Discover our Rich Heritage
This is Heritage Month so why not take the time to experience one of South Africa’s UNESCO World Heritage sites.
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation as having cultural, historical, scientific or other forms of significance and is legally protected by international treaties.
The sites in South Africa are varied and include areas of cultural and natural significance. Most have visitor centres, accommodation and restaurants, and activities to satisfy all visitors.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Lake St. Lucia lies at the centre of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park which covers 3 280 km² along KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast. The lake is home to hippos and crocodiles, while a variety of mammal and bird species inhabit the grasslands and forests. Visitors have the opportunity of witnessing one of nature’s spectacles when sea turtles visit the coastal beaches to lay their eggs.
The name is Dutch for “seal island, and today it is no longer used as a prison attracting thousands of visitors instead. Boats run regular excursions to the island which now boasts a visitor centre and museum.
The Cradle of Humankind
This area is aptly named as it is the site of some of the most significant finds relating to the development of humans.
At the Maropeng Visitor Centre, you can take a trip back through time, starting with the formation of the planet and moving all the way through the evolutionary processes that culminated in the world as we know it today.
The area has a well-developed tourist infrastructure with eateries, accommodation and gift shops. While you are in the area, visit the majestic Sterkfontein Caves, they never disappoint.
uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
Whether you are going for the day or an overnight stay, a visit to the Drakensberg mountains will leave you feeling refreshed. The area was declared a World Heritage Site because it is the largest group of rock paintings south of the Sahara Desert in Africa.
So, pack some comfy walking shoes and explore the area for yourself.
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
A thousand years ago this area, the “Place of the Stone of Wisdom” was the largest kingdom on the subcontinent.
The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape contains evidence of the development of a social structure that remains with us today. Archaeologists believe it to be the first class-based social system in southern Africa. The architecture and spatial arrangement also suggest sites were created for initiation ceremonies, household activities, and other social functions.
Cape Floral Kingdom
If you find yourself in Cape Town, there is no excuse for not exploring and experiencing this biodiversity hotspot. Whether you choose to walk or drive, a short excursion will put you in an area rich in floral wonder.
The Table Mountain National Park, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and the Cape of Good Hope at the Cape Peninsula’s tip all have lots to offer.Vredefort Dome
The dome lies at the centre of a 300-kilometre-wide the crater that was formed more than 2000 million years ago when a meteorite struck the earth.
Most of the crater lies within the Free State and the town of Parys on the Vaal River is the tourist gateway to the area which offers a wide variety of activities and attractions.
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape
Not really for day visitors but an extended stay will satisfy even the most adventurous traveller.
The area sustains the semi-nomadic pastoral livelihood of the Nama people, reflecting seasonal patterns that may have persisted for as much as two millennia in southern Africa.
At the heart of this dramatic mountainous desert is the Orange River which provides many of the attractions for visitors. Among them scenic rafting trips, challenging fly-fishing along its banks and several hiking trails.
Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains
This area contains the oldest and best-preserved volcanic and sedimentary rock on the planet, estimated to be a breath-taking 3.6 billion years old.
The Makhonjwa Mountains have some of the world’s most pristine examples of meteorite impacts, volcanism and continental shifts.
The town of Barberton is the centre of activities in the area and is the start of the self-drive Barberton Geotrail.