Upon arrival at O.R. Tambo Airport, Johannesburg you will be met and transferred to your accommodation, Johannesburg’s newest eco-boutique hotel, situated centrally in Melrose.
The hotel has 16 bedrooms which offer crisp white sheets, feather duvets, Oregon pine floors, and blesbok skins that give the rooms a natural feel. Flat screen satellite TVs, iPod Sound Dock, and WiFi ensure that you have the latest technology, and the bathrooms are spacious, with bathtubs and separate rain dance showers.
If you arrive later in the day, dine at the hotel’s restaurant, a stylish bistro overlooking the pool and lush gardens. Finish your evening at the hotel’s champagne bar, where a full range of Veuve Clicquot champagnes are stocked, and some innovative cocktail recipes are available to try.
Overnight The Peech Hotel
You will be picked up by your private guide this morning for a half-day excursion to Maropang, followed by an extraordinary journey back in time to the Cradle of Mankind, which is located nearby in the Sterkfontein Valley.
About six miles away from the famous Sterkfontein Caves, lies the world class visitor facility Maropeng. The focal point is the Tumulus building, which is designed to look like an ancient burial mound from the front, and a modern structure from the back. The architecture is symbolic of the journey through the evolution of life that is presented here.
The Tumulus contains a vast underground presentation that brings to life the history of humankind in an entertaining and interactive way. Within the visitor attraction lies an exciting four-billion-year journey on an underground lake that takes you through the elemental forces of water, air, fire, and earth, dipping through waterfalls and real icebergs, into the eye of a storm, past erupting volcanoes, and through the depths of the earth, and has you emerge at the beginning of the world. From here, the journey continues through an experience which highlights the history of our world and humankind as a species, and is brought to life via audiovisual techniques, evocative sound effects, and theatrical displays.
Continue on to the Sterkfontein Caves, discovered in 1896 by an Italian gold prospector and regarded now as one of the world's most important archeological sites. The caves lie in the Sterkfontein Valley, which, together with the nearby sites of Swartkrans, Drimolen, and Kromdraai, make up the "Cradle of Humankind" World Heritage Site. Dr. Robert Broom of the Transvaal Museum (Museum of Natural History) began excavations at the cave in 1936, and in 1947, discovered a well-preserved complete skull of a species of early man.
Your guided tour will continue at a newly-opened scientific exhibition which consists of four large showcases that include life-like models of hominids, a sabre tooth cat, a reconstruction of a mined cave vs. a pristine cave, cave formations and geologies, early life forms, fossils, and landscapes.
Next, make your way up to the limekilns, past the sundial, and underground into the depths of the caves. Beneath millions of years of dust, you'll see the resting place of some of the most important fossils ever discovered. After proceeding over the walkways to view the excavation that was Mrs. Ples's final resting place, the trip will continue past the fossil prep, where scientists continue to investigate the clues to our past.
Your visit to the Cradle of Humankind will include a guided tour of Sterkfontein. Maropeng is a self-guided tour.
Return to your hotel later this afternoon to freshen up and rest before dinner this evening. We will provide you with a list of restaurant suggestions.
Overnight The Peech Hotel
After breakfast this morning, you will be transferred to O.R. Tambo Airport for your ongoing flight.
*Price is subject to change due to date and time of year of booking as well as to currency fluctuation. The price is only an estimate at this time and an accurate costing will be provided when itineraries are chosen and submitted. Prices are based on double occupancy.
- Half day excursion to Maropang and the Cradle of Mankind in the Sterkfontein Valley
- Guided tour of Sterkfontein
- Days 2 & 3: Breakfast
- International and Domestic Airfare
- Passport, visa, immigration fees
- Personal items, such as alcoholic beverages and laundry
- Baggage/accident/travel insurance
We recommend that our clients consult their General Practitioner or Travel Clinic for advice on necessary vaccinations or medicines depending on the region to which they are traveling.
All guests are strongly advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance covering them for all personal effects, personal accident, medical and emergency travel expenses, cancellation, and curtailment.
Self-drive passengers renting a car are required to carry a valid international driver's license.