“What the heck is Sterkfontein” I say to myself as I glance over a sign selling tickets to this place just outside the Cradle of Humankind. I quickly asked the ticketing cashier what’s in Sterkfontein. She responds to me in her monotone voice that it is an underground excavation site full of ancient hominid remains. “That sounds awesome” I immediate reply back as I take out 190 South African Rands to purchase tickets to both the Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein.
Sterkfontein is located in the Cradle of Humankind area just west of Johannesburg. You actually have to drive to the excavation site from the Cradle of Humankind to reach it.
Upon arrival, we waited our turn because they have several tour groups running at a time. When Karen and myself went, there was an army of elementary and teenage school kids going on a field trip.
Waiting outside for our turn
As soon as it was our turn, the tour guide took us to the cave entrance and we started descending down.
The underground cave still houses many humanoid fossils and are still being dug up to this day. They don’t do any active excavation when tourists are wandering around and any findings gets taken out right away.
“Little Foot” can be found in the Cradle of Humankind Museum
We spent the majority of time during the tour traversing through tunnels and crevices in the cave. Every time we entered a new chamber, our knowledgeable tour guide would either point out where they found fossils or explain to us the rock formations.
Some of the stairs we climbed are pretty physically challenging for unfit people. We had one individual in our tour group who is overweight and he was huffing and puffing the entire time.
The tour guide also showed us various cave rock formations
As soon as we arrived at the end of the tour, a statue of Robert Broom appeared. He is Scottish Palaeontologist who discovered six hominins fragments in Sterkfontein.
From there the tour guide will tell you to rub either Robert Broom’s nose or hands. If you rub his nose, you will gain luck while if you rub his hands, you will gain wisdom. Since I am travelling the world for a year, I rubbed his nose for extra luck while Karen rubbed his hands to get some wisdom.
We gave the tour guide a nice tip and headed out after a fun filled day exploring the Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein.
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