Category: South Africa

Read pupils’ heart-warming letters on iSimangaliso for African Heritage Day; Frank Chemaly; Independent Online

South Africa – iSimangaliso Wetland Park

School pupils from KZN and the Seychelles write to each other to tell each other of their own unique natural heritage sites

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Walk in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors at the Cradle of Humankind; South Africa

South Africa – Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa

Have you ever wondered where we, human beings, came from? What led to this evolutionary revolution on Planet Earth? All of the answers can be found in one place: the Cradle of Humankind.

The Cradle of Humankind is one of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa. Here the landscape is dotted with subterranean limestone caves that have turned up a rich fossil record for human evolutionary studies. These findings have led to the “Out of Africa” theory, estimating that most human ancestors originated from one general spot…Africa.

The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site lies about 50km north-west of Johannesburg, an  area of rolling grassland, rocky outcrops and river courses typical of this land before it was overtaken by urban sprawl.

It’s here where you get to see history in the flesh, or should we say bone.

Read more from source: Walk in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors at the Cradle of Humankind | Arts | Attractions | Museums | Culture | History | Johannesburg | Family | Affordable | People | Multiple experiences | Gauteng | Vibrant culture

Amazing and Diverse KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa; Robert Glazier; Goway

South Africa – Maloti-Drakensberg Park

KwaZulu-Natal is a province in South Africa absolutely teeming with exciting and diverse attractions. Located in the south east of the country, it borders three other countries – Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho. Its capital is Pietermaritzburg, and the largest city is Durban. KwaZulu-Natal has a long, beautiful shoreline of outstanding beaches on the Indian Ocean, as well as game reserves, historic battlefields, dramatic mountain ranges, and ecologically important wetlands.

The following is a list of great places to see in KwaZulu-Natal while on your South Africa vacation.


Durban is South Africa’s third-largest city and a semi-tropical urban metropolis. Durban’s downtown area is a mix of grandiose colonial buildings and Art Deco architecture. It is a very important tourist centre because of its warm, subtropical climate and excellent sandy beaches.

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South African national parks now on Google Street View; IOL Travel

South Africa – Maloti-Drakensberg Park

A team of nature-loving South Africans in partnership with Google Street View have released a large collection of 360-degree imagery of the country’s wildest areas.

The announcement of 170 new trails in South Africa’s national parks and reserves follows on from The Mzansi Experience launched in March 2016, which showcased prominent tourist attractions such as Kruger National Park, Table Mountain and Cape Point, among others.

The new trails, launched this weekend, extend the existing Street View imagery of South Africa’s wilderness areas to include all 19 national parks, 17 previously ‘un-trekked’ nature reserves and many sites of natural, cultural and historical significance in all nine provinces of South Africa.

More than 200 South African volunteers from across the country were involved in the 12-month project, mapping out the parts of South Africa that they call home. Many were SANParks, CapeNature and KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife rangers and guides.

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The ultimate guide to South Africa, from hidden corners to Cape Town; Philip Briggs; Wanderlust

South Africa – Maloti-Drakensberg Park

Few countries offer the sheer diversity of South Africa. Plot your way around wildlife-packed savannah, windswept peaks, breathtaking coast and hip cities with our handy guide…

Some bias should be admitted first. I grew up, and live, in South Africa. I also wrote the first international guidebook to the country in the aftermath of Nelson Mandela’s release, and I’ve since dedicated something like three years to exploring its highways and backroads. Yet, far from harbouring a been-there-done-that feeling about South Africa, it remains my favourite travel destination.

Primarily, this is due to the breadth and depth of its natural attractions. When it comes to biodiversity, ecologists have ranked South Africa among the world’s three most significant countries.

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Johannesburg: the most visited city in Africa; eNCA

South Africa – Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s most-populated city, Johannesburg, has emerged as the most popular destination city in Africa in 2016 followed by Cape Town, according to the annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index released on Tuesday.

The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index showed that Johannesburg welcomed 4.57 million international overnight visitors in 2016, a 24 percent increase on the previous year’s 3.69 million visitors.

Cape Town rose from third place in 2015 to become the second most popular African destination city in 2016 with 1.52 million visitors.

Nigeria’s Lagos 1.04 million visitors, Morocco’s Casablanca 961,694 visitors, and Egypt’s Cairo 820,959 rounded out the top five African cities, while Durban remained in sixth place, attracting 758,057 international overnight visitors.

