The ancient dolomite caves with an underground lake, situated a
few miles north of Johannesburg, form part of what archaeologists
call the 'Cradle of Humankind'. Sterkfontein is recognised as one
of the world's most important palaeontological sites, having
yielded fossil deposits dating from up to three and a half million
years ago, spanning the development of hominids. Among the most
famous finds are the 'Taung child', 'Little Foot' and 'Mrs Ples'.
Because the cave environment is fragile, visitors are not allowed
into certain areas, particularly those that scientists are working
on. There are however guided tours of one of the sections, which
include the massive Hall of Elephants. A visitor centre includes
the Hominid exhibition, conference facilities and a restaurant.
Address: Kromdraai Road, seven miles (12km) north of
Telephone: 014 577 9000
Opening Time: Daily 9am to 5pm; tours run every 30 minutes until
Admission: R120 (adults), R70 (children)