Magaliesberg Accommodation, Gauteng / Maropeng Hotel

YOU ARE HERE >> Home  /  Gauteng Hotels  /  Maropeng Hotel
Maropeng Hotel
Maropeng Architecture

The development of Maropeng was based on the theme of discovery. At the entrance to Maropeng, one will see seven concrete columns, signifying the centre, which moves in and out of sight along its approach. The marketplace where one enters and an amphitheatre are sunken into the ground, and this building itself is buried. There is a learner centre and a hotel inside the development, which are mostly hidden in the rolling hills - all waiting to be discovered. The exhibition at Maropeng itself is a journey of discovery from the beginnings of the world, through the history of humankind, right into the future. When one enters the Tumulus, it looks like a giant burial mound. As one finishes browsing through the exhibition and emerge, the building is now silver, grey and glass, hi-tech and futuristic. This is done to create a sense of getting the feeling that one is not at the end of history, but at the beginning of the future.

Sterkfontein Caves
  • Close distance to major cities: Just an hour's drive away from Johannesburg and Pretoria
  • Groundbreaking: Site of dramatic discoveries that changed the way we view humanity and the history of human development
  • World-renowned: The Sterkfontein Caves have been declared a World Heritage Site by the Unesco in 1999
  • Famous names: New scientific exhibition showcases the finds of hominid fossils 'Mrs Ples' and 'Little Foot'
The Sterkfontein Caves feature a top restaurant, multiple conferencing facilities, improved access into the caves, new walkways and a boardwalk past the excavation site where world-acclaimed fossils have been discovered.

The new scientific exhibition centre showcases a reconstruction of a mined cave, cave formations and geology, early life forms, mammals and hominid fossils, among other topics. It describes in detail important finds such as Mrs Ples, the Taung Child and Little Foot, as well as providing information about fossilisation, palaeobotany and landscapes.

World-acclaimed and award-winning palaeoartist, John Gurche, whose exhibits can be seen at the Smithsonian Institute, the Field Museum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York and who worked on the film Jurassic Park, has produced all the lifelike hominid illustrations, from the 7-million-year-old Toumai fossil from Chad, through to modern humans.

The University of the Witwatersrand, whose scientists have been responsible for the main excavations of the World Heritage Site, werecredited with many of the famous discoveries including the world famous Mrs Ples and Little Foot, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton dating back more than 3-million years. Within the 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.

Directions / Physical Address to Maropeng

Maropeng is situated on the R400, just off the R563 Hekpoort road.

The 4 star Maropeng Hotel, which is situated less than an hour's drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa's Gauteng province, provides its guests with magnificent views of the Witwatersberg and Magaliesberg mountain ranges.

'Maropeng', is a Setswana word meaning 'returning to the place of origin' upon which basis the interiors of the hotel were designed. The four elemental forces of nature, earth, fire, water and ice which mark the beginning of our planet some 3-billion years ago feature prominently throughout the Maropeng Hotel. This elegant boutique hotel features 24 beds and is only a a five minute walk away from South Africa 's premiere tourist destination, the Tumulus visitor attraction and 10 km from the popular Sterkfontein Caves.

The luxurious Maropeng Hotel in the Magaliesberg is ideal for a romantic getaway, for tourists visiting this area to explore the origin of mankind and for business executives seeking a convenient conference venue with accommodation in close distance to Gautengs centres such as Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Restaurants at the Maropeng Hotel

The Tumulus Restaurant

The Tumulus Restaurant, which is situated on the first floor of the Maropeng Visitor Centre, provides beautiful views of its surrounding area. Guests are welcome to reserve a table on the deck at the Tumulus restaurant and enjoy the breathtaking vista of the Witwaterberg and Magaliesberg mountain ranges.

Market Place Restaurant

The Market Place Restaurant at the Maropeng Boutique Hotel is located within the Market Place, on the approach to the Maropeng Visitor Centre. It offers a variety of delicious, light meals for visitors.

Sterkfontein Restaurant

The Sterkfontein restaurant is the ideal spot to relax after one of the guided tours.

Maropeng Visitor Centre - Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site
  • Adventure: Tour 2500mē of exhibits with an underground boat ride.
  • Award winning: Winner of the 2008 Tourist Attraction category at the 'South African Tourism Welcome Awards'
  • Intriguing: See fossils, learn about how humankind was born, view stone tools up to 1-million years old, and much more.
  • Interactive: Ideal for children, the Maropeng Visitor Centre is self-guided and highly interactive.
  • Get the most out of the Cradle: Combination tickets are available for visitors who want to see the Sterkfontein Caves as well.
The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an exciting, world-class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years. When visitors arrive, they will see a massive burial mound called the Tumulus, which is the entrance to learning the secrets of our ancestry.

Along the pathway to the Tumulus building, one passes the site of an archaeological excavation. The Stone Age site has been excavated since October 2005 by scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand. The early stone tools found here belong to the Acheulean period and include handaxes and cleavers.

Early humans and their ancestors came to the Maropeng area to use the local rocks for tool-making as they pursued a hunter-gatherer way of life. The technology of these tools suggests they were made sometime between 1.0 and 0.5 million years ago during the Earlier Stone Age, prior to the appearance of modern Homo sapiens.

These stone tools are periodically on display in the Maropeng Original Fossil Area.

Messages along the way are present where visitors can read about the past which are engraved on rocks as one walks up to the entrance. They include, among others:
  • The universe was formed about 14-billion years ago. The Earth is about 4.6-billion years old.
  • Life first emerged about 3.8-billion years ago. Our journey begins in South Africa, where fossils of some of the earliest known life forms on Earth have been found.
  • All of humanity shares an African heritage. We are one, diverse species across the globe, with our roots in Africa.
Once inside the Tumulus one can notice how the 4 elements of earth, fire, water and air are reflected in the various aspects of the building. These elements are important in the formation of our planet and one experiences and learns more about them throughout the exhibition at Maropeng. The four elements which are essential to life on Earth are: the air which we breathe, the fire that warms us, the earth that sustains us and the water for life.

The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 because of the area's exceptional contribution to the understanding of humankind's history and development, over more than 3-million years. All together, there are 15 major fossil sites in the Cradle of Humankind, of which the Sterkfontein Caves is the most famous. The fossils 'Mrs Ples' and 'Little Foot' were both discovered here, as well as thousands more fossils of hominids, which are human ancestors, as well those of plants and animals.

The underground boat adventure which is offered at Maropeng begins at the present and continues on a trip back through time, retracing the various stages of the creation of our earth. Snow-making and ice-producing machines give voyagers an indication of what the most recent ice age may have been like. The journey goes back further into time, when the world was submerged in water, and beyond that to the formation of the earth's crust and the shifting of the tectonic plates.