According to the Index, Johannesburg also topped the rankings in Africa in terms of international visitor expenditure, with travelers spending U.S.$2.56 billion in 2016.

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Dire Straits: Robben Island Museum operators determined to keep top tourist attraction afloat; Marianne Thamm; Daily Maverick

South Africa – Robben Island

Considering that over eight million people have visited UNESCO World Heritage site the Robben Island Museum in the past 20 years, the near sinking of a chartered passenger vessel, the Thandi, and the emergency evacuation of around 70 passengers on 15 September is an anomaly. But it has highlighted a problem that has plagued the museum since it first opened to the public in 1997 – to get the some 350,000 visitors per annum safely on and off the island. On Wednesday members of the museum executive and the South African Maritime Authority briefed the Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s Standing Committee on Economic Opportunities on the incident.

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Khomani San Landscape spotlights South African Heritage; Welcome Lishivha; Getaway

South Africa – ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape

The declaration of the ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape as a World Heritage site marks a significant progress for ‘the first people’.

The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the declaration means South Africa has a total of nine World Heritage Site destinations.

The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape was the only new South African destination declared a World Heritage site in 2017 (out of 25 new sites worldwide) and is a milestone for the Khomani San. Their ownership of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park made their case the most current successful example of aboriginal land claim in Southern Africa. The claim of the 65000-hectare land was settled out of court by the then newly appointed South African government.

The cultural landscape bears testimony to a way of life that prevailed in the harsh desert conditions of this region.

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Celebrate National Heritage Day with Pride … South Africa has Another World Heritage Site; Beverley Ballard-Tremeer; SA People News

South Africa – ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape

On National Heritage Day –  Sunday 24 September – South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions.

This year there is cause for special celebration as the culture of early human inhabitants of South Africa has been recognised by UNESCO. On 8 July 2017 the #Khomani Cultural Landscape was declared a World Heritage site.

Outstanding universal value is the central idea of the World Heritage Convention. For sites to be of outstanding universal value they should be exceptional, or superlative – they should be the most remarkable places on earth.

South Africa now hosts nine such official heritage sites; making it the country with the most World Heritage sites in sub-Saharan Africa!

Three of these sites are recognised because of their immense cultural value.

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IN PICS: 4 Heritage sites in SA parks; Christelle du Toit; eNCA

South Africa – Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

South Africa’s natural and cultural heritage have become tightly inter-woven with no less than four heritage sites located inside national parks.

Thulamela Hill

Thulamela is a stone-walled site situated in the Far North region of the Kruger National Park (KNP), and dates back to approximately 450 – 500 years before present (BP).

This late Iron Age site forms part of what is called the Zimbabwe, culture which is believed to have started at Mapungubwe. Mapungubwe’s decline coincided with the increase of Great Zimbabwe’s importance. When Great Zimbabwe was abandoned about 300 years later, possibly due to political break down, several groups moved south across the Limpopo river into the North Eastern areas of South Africa (and Northern Kruger) and established new smaller chiefdoms such as Thulamela

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SA’s 8 spectacular World Heritage Sites; Fourways Review

South Africa – Vredefort Dome

South Africa is home to eight of the world’s official heritage sites, as determined by Unesco’s World Heritage Committee. This includes four cultural, three natural and one mixed (cultural and natural) heritage sites.

Vredefort Dome, Free State

Some two billion years ago a meteorite hit Earth about 100 km southwest of Johannesburg, creating an enormous impact crater. This area, near the town of Vredefort in the Free State, is known as the Vredefort Dome. The crater, with a diameter of 190 km, is the largest, oldest and most deeply eroded astrobleme found on Earth.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu-Natal

iSimangaliso Wetland Park (formerly the Greater St Lucia Wetland 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.

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Coal mining halted on heritage site; Phila Mzamo; Mining News

South Africa – Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

Plans to mine coal by Australia’s Coal for Africa close to the Mapungubwe Unesco World Heritage site have been put on hold.

This follows some concerns over the impact of coal mining and related activities on the environment, specifically the impact of mining on water and heritage resources in the area.

For the first time in South Africa, an offset agreement has been negotiated as a condition to obtain a mining license by the coal company. This means that any mining damage caused by Coal for Africa will be monetised and penalised.

The agreement is a win say environmentalists, who have said that should mining go ahead in the area, they have negotiated a deal that protects the area’s living and cultural heritage.

