Maropeng, the official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind, has one again been recognised as a top tourism and business destination in the annual Lilizela Tourism Awards, with finalist positions in three different categories.
The Lilizela Tourism Awards are South Africa’s premier travel and tourism awards, with the aim of rewarding and celebrating excellence across the tourism industry. The Maropeng Boutique Hotel has been named a provincial finalist in the Accommodation category, and the Maropeng Visitor Centre has been named a provincial finalist in both the Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events (MESE) as well as the Visitor Experience, Roots and Culture categories.
“This year, Maropeng has also been announced as a provincial finalist in the Lilizela Imvelo Awards. These awards recognise tourism and hospitality businesses that make a real, measurable and sustained contribution to Responsible Tourism. Having embraced the opportunity and responsibility of making sure that we continue to make sustainable business practices the core of the way we work, Maropeng is honoured to have been chosen,” says Lindsay Marshall, Acting General Manager of Maropeng.
Maropeng which means ‘returning to the place of origin’ in Setswana, is a World Heritage site. It is an easy drive of about an hour from Johannesburg or Pretoria, telling the story of the place in which our ancestors have lived for more than three-million years.
Maropeng comprises a four-star boutique hotel, conference facilities, an extensive underground visitor centre depicting the path of humankind from its origins to modern Homo sapiens, as well as a variety of restaurants. Besides its three contemporary conference rooms, ideal for smaller niche corporate groups, it also has the capacity to house larger groups of up to 320 delegates.
The Centre was created through a public-private partnership between the Gauteng Provincial Government and the University of the Witwatersrand. Treasures from the collections of the Evolutionary Sciences Institute (University of the Witwatersrand) and other institutions are often on display at the visitor centre exhibition and highlight the special relationship between Maropeng and Wits University.
“Maropeng is an iconic tourist attraction both local and international visitors and we are dedicated to offering a world class destination experience,” continues Marshall. “We greatly appreciate this recognition from the Lilizela Tourism Awards and we’re honoured that our efforts have been recognised.”