The Cradle of Humankind / Neck & Deck

My great days in South Africa continue, one after another.  The moments and memories are adding up quickly, and I’m so happy and so grateful to be here, meeting the people I’m meeting, and experiencing what South Africa has to offer!

Yesterday, Gilli and I drove out to the Cradle of Humankind.  This is an area about 50km northwest of Johannesburg, and is roughly 47000 hectares.  It’s in this area that the oldest remains and evidence of humankind are found in the world!  There’s a museum that we went to, Maropeng.  It started off with an interactive raft ride down a long tunnel in water!  Although we didn’t get soaked, there was some mist and lots of wind and fake snow blowing around as we travelled through time!  The museum showcased real and casted fossils and skeletons, and presented all sorts of history in extremely visually appealing ways.  There was a large group of young students that were enjoying the Cradle as well, and were exceptionally well behaved.

After wandering around the museum, we went to the second portion of the museum adventure, which was exploring the Sterkfontein Caves.  We arrived a half hour before the next tour was to begin, so we had some Rooibos lattes – delicious!  Our guide for the tour was great, and held a sense of humour throughout the entire visit.  The tour was fascinating, learning about how and why fossils and evidence of life is found inside these caves, how the caves were created, and how they’re still a large work in progress, as there are still areas that haven’t been excavated.  They were so much more spacious inside than I’d imagined, and there were areas in the caves that had been eroded away over the years, creating beautiful patterns and cut outs on the walls and the cave ceilings.  Some areas we had to crawl through, up, down and around were roughly a meter by a meter, so the hard hats were necessary!

Leaving the caves, we headed in the direction of Bucchleuch, the suburb in which I’m staying.  On the way, we stopped at a cafe called Neck & Deck Cafe, which is 100% without a doubt, my type of cafe… you can feed rehabilitated giraffes, and watch them while you eat and relax!  I was over the moon, happy and excited. The three year old lady giraffe’s name is Sunshine – I immediately loved her even more when I learned her name!  The other one, in the next paddock, was Sunny Boy!  He’s six, but he was too far away to have a good visit with.   I couldn’t get enough of Sunshine!  She was so sweet, and hung around with me long enough and closely enough that I could pet her face, and really have a good look at her!  Their eyelashes are so long, and eyes are so dark and beautiful!

Ahhhhhh, Africa… I love you.


I can’t thank Gilli enough for capturing these moments!  Happiness is just radiating out of me… you should have heard the excitement in my voice! (Most of my friends and family can imagine it easily, and it’s a regular occurrence…)

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A xo

1 thought on “The Cradle of Humankind / Neck & Deck

  1. Amanda, the scenery is awesome there and can understand why you are falling in love with Africa. Your mankind expirience looked like a lot of fun and educational at the same time. Love following your blog, so interesting…keep it up. Great seeing your smiling face this morning 😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

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