Cradle of Humankind

Wildebeest in the backyard

These past few days, I have been in the Cradle of Humankind. I came there on Thursday, the 11th, 2022. I had no idea where we were going, so I expected something like a hostel. Instead, I was greeted by the sight of a beautiful resort called Cradle Boutique Hotel. Being mid-afternoon, we checked in and came to our beautifully furnished cabin-like room. I played a card game with my brother for 30 minutes and then went to dinner. I was delighted to learn that the chef could make gluten-free pasta, which I promptly ordered. To drink, I was introduced to a new thing called Grapitizer, sparkling grape juice, whose brother is Applestizer; sparkling apple juice. After a delicious dinner of Chicken, Basil Pesto Pasta, and Grapitizer, I returned to my cabin for a beautiful sleep.

First Wilderbeast!

On Friday, I woke up at 8:15 and lazed around until around 9:30, when I headed down to the restaurant for breakfast. When I got there, it was about 9:45, and I was reminded of my 2-hour nature walk at 10:00. As such, I did not have much time for them to make my food, and I did not get breakfast except at my family’s plates. The nature walk started with a drive to a walk to a cave. The aim was about 20 minutes long and turned into a game drive; we saw animals everywhere and scrolled down for pictures. Once we got out of the car, we started walking. We walked until we came to the cave. We went into the cave on our hands, knees, and butts. At the bottom, there was a cave full of animal bones. I learned that most of the bones had been washed down by rain, but hyenas or porcupines had dragged down some. Once we were done, my brother and I took porcupine quills, and our guide led us to the top. We hiked and drove back to the hotel without seeing much of interest, and I had chicken and noodles for lunch while I did some work. The rest of the day passed without much, except for the fantastic dessert you can see on my Food page.

On Saturday, I woke up in time and got my breakfast. I then headed to Sterkfontein Caves, where I learned about some of the first humans. By this, I mean they were not Homo Sapiens, per se, but were older, dating back several million years. One of the skeletons found was complete and intact. These showed that the person that the skeleton once was must have fallen through the roof and died. After our tour, we went to the Maropeng museum, which was very interactive and fun. First, they put you in a tube-like boat, and you got to experience the four elements: earth, fire, air, and water. After this experience, I stepped into a vortex tunnel which was awesome but made me dizzy. Then I stepped into the main exhibit. It was huge, yet simple at heart, and very informative. I found it extremely enjoyable. After this experience, I came back to our hotel and finished my work. While I was doing my schoolwork, I noticed a giant smoke plume coming up on the horizon. By 6 o’clock, it was covering the horizon. Later, at dinner, I had a delicious tomato soup, a risotto cake for dinner, and a warm rice pudding for dessert.

On the final day of my stay in The Cradle, I woke up at 6 am to leave time for packing before a 7 am breakfast. After breakfast, we went on a freezing 4-hour tour of the land. You know that smoke I was talking about earlier? I learned on our tour that this was a forest fire that was an attempted act of arson against a place where people were making a film. The fire burned 1/3 of the land but did not touch the film set. Besides learning about attempted acts of arson and the cold, our tour was charming and thought-provoking. We drove to 2 different excavation sites, one of which wasn’t on the ground and one underground. It was fantastic, and I would recommend it any day. See you at my next destination.