With less than two weeks to go before the Naledi fossils leave Maropeng, it is expected there will be a flurry of last minute visitors who do not want to miss out on the opportunity to see the famous fossils.
Peter Mhanaza, Acting General Manager at Maropeng, said visitor numbers had increased substantially over the period with more than two thousand five hundred people visiting Maropeng on the first weekend alone. “The response has been overwhelming and on Heritage Day when we had a record 2 500 plus visitors. We have brought in a lot of additional resources including staff and expertise across different areas of operation to assist with the increased traffic. We have also extended visitor hours to accommodate the extra numbers. The visitor centre and display will be open until 17:00 weekdays and 19:00 on Friday and Saturdays.
On the social media front, interest has been just as active with #Homonaledi trending at number one on Twitter worldwide on the day that the historic announcement was made and remaining a trending topic a day later.
Visitors, who have been flocking to Maropeng, the Cradle of Humankind Visitor Centre to see the historic fossils, have been also been tweeting about their once-in-a-lifetime experiences using the hashtags #Homonaledi and #Almosthuman.
“We are also encouraging visitors to make a weekend of their outing. Many of the hotels in the surrounding areas are offering Maropeng visitors great Naledi discounts on accommodation until 18 October. This is such a great opportunity to say ‘I was there’” concludes Mhanaza.