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The ancient pathways of the Cradle of Humankind saw a different kind of action, with mountain bike challenges adding to the festival calendar.
THE tranquillity of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site got a shot of energy during The Cradle Festival, which brought visitors from far and wide.


A beauty contestA beauty contest provides entertainment for the crowdA myriad of activities and entertainment were planned to keep all age groups and temperaments engaged in Maropeng. Sports enthusiasts could choose from mountain bike and road race challenges, as well as a fun run/walk.

“For mountain bike devotees, the Honda Mountain Trophy offered cyclists a serious challenge,” said the public and media relations co-ordinator for Kagiso TV, Jade Archer. It was a two-day event covering 120 kilometres, with 75 of those kilometres tackled on day one.

The Honda Mountain Adventure was a one-day race for those not that eager for two days in the saddle. The Trophy took place on 7 and 8 May, while the Adventure happened on 8 May.

The festival ran from 6 to 15 May.

It was the second edition of both Honda events, and featured hundreds of competitors. Overall winner in the men’s Trophy was Bryce Munro, while Amy Mcdougall was the overall winner in the women’s section. Dylan Rebello took the gold in the Adventure men’s section, and Cindy Rebello took top spot in the women’s segment.

Cycle relay
Still in the saddle, there was a cycle relay race called the Autumn Cup, for individual racers or teams of two or four. It took place at the Valverde Country Hotel and on surrounding roads.

Children also got involved in some cycling, with the Honda Mountain Biking Kiddies Adventure on 8 May. It was “a 3km cycle route for kids up to the age of 12 to enjoy and [took] them on a scenic route through the Maropeng Visitor Centre grounds”, said Archer.

An obstacle course provided hours of entertainment, as did the jumping castle, trick cyclist, line dancers, fashion shows and hotdog-eating competition. There were also childminders in a dedicated children’s area to make sure little ones were taken care off while the adults had their own fun.


Visitors enjoy the tranquility of the Cradle of HumankindVisitors enjoy the tranquility of the Cradle of HumankindThe fun run/walk was billed as a good option for people in training for the Comrades Marathon and covered five or 10 kilometres.

Those not so sportily inclined were not excluded, though, and were able to sit back with a chilled drink of their choice in the beer tent, tap their feet along to the musical entertainment and fill their tummies with the variety of food on offer.

Attendees could also take advantage of the visitor’s centre while they were at the festival, and learn more about our history as humans. A tour around the tumulus incorporates the four elements of fire, ice, wind and water, and gives further insights into the development of early hominids.

A cross-section of South African musicians such as Dozi, Idols finalists Jamie-Lee Sexton and Bianca Le Grange, DJ Franky from Soulcandi and Zak van Niekerk took to the stage over the two weekends of the festival. There was also a Miss Cradle beauty pageant, fly-fishing competitions, a potjie cook-off at Kenjara Lodge and a market selling local merchandise.

The festival was organised by The Leverage Corporation, a marketing and communications company focusing on sports sponsorship, in conjunction with the Gauteng Government Management Authority, West Rand District Municipality and Kagiso TV.

It is set to become an annual feature on the Maropeng calendar, and satisfied customers say are already looking forward to the next one.

Maropeng is conveniently located right on Joburg’s doorstep, in the centre of the Cradle of Humankind, approximately 40 kilometres out of the city. For more information, visit its website.

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