UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site

South Africa World Heritage Sites

UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site

Rock Art at uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
Rock Art at uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park has exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts. Rolling high altitude grasslands, the pristine steep-sided river valleys and rocky gorges also contribute to the beauty of the site.

The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park site's diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially birds and plants. This spectacular natural site also contains many caves and rock-shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of paintings in Africa south of the Sahara, made by the San people over a period of 4,000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity of subject and in their depiction of animals and human beings. They represent the spiritual life of the San people who no longer live in this region.

Justification for Inscription:
Criterion i). The rock art of the Drakensberg is the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings in Africa south of the Sahara and is outstanding both in quality and diversity of subject. Criterion iii). The San people lived in the mountainous Drakensberg area for more than four millennia, leaving behind them a corpus of outstanding rock art which throws much light on their way of life and their beliefs. (Source: UNESCO).

UKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park:
The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park has exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts. Rolling high altitude grasslands, the pristine steep sided river valleys and rocky gorges also contribute to the beauty of the site. (See Drakensberg Map)

The site's diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially birds and plants. This spectacular natural site also contains many caves and rock-shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of paintings in Africa south of the Sahara, made by the San people over a period of 4,000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity of subject and in their depiction of animals and human beings. They represent the spiritual life of the San people who no longer live in this region.

The San people are recognised as the indigenous inhabitants of the sub-continent. In centuries past they inhabited practically the entire sub-continent, and are regarded as "embodying the essence of southern Africa's deep past". Yet there is no monument to the San people - other than their own art. Within the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park there are some 600 sites, collectively representing over 35000 individual images. Remarkably, the rock art in the park is better preserved than any other region south of the Sahara. The oldest painting on a rock shelter wall in the park is about 2400 years old, while more recent creations date back to the late ... For additional info see Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park.

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World Heritage Sites recognise and protect areas of outstanding natural, historical and cultural value. Given South Africa's diverse culture and history and her spectacular natural resources and wildlife, it is not surprising that South Africa boasts 8 World Heritage Sites.

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Information about the UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park in the KwaZulu Natal Province / UNESCO World Heritage Site
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