Top 10: Cultural areas

The historic small town of Pilgrim's Rest. The historic small town of Pilgrim's Rest.

1 Mapungubwe, Limpopo

Located on the South African border of Zimbabwe and Botswana, Mapungubwe is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, providing evidence of a powerful African empire, that existed in Southern Africa long before the Europeans arrived at the Cape in 1652. more

2 Robben Island, Cape Town, Western Cape

Robben Island is best known as the place of imprisonment of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners during the long years of apartheid. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site, describing it as ‘as the world’s most powerful symbol of resistance to oppression’. more

3 Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

The world’s most important fossil site, this UNESCO World Heritage site is considered to be the birthplace of modern humans, and includes the fossil hominid sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans and Kromdraai. more

4 Richtersveld, Northern Cape

A mountain-desert wilderness inhabited by the Nama people, this remarkable group of nomadic pastoralists are safeguarding their culture and resources through centuries old methods of conservation. more

5 uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, KwaZulu-Natal

Once the stomping grounds of the San hunter-gatherers; this UNESCO World Heritage Site shelters a precious heritage of well-preserved rock paintings, and is the last word in mountain grandeur. more

6 Pilgrims Rest, Mpumalanga

The historic town of Pilgrims Rest is a living museum where you’ll uncover the fascinating history and colourful characters behind South Africa’s first gold rush in the 1870s. more

7 Kimberley, Northern Cape

The discovery of a rich diamond deposit at Kimberley left a hand-dug crater known as the ‘Big Hole’ and sparked a rush to uncover South Africa’s mineral wealth. more

8 Origins Centre Johannesburg, Gauteng

Described as ‘a museum in Africa for the people of the world’ the museum seeks to understand the evolution of South African history through the spiritual beliefs and the artistic legacy of the Khoi-Khoi and San people, through DNA sampling; rock art and anthropological artefacts. more

9 Sacred sites of Venda, Limpopo

Lake Fundudzi, the reputed home of a python god, and nearby Thathe-Vondo Forest, are sacred to the Vhenda people. more

10 Wine routes of the Cape, Western Cape

Our winelands, with their gabled Cape Dutch homesteads, sprawling green vineyards and historic buildings and living museums are a rich repository of agriculture, viniculture, history, food culture, and heritage dating back to the 1600’s. more