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Mining halted at Mapungubwe heritage site, for now; Christelle du Toit; ENCA

South Africa – Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

MAPUNGUBWE – Plans to mine coal close to the Mapungubwe Unesco World Heritage site are on hold, but environmentalists are happy that should the mining go ahead, they have negotiated a deal that protects the area’s living and cultural heritage.

In the Mapungubwe valley, shortly after the death of Christ, there lived an African civilisation that was so advanced that it mined gold, crafted it into beautiful jewelry and artifacts, and traded goods with people as far as from China.

Situated just off the confluence of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, Mapungubwe Hill was home to the royal family and is where they were buried together with priceless gold artifacts.

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5 reasons to visit the Mapungubwe National Park; SHINGAI DARANGWA; IOL Travel

South Africa – Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

Mapungubwe is one of the most significant historical landmarks in Southern Africa. Located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a historical marvel that not only carries cultural significance, but also presents a beautifully scenic travel destination.

Here are some of the reasons why you need to check it out:

The Confluence 

I visited the Mapungubwe National Park over this weekend as part of SANParks’ Cultural and Spiritual Weekend and one of the things I was most excited about was catching a glimpse of the confluence that separates South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. It was breathtaking how, during sunset over a raised viewing deck, our tour guide indicated where the three countries were divided by the Shashe and Limpopo rivers.

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Khomani Cultural Landscape ~ Now South Africa has 9 UNESCO WHS; SA Venues

South Africa – ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape

Khomani Cultural Landscape ~ Now South Africa has 9; the Newest of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites is in the Desert

The Khomani Cultural Landscape has recently been inscribed as the 9th of the country’s world heritage sites, and probably its most intriguing.

It is the only landscape to protect what remains of the once-nomadic San people whom UNESCO recognise as having …

‘developed a specific ethnobotanical knowledge, cultural practices and a worldview related to the geographical features of their environment.’

This one of South Africa’s UNESCO world heritage sites has been a long time coming. The Khomani San are one of the only groups of San still practising their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life, within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

The Khomani Desert San are Africa’s First People

The San are the country’s aboriginal people with a distinct hunter-gatherer culture that dates back 20 000 years.

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Nine pictures to remind you of the beautiful World Heritage sites in South Africa; Alexis Haden; The South African

South Africa – Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

We live in a magnificent country.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.

As of 2016, there are nine World Heritage Sites in South Africa, including five cultural sites, three natural sites and one mixed site.

Now, you already know that South Africa is beautiful. But if you needed another reminder…

Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

Where is it?

Basically, wherever there is precious fynbos in the Cape. The area covers Covering 78,555 km², Cape Floristic Region hotspot is located entirely within the borders of South Africa.

Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs

Where is it?

The Cradle of Humankind is a paleoanthropological site about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa in the Gauteng province.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

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South Africa welcomes another world heritage site; Brand South Africa

South Africa – Khomani Cultural Landscape

Unesco’s World Heritage Committee has included South Africa’s ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape on its list of world heritage sites.

South Africa’s ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape in the Northern Cape has been inscribed as a world heritage site.

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) World Heritage Committee also inscribed two other sites from Africa – in Eritrea and Angola – during its 41st session in Krakow, Poland.

“The decision that was taken today marks a long-awaited historical moment for us, the ‡Khomani San, and all other San/Bushman communities,” said Dirk Pienaar, a ǂKhomani community member, addressing the session.

He said it was an acknowledgement of universal value and importance. “This listing will thus provide a foundation for us to continue to preserve, protect and practise our ancient culture and traditions with minimum threat of extinction within the current society.”

What it is

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Sharks, safari and stunning scenery – the magnificent KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa; Simon Coyle; Manchester Evening News

South Africa – Maloti-Drakensberg Park

Simon Coyle enjoys an action-packed week in the beautiful South African coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Looking out the cage into the deep blue sea a shark emerges from the murky depths.

The creature’s grey skin shimmers in the water with its beady white eyes seemingly fixated on me.

It gets closer and within seconds I am face-to-face with the two metre long predator.

More swim towards me and before I know it a dozen others are now circling the cage.

While my heart is racing, the initial terror soon gives way to awe as the black tip sharks majestically glide around me.

A terrifying, but absolutely exhilarating half-an-hour, it is one of the many reasons why South Africa is just simply breathaking.

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