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Johannesburg Archaeology

Our most recommended Johannesburg Archaeology

Cradle of Humankind: Shared Half-Day Tour

1. Cradle of Humankind: Shared Half-Day Tour

Experience the Cradle of Humankind on a half-day tour from Johannesburg. Have the unique opportunity to learn about stones and bones and wine and dine in tranquil surroundings in this region in South Africa, which is approximately 90 minutes' drive from the Johannesburg city Centre. Explore the world’s richest hominin site and home to 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils as well as an area home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of these are rare or endangered. Explore the caves on site including Sterfontein Caves where the 2.3 million year old fossil “Mrs Ples” was uncovered in 1947. Visit Maropeng Visitors Center, an exhibition full of fossils, tools and everything millions of years old. Back in Johannesburg, experience Sandton a well-known area in Gauteng and a main business hub. Sandton is known to be a wealthy and influential area where many of Johannesburg's top business men and women work, live and play. 

Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves Half-Day Tour

2. Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves Half-Day Tour

After collecting you from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg or Pretoria, your local guide will give you a quick pre-departure tour briefing before departing to the Cradle of Humankind. You will enjoy a guided tour in the Sterkfontein caves, recently made famous in the discovery of the Homo Neledi Fossils and a number of other significant fossils and artifacts. After visiting the Sterkfontein caves, your guide will take you on a short drive to the Maropeng Visitors center for a wonderful journey through the development of the human race. Enjoy a relaxing indoor boat ride and experience the interactive museum artifacts and displays.

From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind Tour

3. From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind Tour

Discover the birthplace of humanity and see the place where our collective umbilical cord lies buried on a day tour to the Cradle of Humankind. Start your morning with a convenient hotel pickup and head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site located just outside of Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind. Begin your sightseeing adventure with a tour of the Sterkfontein Exhibition Center and Caves. Follow your guide as you explore the exhibition above ground before heading deep into the caves. Learn about the fascinating history behind this archeological site and the discoveries that have been made here, some dating back more than four million years. Next, head to the Maropeng Visitor Center to see the award-winning, world-class exhibition focused on the development of humans and our ancestors. Take a journey through time and learn about the evolutionary processes that worked together to create the world as we know it today.

Private Cradle of Human Kind + Lesedi Cultural Village Tour

4. Private Cradle of Human Kind + Lesedi Cultural Village Tour

Depart from your accommodation in Johannesburg and begin your tour, which is full of history and culture. Drive through the suburbs of Johannesburg North, heading to the Cradle of Human Kind. Your tour guide will answer any questions you may have about the destination you are heading to. Legend has it that African ancestors lived here for 3 million years and that it is the birthplace of Humanity. Explore the Sterkfontein Caves and the Maropeng Visitor Center to learn more about why this place is called the Cradle of Human Kind. See different fossils and discover a lot of information about the birthplace of humankind. Continue on to the Lesedi Cultural Village to learn about the different cultures of South Africa and how they shape the modern lifestyles. African culture is very rich and the Lesedi Cultural Village provides the perfect opportunity to explore the rainbow nation of diverse cultures. Wrap up the day with a famous African dance that will be a wonderful end to your tour. After Lesedi, the driver will bring you back to your accommodation. 

From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind and Lion Safari

5. From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind and Lion Safari

Discover the Cradle of Humankind on this full-day tour from Johannesburg. Explore the Lion and Safari park, go on an underground cave tour, and enjoy Maropeng's interactive exhibits. Begin your day with a pickup from your Johannesburg hotel. Head to the Lion and Safari Park and see lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, giraffes, and antelopes up close. Snap photos of these beautiful animals before going on an open-vehicle safari through the lion enclosures with your guide. Next, enjoy some time to experience the 5 dome shopping center before going to the Cradle of Humankind. Go on a 1-hour tour of the Sterkfontein caves, marvel at the beauty of these magnificent caves, and see where archaeologists discovered hominid fossils. After your cave tour, enjoy lunch before visiting Maropeng, a world-class interactive exhibition center and museum. Learn about evolution and the discoveries at the Sterkfontein caves before returning to your Johannesburg hotel.

Johannesburg: Day Trip to Cradle of Humankind and Game Drive

6. Johannesburg: Day Trip to Cradle of Humankind and Game Drive

Discover the Bothongo Rhino & Lion Safari, an established tourist destination. The park offers a wealth of exciting activities including a 4x4 game drive for 2.5 hours. With over 600 game, this is the perfect setting for admiring nature on your doorstep. More than thirty species of game, including three of the big five, can be viewed from open vehicles in the presence of an experienced registered local guide. These include Kruger Lion, White Rhino and Buffalo. Endangered species, such as wild dog have been reintroduced into the area. Cheetah, hippo, crocodile and more than 20 species of antelope will also be part of this experience. From a vulture hide, the visitor has the opportunity to view and photograph the rare Cape Vulture. After visiting the Bothongo Rhino & Lion Park, continue to the Cradle of Humankind Sterkfontein Caves (Subject to availability), here you can see the oldest hominid fossils from the cradle which are more than 3 million years old. Visit the exhibition center, which showcases geological concepts such as cave formations and fossils of early life form. It is highly interactive and enjoyable, and will engage visitors off all ages.

