Today was an epic day. Raining … again, we opted to go explore the Sterkfontein Caves.
The Sterkfontein Caves are one of the richest and most productive palaeo-anthropological sites in the world and form part of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. We had no idea what to expect but after a 30minute drive, we arrived, paid the $16NZD entrance fee and we were in.
Our guide was brilliant and informed us right from the start that it was 127 stairs down, 60m underground and 232 stairs back up so at least we were getting in some exercise!
We were first taught that within the Sterkfontein Caves, scientists have discovered many hominid and other animal fossils, dating back more than 4-million years, to the birth of humanity. The most important and most famous of these fossils are “Mrs Ples”, a 2.1-million-year-old Australopithecus skull, and “Little Foot”, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton that is more than 3-million years old. These fossils, both found in the Sterkfontein Caves in the Cradle of Humankind, tell us much about the precursors of modern humans, Homo sapiens, allowing this cave to be one of the most significant in the world.
Anyone will know that taking photos in the dark/ caves is super difficult and as I only had my phone, the quality is pretty useless, but I am sure you will catch the just of the experience, as it was pretty awesome.
At one point in the cave we had to squeeze through a 1m squares crevice for 25m, so I would recommend not coming here if you are claustrophobic, scared of the dark, wet small spaces or generally not keen on big ass caves as this one was huge! An estimated 40% of all the world's human ancestor fossils have been found in the Cradle, so it’s pretty awesome to tick off the list, and it’s ‘indoors’ so a great rainy day activity in Jo’berg! At the end of the tour you can check out the statue of the founder of this cave and you can either rub his nose for Good Luck or his hand for Wisdom. Legend says that you can't rub them both though as it's considered selfish and bad luck. I went for Wisdom as I feel with great wisdom comes good luck? Who knows... it was a great day anyway!
Our next stop is Cape town where we will spend a week in Camps bay, hopefully training hard for Kilimanjaro before we head off for a week along the Garden Route, which I am very excited for. Jo’berg was never on my list, in fact we only came here to visit family, but I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have loved how incredibly friendly everyone we have met has been and how as much as I wouldn’t say I felt safe, I definitely didn’t feel threatened at any time.
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!