Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I pay a visit to the Sterkfontein Caves in The Cradle of Humankind.

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It has been a while since I last visited the Sterkfontein Caves.
As you turn off the R563 you will find this stone "sculpture"
as well as a trio of information boards.
An easy (less than 45 minute) drive 
from either Johannesburg or Pretoria.

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These can be found in the same area,
detailing human evolution...
depending on your belief system.
Come and visit YOUR heritage!

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"A whole lots of living where life began".
Updated new branding, which makes the tourist offering
 so much more professional.
And remembering, that since the discovery of Homo Naledi,
it has become an international tourist destination.

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Michael Worsnip,
The managing director of Maropeng,is passionate 
about the product and what it offers visitors.
When I last visited, which was more than 15 years ago,
there was only a small, run down "cafe" on site,staffed by Rotary.
But all that has now changed and the new building is light and airy
as well as being practical.
Named The Philip Tobias building, in honour of the Prof, it was opened in 2005
on the occasion of  his 80th birthday.

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This fact is just one of many that can be found 
in the above ground exhibition that is the beginning of any visit
 to the Caves.

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Our forefathers...in a variety of different shapes and forms.

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Does that mean that the human race is relatively young?

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An extinct Sabre-tooth tiger.
Just one of the animals on display

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The skull of the now extinct Colobus Monkey

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There are 16 plaques that line the route to the cave entrance.
Each one is a different fact about some of the discoveries at the caves
or about our past and how we have arrived where we are today

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Time to head underground...137 steps to get to the bottom of the cave.
If you have missed your morning exercise, then this "step" session
will put you back on track.
You realise that if it is 137 down...then it will be the same number to get back out!

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Lindiwe Mahlangu, our knowledgeable and entertaining
 guide for the morning.

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If it is the "real rock" then it is translucent
and the torchlight proves the point

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Some of the rock formations that can be found underground.
This was originally a limestone mine
that was worked by Italians.

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Unfortunately they had to use dynamite in order to excavate
the limestone and this damaged many of the rock formations.

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The picture on the left are the stairs leading into the caves.
The stairs on the right, lead visitors out.
At this exit, there are two busts.
The top image is of Robert Broom,
and the lower one is of Prof. Philip Tobias

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