Krugersdorp Tourist Attractions
Krugersdorp (pop. 140,000), 15km/9mi northwest of Johannesburg, takes its name from Paul Kruger, President of the Transvaal Republic. The town was founded on the site of a farm in 1887 after the discovery of gold in the area. It became the administrative of the West Rand goldfields and in consequence has a number of imposing public buildings.The Paardekraal Memorial outside the town marks the spot where the Boers assembled in 1880 to protest against the British annexation of the Transvaal.
Krugersdorp Game Reserve
In the Krugersdorp Game Reserve (area 1400ha/500ac) visitors can get some impression of what the Witwatersrand must once have looked like. Among the game to be seen here are giraffes, rhinos, elands, blue wildebeests, kudus, buffaloes, impalas and baboons. A particular attraction is the 200ha/500ac lion enclosure.The Krugersdorp reserve, only a 40-minute drive from Johannesburg, is one of the most visited reserves in the Transvaal. There are a number of short hiking trails in the reserve.
Sterkfontein is one of the world's most productive and important paleo-anthropological sites. The Sterkfontein stalactitic caves, consist of six linked underground chambers, with a lake at a depth of 40m/130ft. After their discovery in 1896 the caves were at first used as a limestone quarry, destroying many stalactites and stalagmites.In 1936 two students discovered fragments of a baboon's skull in the caves, and thereafter archaeological excavations began, continuing until 1951. These brought to light, along with numerous other bones, the skull of a humanoid creature known as Australopithecus africanus, estimated to be 2 million years old found by Dr Robert Broom in 1947 and dubbed Mrs Ples.In 1998, scientists discovered a skeleton which dates the presence of early mankind in the valley at 3.5 million years ago.Unesco has declared the Sterkfontein Caves and the Cradle of Humankind area in which it sits, a World Heritage Site.There are conducted visits to the caves, which have not yet been completely explored. Some of the most important finds from the caves are displayed in the nearby Robert Broom Museum.
Opening hours: 9am-5pm
Entrance fee in ZAR: Adult R95.00, Pensioners (OAP) R65.00, Child 14 & under R55.00, Child 3 & under FREE
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Robert Broom Museum
The Robert Broom Museum houses the famous 2.5 million-year-old skull of Mrs Ples, found in the Sterkfontein caves in 1947.