Category: South Africa

Whose World Heritage? The problem with UNESCO’s famous list; Chloe Maurel; Equal Times

South Africa – Maloti-Drakensberg Park

In 1972 the United National Education, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) adopted its Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage leading to its famous list of world heritage sites, an inventory of sites considered of outstanding universal value.

More than 1,000 sites are now included on this prestigious list. Italy has the most sites listed, with 53 entries, France is in fourth place with 43 sites, but some countries in the southern hemisphere, such as Rwanda and Liberia, have none.

The World Heritage Fund, which manages these sites, has an annual budget of US$2.5 million, a very modest budget compared to UNESCO’s total annual budget of US$333 million, but the symbolic value of this world heritage list is very high.

As Mechtild Rössler, director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre explains, “developing countries often lack the institutions needed to support this process.

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SA gets ninth World Heritage Site; South Africa Today

South Africa – ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape

Inscribed as the ninth World Heritage Site in South Africa, the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape has been added to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) prestigious list of sites.

The area, which has now been recognised by UNESCO as a site of universal value, covers the entire Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and is part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park bordering Botswana and Namibia.

The ‡Khomani and related San people are the ancestors of the entire human race. They descend directly from an ancient group of people who inhabited Southern Africa about 150 000 years ago.

“This exciting announcement brings with it prospects of development for South Africa and our neighbours, but it has global significance that extends far beyond our region,” said Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa.

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Experience The Big 5; City Press

South Africa – Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

Limpopo is home to three national parks – Mapungubwe National Park, which borders Botswana and Zimbabwe, and which is also a Unesco World Heritage Site; the Kruger National Park, which straddles the Vhembe and Mopani regions; and the Marakele National Park in the Waterberg region.

All three contain the Big Five: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard.

Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site

Sip sundowners at the confluence of the legendary Limpopo and Shashe rivers, watch the eagles soar over Botswana and Zimbabwe’s skies, hear the echo of elephant calls, take a tree-top walk or just relax and absorb the surroundings. The Mapungubwe National Park is rich in biodiversity, scenic beauty and contains many archaeological treasures.

Nearest airport: Phalaborwa

Driving distance from Johannesburg: Approximately six hours

More information:

Featured accommodation:

Cottages at Leokwe Rest Camp

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Robben Island Prison: A peep into Mandela’s cell; Vanguard News

And one of the inmates who made the prison to attract global attention was prisoner 466/64, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Mandela, referred to as Madiba or Tata (Father of the nation), who was later to become President of South Africa, spent 18 of his 27- year jail term in Robben Island prison. He never gave up. The bold inscription on the walls of the docking area, THE HUMAN SPIRIT CANNOT BE MENACLED, or another, THE TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT, are testaments to the struggle and the never-say-die mentality of Mandela and his other freedom fighters during the anti-apartheid struggle.

Source: Robben Island Prison: A peep into Mandela’s cell – Vanguard News