uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Maloti-Drakensberg Park
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Maluti, which may be in the WHS area
Location South Africa
Type Mixed
Criteria i, iii, vii, x
Reference 985-001
UNESCO region Africa
Coordinates 29°22′59.99″S 29°32′26.02″E / 29.3833306°S 29.5405611°E / -29.3833306; 29.5405611Coordinates: 29°22′59.99″S 29°32′26.02″E / 29.3833306°S 29.5405611°E / -29.3833306; 29.5405611
Inscription history
Inscription 2000 (24th Session)
Extensions 2013

The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, covering 242,813 ha (2,428 km2) of area.[1] The park includes Royal Natal National Park, a provincial park, and covers part of the Drakensberg, the highest mountain range in Southern Africa.

The park and the adjoining Sehlabathebe National Park in the Kingdom of Lesotho are part of a the Maloti-Drakensberg Park, which was first declared a World Heritage Site on 30 November 2000. 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]

Plans to boost tourism in the area include a long awaited cable car project by the KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department[2]


The Drakensberg mountain range is characterized by a high level of endemism of both invertebrates[3][4] and vertebrates.


Most of the higher South African parts of the Drakensberg mountain range have been designated as game reserves or wilderness areas. The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, is also in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (under the Ramsar Convention). Adjacent to the park is the Cathkin Estates Conservation and Wildlife Sanctuary, which spans 1,044 ha (10 km2) of virgin grassland and represents the largest privately owned game park in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg region.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Maloti-Drakensberg Park". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Barraclough, D.A. & McAlpine, D.K. 2006. Natalimyzidae, a new African family of acalyptrate flies (Diptera: Schizophora: Sciomyzoidea). African Invertebrates 47: 117-134. [1]
  4. ^ 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]
  5. ^ "Cathkin Estates". Gems Estate Management. Retrieved 2015-08-11. 

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