The ancient dolomite caves with an underground lake, situated a few miles north of Johannesburg, form part of what archaeologists call the 'Cradle of Humankind'. Sterkfontein is recognised as one of the world's most important palaeontological sites, having yielded fossil deposits dating from up to three and a half million years ago, spanning the development of hominids. Among the most famous finds are the 'Taung child', 'Little Foot' and 'Mrs Ples'. Because the cave environment is fragile, visitors are not allowed into certain areas, particularly those that scientists are working on. There are however guided tours of one of the sections, which include the massive Hall of Elephants. A visitor centre includes the Hominid exhibition, conference facilities and a restaurant.
Address: Kromdraai Road, seven miles (12km) north of Krugersdorp
Telephone: 014 577 9000
Opening times: Daily 9am to 5pm; tours run every 30 minutes until 4pm
Admission: R120 (adults), R70 (children)