Maropeng means “returning to the place of origin” in Setswana

Hi I know it has been a while, I guess it is that time of year when our diaries fill up with school and work functions. We were lucky enough to take a one night break away this past weekend. I wanted to share the places we visited with you, as we sometimes feel that going on holiday means visiting another province or country, when visiting what’s on your door step can be just as fulfilling. Our kids are 6 and 9 and we have never been to this beautiful World Heritage Site which is only 55kms away from Johannesburg. Cayleigh who is in grade 3 has been learning about caves so we used this as the perfect opportunity to visit.

Our first stop was Sterkfontein Caves , we purchased a Combination ticket (Adults: R190 | Children (4-14): R125), this gave us entry to both the caves and Maropeng, the Cradle of Humankind museum. I felt the prices to be reasonable as we had a guided tour through the caves which provided us with in-depth and relevant information. The guide kept us entertained and interested the whole way. You start off wearing protective hats and go through a waiting area filled with interesting facts and visuals of our evolution.

We were then met by our tour guide who welcomed us home, as it is said to be where humankind began. Just before entering the cave, we came across an amazing Sun dial, by placing the stick on the month of November, it was amazing to see the shadow fall on the time exactly as our watch reflected.  The kids were amazed.

After this we followed him into the cave. We were greeted with absolute beauty after the initial darkness. Alyssa my 6 year old got a bit anxious as we had to squeeze through tunnels and go down steep stairs, but she was easily calmed after getting her to pose for a few photos. It was a great experience for us all.

Next stop


Our next stop was Maropeng, about 6kms away from the caves. The museum could not be built at the same site due to the dolomite land at the caves.

Maropeng was a great walk trough time experience. Everything in the exhibition was well thought of and very educational and entertaining. We got to experience an underground boat ride, where we experienced the elements earth, water, air, and fire. This was the highlight of the exhibition.

After our full day of adventure we made our way to Mount Grace for the night. We were welcomed with drinks and the kids were given activity bags filled with chips, juice, crayons, map of resort and activities. This was greatly appreciated as many resorts in Magaliesburg generally don’t allow kids under the age of 12.

We then got settled in to our room. We had a lovely private pool and a beautiful view of the garden.

Later that evening we had a lovely buffet dinner and turned in for the night. The next morning after breakfast the kids enjoyed some time at the kids club while hub and I got to relax by the pool side.

We tend to overlook sights that are nearby. I know of a few people who lived in Cape Town their whole life and never been up Table Mountain yet these quick weekends away helps to break the monotony and at the same time helps the kids explore and enjoy new experiences.

There are 8 World heritage sites in South Africa. How many have you been to?

Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa Sterkfontein
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape Limpopo Province
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape Northern Cape
Robben Island Table Bay
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas Western CapeEastern Cape
iSimangaliso Wetland Park KwaZulu-Natal
Vredefort Dome Vredefort
uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park KwaZulu-NatalLesotho

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