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World Heritage Sites

South Africa's World Heritage Sites

Home to seven of the world's official heritage sites

South Africa is home to seven of the world's official heritage sites, as determined by Unesco's World Heritage Committee.

The committee seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of "outstanding value to humanity". Internationally, there are 812 World Heritage sites in 137 countries. Africa has 65 sites and South Africa a total of seven - three cultural, three natural and one mixed.

Please click on the links below for info on World Heritage Sites of South Africa:

Robben Island

Robben Island was declared a World Heritage site in 1999. This maximum security prison once held South Africa's former president, Nelson Mandela.

Cradle of Humankind

This site was inscribed in 1999 and covers an area of 47 000 hectares. Although other sites in south and east Africa have similar remains, the Cradle has produced more than 950 hominid fossil specimens.

uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park has outstanding natural beauty, Africa’s highest mountain range south of Kilimanjaro, a fascinating and ancient geology, some of the rarest animals in the world, and the largest, richest and most concentrated series of rock art in Africa.

Greater St Lucia Wetland Park

Inscribed in 1999 this was the first park in South Africa to be declared a World Heritage Site. Located in KwaZulu Natal, it is the third largest park in South Africa.

Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape was inscribed in 2003 as a cultural heritage site. Located in Limpopo province, Mapungubwe is set hard against the northern border of South Africa, joining Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is an open, expansive savannah landscape at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers.

Cape Floral Region

The Cape Floral Region was inscribed in 2004 and is situated in the Western and Eastern Cape. It is a natural heritage and was the sixth site to be inscribed. South Africa has the third-highest level of biodiversity in the world, thanks in no small part to the Cape floral kingdom.

Vredefort Dome

The Vredefort Dome is the oldest and largest meteorite impact site in the world. Formed an estimated 2000 million years ago when a gigantic meteorite (asteroid) hit the earth.

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South African Provinces

South Africa is split into 9 provinces, namely: