If you’re looking into the best airfares for cheap tickets to Johannesburg, take some time off from the big, busy city and visit the Cradle of Humankind, just a short drive out west. The Cradle of Humankind was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. In the Cradle you can see the Sterkfontein Caves, where the famous “Mrs. Ples” skull was discovered in 1947, a find estimated to be over two million years old. Since then, countless archaeologists have traveled to the Cradle on flights to Johannesburg to excavate and study the area. Mrs. Ples is the oldest Hominid fossil that has been discovered. To this day, about a third of recorded Hominid fossils have been found in and around this site. This site is where humanity achieved some of our first major accomplishments, like standing upright on two feet and using opposable thumbs. This is also where fire was first domesticated about 1.8 million years ago. The heavy limestone deposits and breccia sediments in this area provided ideal conditions for the formation of fossils, which is why so many have been found here since the mid-twentieth century. Buy airline tickets for cheap flights to Johannesburg and get to know your human heritage up close and personal.
Today, the main attraction at the Cradle of Humankind is the Maropeng Visitors’ Center. If you get a combination ticket, you can visit both the Center and the Sterkfontein Caves. When you arrive at Maropeng, you’ll see the Tumulus, a huge former burial ground that guests can explore. Maropeng is separated into helpful sections like “Imagine,” “Explore” and “Discover.” The vast, informational tour center has interactive exhibits, exciting tours, models of what our early ancestors must have looked like, and lots of information. There is even an underground boat ride to tour part of the area and simulate the conditions of the last ice age. There are over 2,500 square meters of exhibition space in the center. Many fossils and artifacts are kept here, including million-year-old stone tools. For the price of some inexpensive flight tickets, you can explore one of the most historic places for the human species. There is a restaurant at Sterkfontein Caves and also a wildlife park nearby for visitors who have come to South Africa hoping to witness its famed wildlife. Besides Sterkfontein, some other fossil-producing caves near the Visitors’ Center are Bolt’s Farm, Cooper’s Cave, Gladysvale, Komdraai, and the Malapa Fossil Site.
The Maropeng Visitors’ Center is open every day. When you head to the Cradle of Humankind, you can also check out the nearby Magaliesberg Mountians, with their destinations spas, bed and breakfasts, and scenic natural attractions. With cheap tickets to Johannesburg, go back in time to see where humanity began. Find the best airfares now for flights to Johannesburg and see one of South Africa’s first World Heritage Sites.