South Africa has Eight Heritage Sites
Most famous for the incarc
eration of political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected President of South Africa, who was imprisoned for 18 of his 27 years in jail.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park (KwaZulu-Natal)
Formerly called the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, it has both one of the largest estuary systems in Africa and the continent’s southernmost coral reefs.
It includes the hominid fossil sites at Swartkrans, Sterkfontein and Kromdraai.
The park has outstanding natural beauty, Africa’s highest mountain range south of Kilimanjaro, and the largest and most concentrated series of rock art paintings in Africa.
A “place of the stone of wisdom”, was South Africa’s first kingdom and developed into the subcontinent’s largest realm, lasting for 400 years before it was abandoned in the 14th century. Its highly sophisticated people traded gold and ivory with China, India and Egypt.
It makes up only 0.04% of the world’s land area, yet contains an astonishing 3% of its plant species, making it one of the richest areas for plants in the world and one of the globe’s 18 biodiversity hotspots. The protected areas include:
De Hoop Nature Reserve
Boland mountain complex
Groot Winterhoek wilderness area
Boosmansbos wilderness area
Cederberg wilderness area
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
It covers 160 000 hectares of dramatic mountainous desert in the north-west part of South Africa. You can explore the Richtersveld National Park.
Some two billion years ago, a meteorite 10 km in diameter hit the earth about 100 km south west of Johannesburg, creating an enormous impact crater.