAVES AT THE NUMBERS, OR THEIR WEBSITE, BELOW!

MAROPENG OPENING TIMES :
Every day : 09h00 – 17h00 (9.00am – 5.00pm)
Last boat ride at 16h00

MAROPENG PRICES :
Adults: R120
Children under 18: R65
Children under 4: Free
Pensioners : R65 (gives you access to both Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves – with valid ID Card needed)
Students: R75 (with valid student card)
School Groups: R65 per pupil

YOU CAN BUY YOUR ONLINE TICKET HERE

Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves Combined ticket :
Available until 13h00 (1.00pm)
Adults: R190
Children under 18: R125
Children under 4: Free
Students: R175 (valid student card)
School Groups: R120 per pupil

MAROPENG CONTACT :
Telephone : +27 (0)14 577-9000
Send an E-Mail

MAROPENG HOTEL CONTACT :
Telephone : +27 (0)14 577-9100
Send an E-Mail

MAROPENG ADDRESS :
On the D400, near Magaliesberg Village
Between the R24 (Magaliesberg) and the R563 (Hekpoort) Roads
8,7 kms from Sterkfontein Caves

MAROPENG GPS Co-ordinates (hddd.ddddd)
S25.97885 E027.66441

Note: the combination ticket is only available until 13h00 (1.00pm), in order for visitors to have enough time to see both exhibitions.

The Maropeng Visitor Centre and its restaurants are all wheelchair accessible.
Unfortunately, the Sterkfontein Caves is not.

Prices are subject to change without prior notice.

Booking is essential for all group and school bookings.

There are a number of displays that intrigue children, even before entering the museum at Maropeng

MAROPENG VISITOR CENTRE

Not far from the Sterkfontein Caves is the Maropeng Visitor Centre, where the theme of our human development, and a peep at our early ancestors, continues!

It’s a modern, world class exhibition, and one of only twelve sites worldwide, that is recognised by the Smithsonian Museum for being influential in promoting the awareness of human evolution.
Great for kids!

Your tour really starts before you get inside the Tumulus building.
Outdoor displays and small excavations, of an Early Stone Age site, that have unearthed, amongst other objects, cleavers and handaxes, line the path.
The early humans that inhabited this area were hunter-gatherers, and it was they who hewed these tools out of the local rock.

A family taking photos outside the Tumulus museum building at Maropeng
The walkway leading from the carpark, past the restaurant to the ticket office at Maropeng

. . . DISPLAYS ARE VERY INTERACTIVE!

It’s once you’re inside that the fun begins!

A boat ride through time – starting with the present and going back to the formation of our planet earth, followed by the Vortex Tunnel, replicating a Black hole, with its warnings of possible “dizziness, nausea, unbalance and unsteadiness…”, that get you to the start of the museum displays!

The displays are bright, colourful and very interactive, resulting in a hands-on learning experience.

They deal with the formation of the earth, our physiological development from early man and our cultural evolution to where we are today.

On the negative side, the message the exhibits portray is not unique, and some tend to be a bit confusing due to insufficient explanation.

Guides, who are available, are probably essential to you enjoying the experience.

One of the displays in Maropeng showing the various Australopithecus species that have been found in Sterkfontein Caves
The story of evolution of man continues at this display in Maropeng
A display in Maropeng explaining the evolution of man from early hominids to today's modern man

Maropeng Restaurants

Maropeng has two restaurants – the Market Place restaurant, in the area where you buy your tickets, that serves good light meals and snacks, and the formal Tumulus Restaurant, on the first floor of the Tumulus building, overlooking the Magaliesberg.
I’ve only had a Sunday lunch buffet, which was very good.

KIDDIES CAVE

An interesting little side show after exiting the museum, is the Kiddies Cave.
It’s a small, man made hide away for the little ones to explore, that is dark enough to be adventurous.

The kiddies cave at Maropeng allows the kids to explore their 'own' cave, in a safe environment

PAST EXHIBITS

‘Almost Human: The Homo naledi Exhibition’

This exhibit has ended and the fossils returned to Wits University for further scientific research.
I’ve left this here due to interest in its scientific value.

Rick Hunter and Steven Tucker, two recreational cavers, discovered fossils, of a yet to be identified hominid, in September 2013 in the Rising Star Cave system, in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site

The new species, named Homo Naledi, was announced to the world at a press conference in September 2015

Sandton Marlboro Rhodesfield Rosebank Park Midrand Centurion Pretoria Hatfield
R165 R165 R165 R178 R178 R178 R192 R192 R192
A mock-up of the laboratory that scientists used whilst deciphering the findings of Homo naledi in 2013
A number of fossilised remains of Homo naledi that were found in the Rising Star Cave System in the Cradle of Humankind

UNDERGROUND ASTRONAUTS

People, fitting certain criteria – due to the nature of the work as well as confined conditions, were needed to excavate the bones.

Palaeoanthropologist Lee Berger, from the University of the Witwatersrand, put an ad. on his Facebook page on 6th October 2013, and the 6 female scientists who were chosen, were given the name ‘Underground Astronauts’
They had no idea what they were coming to, as the expedition was shrouded in secrecy.

Their ‘fate’ was to excavate the bones of Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, and were given the name because of the danger in entering a shaft, that narrowed to a 175 mm (7 in) opening, to get to the cave, 10 metres (36 ft) below.

The remains of a child and a partial skeleton of an adult male, named Neo by scientists, were found in a second chamber, called Lesedi.

Access to the Lesedi chamber was almost as difficult as reaching the Dinaledi chamber.

The 'Underground Astronauts' were six petite and slim scientists who were used to excavated the bones of Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber in the Cradle of Humankind.

‘The Long March to Freedom Exhibition’

This display has ended and the statues have moved to Century City in Cape Town.

The Long March to Freedom exhibition was hosted at Maropeng for nearly a year, but has sadly moved to a different venue!
The exhibition consists of 100 life-size bronze statues of people involved in the struggle for democracy in South Africa, and includes such well known names as Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Adelaide Tambo.

It includes names from the early 1700s up until Freedom Day in April 1994, and each statue is of a person walking to the inevitable advent of democracy.

The Long March to Freedom at Maropeng - King Maqoma (1798-1873) Xhosa Military Commander
The Long March to Freedom at Maropeng - Chief Kgamanyane Pilane (c1820-1871) Chief of the Bakgatla-Baga-Kgafela 1848-1871
The Long March to Freedom at Maropeng - Sol Plaatjie (1876-1932) 1st Secretary-General of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC)(1912-1917)
The Long March to Freedom at Maropeng - Chief Albert Luthuli (1989-1967) President of the African National Congress (ANC) (1952-1967)
The Long March to Freedom at Maropeng - Walter Rabusana (1858-1936) Co-Founder and Vice-President of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC)

The hyperlink to view the Sterkfontein Caves page

Maropeng Visitors Centre
Maropeng Road (between the R24 and the R563)
Cradle of Humankind

Maropeng website


Page originally created : 26th March 2013

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