The Cradle of Humankind – South Africa’s Gift to Science Nerds

The Cradle of Humankind is the perfect place to visit for all you science nerds out there. Located north west of Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind is one of my favourite place I visited while in South Africa.

This UNESCO world heritage site contains the history of how humans came to be. How we evolved from cave mans to different specifies of humanoids to our current present form.

My experience in the Cradle of Humankind

I still remember like it was yesterday. Karen and myself arrived at this grass covered dome shaped building. As we speed walked our way towards the Cradle of Humankind, we felt this joyful anticipation that can only be felt by a kid who’s about to receive a Christmas present.

Karen and myself are both science nerds. Quite honestly, nothing makes us happier than going to places where you get learn new stuff. Since the Cradle of Humankind is a UNESCO world heritage site, it must be very good…right?

After paying for our ticket, we enter the building and see a massive winding stairway leading down to the basement. “So cool…” is what I said as I admire the “sciency” vibe of this museum.

The ride of a lifetime, literally

After descending to the bottom of the stairway, we were taken to a winding hallway. The walls was filled with images of Earth’s people.


Cradle of Humankind


Cradle of Humankind


What I learned is that essentially, our roots came from the same place. Our ancestors all came from South Africa and we were all Africans at one point during our evolution. If you take a DNA test with 23andme, you’ll find out that you are 1% African (my sister took the test and her result came out that way). Apparently, we are all 1% African!

After reaching the end of the hallway, we were greeted by an individual that had us seated on a small boats. Looks like we are going on an underground boat ride!


Tunnel to Ice Age

Cradle of Humankind


Upon seeing the underground boat tunnel, my eyes was wide open in excitement. I really LOVE interactive science museums! You can’t say the same thing for Karen: she was screaming in terror during the entire boat ride. I’ll put up the video sometime in the future so you can hear me laughing my head off as my girlfriend is screaming in terror. (I’m such a jerk)


Tunnel to Fire Age? (I was so mesmerized by the ride I stopped paying attention)

Cradle of Humankind


The boat ride took us through the ice age and I suppose when the ice started melting (I couldn’t tell).


After the ride, we were taken to a big open museum where you can learn more about the evolution of humans. How our species managed to spread from South Africa all the way to Europe, Asia and eventually, North and South America.


Cradle of Humankind


We also learned how humans evolved culturally throughout history.



After we completed touring the museum, we rewarded ourselves with lunch in the cafe located just outside the ticketing office. Right after eating our delicious lunch, we proceeded to the next stop: Sternkfontein – the archeological site of the early human remains.


Early human fossils



Hell yes it’s that good

The Cradle of Humankind is a definite must visit when you are in South Africa. Too many people skip visiting this place because of its close proximity to Johannesburg (and we all know the reputation this city has). I know most people who travel to South Africa probably only stay in the Cape Town area. DON’T BE ONE OF THESE PEOPLE. You’ll be missing out on one of the world’s best museum and world heritage site.

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3 thoughts on “The Cradle of Humankind – South Africa’s Gift to Science Nerds”

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