South Africa’s UNESCO World Heritage sites (part two)

 

We take a look at the remaining UNESCO World Heritage Sites which fall in South Africa. As a resident of the country, you should make a point to see at least a few of these in your lifetime.

 

Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape: 

This is a savannah landscape along the South African, Zimbabwean and Botswana borders where the Limpopo and Shashe rivers meet. The area is also home to what was one of the largest kingdoms in Southern Africa before its inhabitants vacated in the 14th century. It is an amazing opportunity to see the development the country has undergone since those times.

 

Province: Limpopo

Where-to-stay: Mapungubwe is a national park and there are camps within the area where you can stay

Must-do experience: walk amongst the remains of the settlement and see the remains of the palace sites

 

Cape Floral Region: 

Enjoy the visual extravagance of the Cape Floral region

Enjoy the visual extravagance of the Cape Floral region

The Cape Floral Region is a banquet for the eyes. The area has some of the richest floral diversity in the world that is also set against varying backdrops from mountain ranges to sea views. While it comprises only 0.5% of the surface of Africa, 20% of Africa’s flora is found here. It is also one of the world’s 18 biodiversity hotspots.

 

Province: Western Cape and Eastern Cape

Where-to-stay: there is an abundance of options and what you plan to do on the route should dictate your choice

Must-do experience: a costal hike through theGarden Route

 

Vredefort Dome: 

UNESCO

Rivers run through the impact site

This is one of the largest and oldest meteor impact sites. It is estimated the impact site was formed when a meteor the size of Table Mountain, travelling at 20 seconds per kilometer, hit the earth. Many impact sites lose their geological activity over time, Vredefort still has a full geological profile below the crater floor. This is also what makes it a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

 

Province: Free State

Where-to-stay: in the nearby town of Parys, there are a number of accommodation options

Must-do experience: a guided tour of the dome

 

The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape:

UNESCO

Dry, harsh landscapes characterise Richtersveld

This is another of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a mountainous area. It is owned and managed by the Nama community, descendents from the Khoi. The area was set aside through land restitution to be protected by the Nama community who were facing increasing pressure from development. Three national parks also border the area, providing additional protection as well.

 

Province: Northern Province

Where-to-stay: Eksteenfontein, a Nama town

Must-do experience: hiking, 4×4 driving and camping

 

To read part one, click here

To read more MasterTravel, click here

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