uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Maluti, which may be in the WHS area
Type Mixed
Criteria i, iii, vii, x
Reference 985
UNESCO region Africa
Coordinates 29°23′S 29°33′E / 29.383°S 29.550°E / -29.383; 29.550Coordinates: 29°23′S 29°33′E / 29.383°S 29.550°E / -29.383; 29.550
Inscription history
Inscription 2000 (24th Session)

The uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park is a World Heritage Site in Southern Africa, covering 242,813 ha (2,428 km2) of area.[1] The park spans parts of both South Africa, in its KwaZulu-Natal province, and Lesotho. The park includes Royal Natal National Park, a provincial park, and Drakensberg National Park, which covers part of Drakensberg, the highest mountain in Southern Africa.

On 30 November 2000, the uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park was added to the World Heritage List. It is described by UNESCO as having "exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts...the site’s diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially birds and plants...[and it] also contains many caves and rock-shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of paintings in Africa south of the Sahara.[1]

Most of the higher South African parts of the Drakensberg mountain range have been designated as game reserves or wilderness areas. The uKhahlamba or Drakensberg National Park, located in KwaZulu-Natal, near the border with Lesotho, is also in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (under the Ramsar Convention). Adjacent to the Drakensberg National Park is Cathkin Estates Conservation and Wildlife Sanctuary which spans 1044HA of virgin grassland and represents the largest privately owned game park in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg region.


The Drakensberg mountain range is characterized by a high level of endemism of both invertebrates[2][3] and vertebrates.


This park will be included into the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area, Peace Park.


  1. ^ a b uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  2. ^ Barraclough, D.A. & McAlpine, D.K. 2006. Natalimyzidae, a new African family of acalyptrate flies (Diptera: Schizophora: Sciomyzoidea). African Invertebrates 47: 117-134. [1]
  3. ^ Plisko, J.D. 2009. Pre-testical spermathecal pores and unusual setal arrangement in the South African endemic microchaetid earthworms of presumed Gondwanan origin (Oligochaeta: Microchaetidae). African Invertebrates 50 (2): 237-254. [2]

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