From Johannesburg: 5-Day Johannesburg and Cape Town Tour

7. From Johannesburg: 5-Day Johannesburg and Cape Town Tour

Day 1: JohannesburgYour South African sightseeing tour begins in Johannesburg at the Radisson Blu Four-Star Hotel. From here, travel to Pretoria to visit the Voortrekker Monument where you'll learn about the history of the Afrikaners and the Great Trek. Drive through the beautiful city of Pretoria and pass by Church Square before heading to the Union Buildings, the seat of the South African Government, for a photoshoot. See the iconic Nelson Mandela statue while here. Next stop, Soweto. Visit the Hector Pieterson Museum and Mandela House before wrapping up your first day with a visit to the Apartheid Museum. Day 2: JohannesburgDepart from the Radisson Blu Hotel and head to the Cradle of Humankind. Located about 50 kilometers from Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind is one of eight places in South Africa listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Sterkfontein Caves where the 2.3-million-year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus was unearthed in 1947, and see the Maropeng Visitor Center, a world-class exhibition that was opened in 2005 and focuses on the development of hominins. Day 3: Cape TownGet picked up from the Radisson Blu Hotel in Johannesburg in the morning and travel to Cape Town. On arrival in Cape Town, embark on a full-day tour that takes you around the entire Cape Peninsula. Discover the wonders of Cape Town, from the pristine beaches to the spectacular sight of Cape Point, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Your day also includes a visit to the sensational Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Day 4: Cape TownStart your day with another convenient pickup from the Radisson Blu Four-Star Hotel in Cape Town and set out on a full-day wine tour. Start in Stellenbosch and make your way through the best Winelands in the Cape. Take part in an optional wine tasting. Day 5: Cape TownSpend the final day of your tour on a full-day safari in a beautiful private game reserve. See South African wildlife in its natural habitat. The reserve is home to over 1,200 species including lions, cheetahs, black rhino, eland, leopards, the Cape clawless otter, and many more. Enjoy the prolific birdlife in the park, which includes the African fish eagle, black-breasted snake eagle, giant kingfisher, Cape vulture, Cape eagle owl, flamingo, ostrich, secretary bird, sacred ibis, spotted eagle owl, black stork, barn owl, and jackal buzzard to name just a few. Your tour concludes with a return flight to OR Tambo International Airport. 

Frequently asked questions about Johannesburg

What are the best day trips and excursions from Johannesburg?

The best day trips and excursions from Johannesburg are:

Apartheid Museum

Other Sightseeing Options in Johannesburg

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What people are saying about Johannesburg

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 35 reviews

Cradle of Humankind: It's one of those tours that you need to be "prepared to take". As it is a museum, it does not require great physical exertion. On the other hand, it is quite provocative in a philosophical sense. It makes us think a lot about ourselves. The space is well structured. I regret, however, that many of the objects displayed there (especially the skeletons) are replicas. I thought I would go head to head with the originals. Even so, it's worth it. Sterkfontein Caves: This incursion already requires a little more physical condition. Walking through the caves is often slippery and in some cases tight. For those with limited mobility and/or claustrophobia, I don't think it's recommended. Important detail: this tour is not so far from Johannesburg, but the road that gives access to the museum and the caves is of good quality.

This tour was overall even better than expected. There were a few admin niggles but generally it all worked well and the company helped us change our flights too, so that we could spend longer in CT, which was great. If there was one thing that we didn’t enjoy so much it was the safari as we got the impression the animals were not particularly well looked after at the reserve that we went to. We had been to Pilanesberg national park prior to this tour where the animals seemed so much healthier and had so much more green space so we were perhaps too judgemental of the southern safari but anyway that was our only slight disappointment in the whole tour . The two guides we had did a great job. Overall I have rated our experience excellent!

Exploring the cave and the museum was well worth the 2 hour trip from Johannesburg. I take pictures of the signs and read the information later. Sometimes it was on glass, which did did not photograph well, although it looked cool. The cave openings at the end required that I duck and waddle through, so it’s good to be flexible. The water ride was fun!

Highly recommend to first time travelers visiting JoBurg. This is a fascinating half day tour with a knowledgeable, friendly, and prompt driver (I had Arnold). The cave was the highlight.

very very interesting. unmissable excursion to learn more about our origins