List of World Heritage Sites in South Africa

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The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.[1] South Africa accepted the convention on 10 July 1997, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list.[2]

List of sites[edit]

The table lists information about each World Heritage Site:

Name: as listed by the World Heritage Committee

Location: province or town of site

Period: time period of significance

UNESCO data: the site's reference number; the year the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List; the criteria it was listed under. Criteria i through vi are cultural, while vii through x are natural (the column sorts by year added to the list)

Description: brief description of the site

Name Image Location Period UNESCO data Description Ref(s)
Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs SterkfonteinCave.jpg Sterkfontein Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs 915; 1999, 2005 (extended); iii, vi The area contains various fossil sites containing traces of human occupation and evolution dating back some 3.3 million years. [3]
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape MapungubweHill.jpg Limpopo Province 11th to 14th centuries 1099; 2003; ii, iii, iv, v This open savanna lies at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers. It was the heart of the Mapungubwe Kingdom until the 14th century, when the area was abandoned, leaving untouched remains of palaces and settlements. [4]
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape Tylecodon paniculatus-PICT2534.jpg Northern Cape 19th century to present 1265; 2007; iv, v This mountainous desert is communally owned and managed. It sustains the semi-nomadic pastoral livelihood of the Namaqua people, including seasonal migrations that have persisted for two millennia. [5]
Robben Island SafrikaIMG 8414.JPG Table Bay 17th to 20th centuries 916; 1999; iii, iv Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the island was used as a prison, including for political prisoners, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups (leper colony), and a military base. [6]
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas Fynbos-landscape-2.jpg Western Cape, Eastern Cape N/A 1007; 2004; ix, x The site consists of eight protected areas that are among the richest in plant life worldwide, containing nearly 20% of Africa's total flora. Its scientific value is demonstrated by the presence of fire and radiation adaptivity in plants and seed dispersal by insects. [7]
iSimangaliso Wetland Park GreaterStLucia.jpg KwaZulu-Natal N/A 914; 1999; vii, ix, x The park features a variety of landforms, including coral reefs, long sandy beaches, coastal dunes, lake systems, swamps, and reed and papyrus wetland, caused by fluvial, marine and aeolian processes. This has resulted in an exceptional species diversity. [8]
Vredefort Dome Vredefort Dome STS51I-33-56AA.jpg Vredefort Paleoproterozoic era 1162; 2005; viii The crater, with a diameter of 190 km (120 mi), is the largest, oldest and most deeply eroded astrobleme found on Earth, dating back more than 2 billion years. [9]
uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park Maluti.jpg KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho 2000 B.C. 985; 2000; i, iii, vii, x The park features soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, golden sandstone ramparts, rolling high-altitude grasslands, pristine steep-sided river valleys and rocky gorges. [10]

Tentative list[edit]

The Big Hole, Kimberley
  1. Pleistocene occupation sites of Klasies River, Border Cave, Wonderwerk Cave and comparable sites relating to the emergence of modern humans (1998)
  2. Pilgrim's Rest Reduction Works Industrial Heritage Site (2004)
  3. Kimberley Mines and Associated Early Industries (2004)
  4. The !Xam Khomani Heartland (2004)
  5. Alexandria Coastal Dunefields (2009)
  6. Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (2009)
  7. The Cape Winelands Cultural Landscape (2009)
  8. The Barberton Mountain Land, Barberton Greenstone Belt or Makhonjwa Mountains (2009)
  9. The Prince Edward Islands (2009)
  10. Succulent Karoo Protected Areas (2009)
  11. Liberation Heritage Route (2009)
  12. The Namaqualand Copper Mining Landscape (2009)
  13. The Cape Arc of Meridian (2009)

Location of sites[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List". UNESCO. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "States Parties: Ratification Status". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Robben Island". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Cape Floral Region Protected Areas". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "iSimangaliso Wetland Park". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Vredefort Dome". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "South Africa - Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List". UNESCO. Retrieved 2 June 2011.