The Sterkfontein cave was the discovery site of "Mrs Ples", an almost complete cranium of Australopithicus africanus, 1947 by Dr Robert Broom and Mr John T Robinson. A plaque was placed, indicating the exact position of the find.
In December 1999 the United Nations declared an area of some 480 km2, centred on the prolific fossil-bearing caves of the Sterkfontein Valley, a World Heritage Site. The area is considered to be of outstanding universal value as it provides crucial palaeo-anthropological information about the very early development of the human family in Africa, and the environment in which our remote hominid ancestors lived.
Other attractions in the Kromdraai Conservency:
The Wonder Cave, the historic Kromdraai and Tweefontein goldmines, the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve and the Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden.
It was here in 1947 that Dr Robert Broom made the discovery of one of the first ape-man fossils (Australopithecus africanus or "Mrs Ples"). In 1998 the 3.5 million year-old "Little Foot" was discovered.
Tours run for about an hour and can be booked through the office
Wonder Cave (access partly by elevator), an outstanding natural and pristine cavern containing enormous and impressive cave formations, with a guided tour
Fortunately the lime miners did little damage to this natural masterpiece.
The Sterkfontein area near Krugersdorp stands supreme as one the most prolific and accessible locations. Newly discovered hominid ("ape-man") fossils are now dated back to 3.5 million years.
Also known as the "Valley of the Ancestors" the area was declared a World Heritage Site because of the outstanding richness of the fossil hominid sites.
Old Kromdraai Goldmine:
One of the first goldmines on the Witwatersrand, dating back to 1881. Guided tours on the hour. Last tour 16.00. Tuesday - Friday by appointment only. Special rates for large groups and schools.
Open: Weekends & public holidays 9.00 - 17.00
Tel: (011) 957 0211
Tel/Fax :+27 (0)11 886-8722
Cell: +27 (0)83 289-4039
COORDINATES FOR CONSERVENCY:
Latitude -25.9833 Longitude 27.7667 Altitude (feet) 4671
Lat (DMS) 25° 58' 60S Long (DMS) 27° 46' 0