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In South Africa cave excavations

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Posting this in Africa Forum, you may have seen that PBS News Hour had a segment last night on the prehistoric excavations in the Sterkfontein Cave. It was said that the 1500 or so skeletal remains discovered are unlike anything found before by archaeologists. The location for this is northwest of Jo'burg and close by is a museum about early humans, the Cradle of Civilization. Nova will have a program next Wednesday September 16. National Geographics is involved in the on going project... too.

It so happens DW and went down into the Sterkfontein Cave along with our son. It was narrow and steep and we heard the excavation in the next chamber. We also toured the museum and recommend this to travelers in SA...northwest out the M5 from Maropeng.

www.maropeng.co.za www.cradleofhumankind.co.za


P.S. We had a wonderful time in SA 2007 while son was teaching at Jo'burg. Don't know that I actually put in a Fodor's report.

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    No comment? Now I am curious: has anyone else explored the cave or been to the museum. Tune in Wednesday to Nova as said. You'll be hearing the word: So much talk on SA travel has to do with Kruger Park or Cape Town but we saw more besides. I'm just glad that with our "guide" son we discovered less discovered parts of Africa. North of Jo'burg is the impressive Blyde River Canyon which is hikable. Overlook is called God's View. Inhabiting the canyon are antelope, hippos, baboons, etc. Sept 24-Heritage Day with brats. We drove up into the mountains and through smoke from grass fires to Pilgrim's Rest, once a mining town. Popular snack is macademia nuts purchased roadside.

    An evening festival is held at the Shangaan cultural village around a huge fire in the center of a compound. We met medicine man and chief. A performance around the fire involved visitors in singing and dancing. Then a meal in thatched huts.

    For a week we stayed at an unbelievable perch overlooking the sea out of Plettenberg...Castle on the Cliff. cyercapetown.com/CastleOnTheCliff thesafaricompany.co.za/Lodge_South_Africa_Castle_on_the_Cliff.htm Caretaker/cook provided. One dinner was king klip shells by candlelight, prawns for starter, malva pudding with sauce for desert.
    During this time we did go on a whale watch and explore Tsitsikammon National Park and Elephant Park at Knysna.

    What's this all about...not about the Cradle of Civilization. Just some add ons about other places in SA. Wonder who will read this far and who has seen any of the out of the way places.

    *credits to guide Dr. Timothy Longman, director African Studies Center, Boston University.

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    Ozarksbill - the discovery of Homo naledi is very exciting. It's international news, not just a Nova special on pbs. I was particularly excited because we visited the Cradle of Humankind and the caves last year. Our guide was very excited about his heritage - his smile was contagious. We are all from Africa - very cool.

    We also enjoyed the Lippizaner horse show near joberg - one of only three recognized breeding facilities in the world. That was surprisingly good, and we've been to all three. We also did a township tour with a local guide. So interesting and our guide made it personal. What a contrast between the wealth around the horse stable and the poverty of the township.

    I'm glad you enjoyed Blyde River Canyon - it's suggested here a lot to do between Kruger and joberg. I visited there on our first trip to S Africa a few years ago. I liked Lanner Gorge in northern Kruger, too. It also sounds like you enjoyed the Garden Route, which is a very popular self drive in S Africa that we talk about a lot here. I hope you didn't miss Addo NP - it's a gem!! Jeffries Bay, just east of Port Eliz is one of the best surfing spots in the world and great beach.

    Next time consider KwaZulu Natal on the east coast - great national parks, reserves, wildlife, scenery, hiking, beaches. It's my current favorite area - so much to do! Waterberg, north of joberg, is fun and beautiful, too.

    There is so much to do in S Africa. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. Everyone has different things they want to see and do and different budgets, time and tastes. I live 20 minutes from the ocean, 15 minutes to the bay, 30 minutes from a major city and a 5 hour flight to the gorgeous scenery of the U.S. west so I prefer safari - nowhere else to see lions, rhino and elephants in their home but we include other things as well.

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