South Africa World Heritage Sites

South Africa Travel

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Africa

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.

What are World Heritage Sites?
Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world’s heritage. What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.

UNESCO's World Heritage mission is to:
• encourage countries to sign the World Heritage Convention and to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage;
• encourage States Parties to the Convention to nominate sites within their national territory for inclusion on the World Heritage List;
• encourage States Parties to establish management plans and set up reporting systems on the state of conservation of their World Heritage sites;
• help States Parties safeguard World Heritage properties by providing technical assistance and professional training;
• provide emergency assistance for World Heritage sites in immediate danger;
• support States Parties' public awareness-building activities for World Heritage conservation;
• encourage participation of the local population in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage;
• encourage international co-operation in the conservation of our world's cultural and natural heritage.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

South Africa's World Heritage Sites

Cultural
• Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs (1999)
• Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (2003)
• Robben Island (1999)
• Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape (2007)

Mixed
• UKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park (2000)

Natural
• Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (2004)
• Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park (1999)
• Vredefort Dome (2005)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

South Africa's World Heritage Sites

Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape WHS

Location: Northern Cape, South Africa

Inscribed as the eighth World Heritage Site in South Africa (2007), the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a remarkable mountainous desert in the north-west of the country that is uniquely ... richtersveld cultural and botanical landscape

Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park WHS

Location: KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

The ongoing fluvial, marine and aeolian processes in the site have produced a variety of landforms, including coral reefs, long sandy beaches, coastal dunes, lake systems, swamps, and extensive reed and ... greater st lucia wetlands park

Cape Floral Kingdom WHS

Location: Western Cape, South Africa

A serial site in the Cape Province, South Africa, made up of eight protected areas, covering 553,000-ha. The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the ... cape floral kingdom

The Cradle of Humankind WHS

Location: Gauteng, South Africa

The Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs in Gauteng and North West Province. These sites have produced abundant scientific information on the evolution of the human being over the ... cradle of humankind

Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape WHS

Location: Limpopo, South Africa

Mapungubwe is set hard against the northern border of South Africa, joining Zimbabwe and Botswana. Mapungubwe developed into the largest kingdom in the sub-continent before it was abandoned in the 14th century ... mapungubwe national park

Robben Island WHS

Location: 12 km from Cape Town, South Africa

Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base. Its buildings, particularly those of the late 20th century ... robben island

Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park WHS

Location: KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

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 ... ukhahlamba drakensberg

Vredefort Dome WHS

Location: Free State, South Africa

The Vredefort dome is the oldest and largest meteorite impact site (Asrobleme) in the world. Formed an estimated 2000 million years ago when a gigantic meteorite (larger than Table Mountain) hit the earth close to where ... vredefort dome

With 20+ National Parks (including two of the world's most famous wildlife reserves, the Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park) and countless private game reserves, your trip to South Africa would be incomplete without experiencing a South African wildlife safari ...
South Africa boasts 8 (eight) UNESCO World Heritage Sites
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