Sterkfontein Caves Rd, Oaktree, 3250.
9,5 km north-west of Krugersdorp in Gauteng. 45 minutes drive from Johannesburg International Airport.
FEB to DEC daily 9-16.
Online booking mandatory.
Adults ZAR 100, Children (0-6) free.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
upper level: 1,480 m asl.
lower level: 1,450 m asl.
|Guided tours:||D=60 min.|
|Address:||Sterkfontein Caves, Kromdraai Road, Johannesburg, Tel: +27-14-577-9000. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1896||an Italian contractor, Guiglelmo Martinaglia blasted here in search of lime.|
|09-AUG-1936||Dr. Robert Broom visited Sterkfontein the first time.|
|17-AUG-1936||Dr. Robert Broom found the first adult skull of the Australopithecus africanus.|
|1947||the cranium of an Australopithecus africanus, known as Mrs. Ples, was discovered by Dr. Robert Broom and Dr. John Robinson.|
|1956||in a younger part of the cave deposits, Dr. C.K. Brain discovered the first stone tools.|
|1968||start of continuous excavations by the Palaeo-Anthropological Research Unit of the Unitversity of the Witwatersrand.|
|1998||world's first complete hominid fossil skull with skeleton found at Sterkfontein.|
|1999||inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.|
|05-NOV-2004||declared a National Heritage Site.|
The Sterkfontein Caves are a very important prehistoric site. Dr. Robert Broom discovered the skull of a hominid at this site, the famous Mrs Ples. Despite this name, this skull was from a male hominid, and proved that this ancestor of humanity lived in South Africa more than 2.5 million years ago. This hominid is called Australopithecus africanus or Plesianthropus transvaalenis, which is the origin of the abbreviation Ples. Since this first finds, this cave proved to be one of the richest sites of early hominid fossils in Africa.
The cave has two levels. The upper one was open to the surface for millions of years and contains the prehistoric remains. The lower lever has an underground lake and many beautiful formations. This is the part of the cave, which is open to the public.