Maropeng – Welcome Home

Hello friends!

It’s been a while but I’m back with a brand new blog post! I had the pleasure of visiting Maropeng last Sunday and experienced their visitors centre as well as their 4 star boutique hotel!

“Maropeng, a Setswana word meaning ‘returning to the place of our origins'”

Maropeng Visitor’s Centre

IMG_6033The journey begins in the tumulus building with a boat ride through the four elemental forces of nature, water, earth, ice and fire. You emerge on the other side of what is supposed to feel like the start of earth itself. You will then find yourself immersed in an interactive and educational world. Speak to a dodo or a woolly mammoth on the phone and learn more about them and when their extinction occurred. This is a great place for kids to be educated on where they originate from in a fun and entertaining way and also a fantastic afternoon out for the adults. You’ll be able to view original fossils on display in a separate part of the centre. It is extremely interesting to see how humans and animals have evolved over the years! Maropeng is also home to the most complete Australopithecus Africanus skull found in South Africa.

Opening Times
Tuesday – Sunday
09h00 – 17h00
(Last tour leaves at 16h00)

Tariffs 
Adults: R120 | Children (4-14): R65
Children under 4: free
Pensioners: R65
Students: R75
School groups: R65 per pupil

Combination ticket
(Maropeng + Sterkfontein Caves)
Adults: R190 | Children (4-14): R125
School groups: R120 per pupil

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Maropeng Boutique Hotel

Add this place to your bucket list! Incredibly designed, friendly staff, delicious food and amazing sunsets are what you’ll find at this 4 star hotel!IMG_6181
The rooms are simplistically furnished with the decor providing a warm African vibe and
the floor to ceiling windows encase a beautiful picturesque landscape that can also be enjoyed from the private patio.
The little touches like the branded bottle’s of water, tub of Hawaiian mix and fluffy white slippers really make the experience just that much more special!

Click here for rates and bookings!

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The restaurant hotel offers a set menu for dinner with 2 options for a starter, main and dessert. The food was beautifully presented and tasted delicious! Things that I didn’t think I would enjoy, tasted nicer than I would’ve imagined. Breakfast was just as incredible, starting off with yogurt & granola, fruit, cheese & crackers, a croissant and a muffin then onto a hearty fry up consisting of bacon, eggs, sausage, hash browns, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast.

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After a sumptuous breakfast, we checked out and headed for Sterkfontein Caves, unfortunately we didn’t realise that they caves were closed on Mondays so we made our way home. Thankfully my tickets were still valid and we visited the following Sunday so I could complete this blog post correctly.

Sterkfontein Caves

We visited the caves the following Sunday just after midday. Our tour started at 2pm and we began our 200 metre walk to the caves with our guide. Once descending into the cave,
she informed us about the stalactites and the stalagmites that had formed in the caves over millions of years. Hominid’s that were found here had actually fallen into the caves as they didn’t actually use the caves as a home, how do we know this you may wonder, well there are no burn marks from fires that they would have built to keep warm.
Little Foot, a nearly complete Australopithecus, was found here in 1994 and you are able to see where he fell into the cave so many million years before he was discovered. The IMG_6179excavation site is still active, therefore it is gated up to prevent tourists from disturbing any fossils or artifacts.
You’ll also be amazed to find a 4o metre deep underground lake inside the caves. The guide told us about an expedition from 1984 where 3 scuba divers explored the underground passages looking for signs of life or fossils. Only 2 made it back alive. The 3rd scuba diver became lost and it took rescue divers three weeks to find his body. They had missed him by only a few metres on many searches before they found him as it was dark and difficult to see movement.

When visiting the caves, I suggest sensible footwear like sneakers or running shoes as there is a lot of walking and stairs to climb. There is also a part of the tour where you have to somewhat crawl through a narrow tunnel on your haunches, thankfully you are provided with a hard helmet as there are many occasion where smacking your head on a rock is highly likely. So if you’re claustrophobic, have back issues or don’t have a decent fitness level, I’d think twice about descending into the darkness. I suggest you don’t bring your 80-year-old grandmother for a day out here either!

Opening Times
Tuesday – Sunday
09h00 – 17h00
(Last tour leaves at 16h00)

Tariffs 
Adults: R165 | Children (4-14): R97
Children under 4: free
Pensioners: R85
Students: R100
School groups: R90 per pupil

Combination ticket
(Maropeng + Sterkfontein Caves)
Adults: R190 | Children (4-14): R125
School groups: R120 per pupil

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Thank you so much to all the staff who made my stay wonderful. A special thank you to Mmbatho, Janine, Tony and to anyone else who made my stay here a possibility. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I was given to experience such a wonderful place!

Till next time friends,
Panda Kennedy
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