Eight World Heritage Sites
South Africa is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, each an area of extraordinary beauty and importance to humanity.
- Robben Island: famous landmark of Nelson Mandela’s long imprisonment.
- Greater St Lucia Wetland Park: one of the largest estuarysystems in Africa and acclaimed for its exceptional biodiversity and 521 bird species.
- Cradle of Humankind: has the richest evidence of human evolution over the past 3.5 million years and has yielded the remains of some of the oldest hominids – the early ancestors of the human race.
- uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park: South Africa’s highest mountain range, has exceptional scenic beauty, a diverse habitat harbouring a number of threatened plant and bird species, and a concentration of historic rock art paintings.
- Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape: Iron Age site showing evidence of a highly advanced indigenous society existing centuries before European colonialism spread across Africa.
- Cape Floral Region: the Western Cape’s fynbos (indigenous flowering shrubland) – its unique floral kingdom – is one of the richest and most diverse floral areas in the world. 70% of its floral species occur nowhere else. Table Mountain National Park, which is part of this remarkable wilderness area, has more plant species in its 22 000 hectares than the Britain or New Zealand.
- Vredefort Dome: The world’s biggest meteor crater dates back two billion years when a meteorite 10km in diameter hit the earth. Today this site is the oldest and largest clearly visible meteorite impact site in the world.
- The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape: A remarkable mountainous desert in the north-west of the country that is uniquely owned and managed by the Nama communities.