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What to see in South Africa



Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs
Gauteng, Limpopo and North-west provinces

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

The Taung Skull Fossil Site, part of the extension, is the place where in 1924 the celebrated Taung Skull - a specimen of the species Australopithecus africanus - was found. Makapan Valley, also in the site, features in its many archaeological caves traces of human occupation and evolution dating back some 3.3 million years. The area contains essential elements that define the origin and evolution of humankind. Fossils found there have enabled the identification of several specimens of early hominids, more particularly specimens of Paranthropus, dating back between 4.5 million and 2.5 million years as well as evidence of the domestication of fire 1.8 million to 1 million years ago. It is an extension to the site inscribed in 1999.

Greater St Lucia Wetland Park
KwaZulu-Natal

 Greater St Lucia Wetland Park

The ongoing fluvial, marine and aeolian processes in the site have produced a variety of landforms, including coral reefs, long sandy beaches, coastal dunes, lake systems, swamps, and extensive reed and papyrus wetlands. The interplay of the park's environmental heterogeneity with major floods and coastal storms and a transitional geographic location between subtropical and tropical Africa has resulted in exceptional species diversity and ongoing speciation. The mosaic of landforms and habitat types creates breathtaking scenic vistas. The site contains critical habitats for a range of species from Africa's marine, wetland and savannah environments.

Robben Island
Western Cape Province

Robben Island

Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base. Its buildings, particularly those of the late 20th century such as the maximum security prison for political prisoners, witness the triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression and racism.

Ukhahlamba / Drakensberg Park
KwaZulu-Natal

Ukhahlamba / Drakensberg Park

The uKhahlamba – Drakensberg Park has exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts. Rolling high altitude grasslands, the pristine steep-sided river valleys and rocky gorges also contribute to the beauty of the site. The site's diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially birds and plants. This spectacular natural site also contains many caves and rock-shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of paintings in Africa south of the Sahara, made by the San people over a period of 4,000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity of subject and in their depiction of animals and human beings. They represent the spiritual life of the San people who no longer live in this region.

Vredefort Dome
Northwest and Free State provinces

Vredefort Dome

Vredefort Dome, approximately 120km south west of Johannesburg, is a representative part of a larger meteorite impact structure, or astrobleme. Dating back 2,023 million years, it is the oldest astrobleme found on earth so far. With a radius of 190km, it is also the largest and the most deeply eroded. Vredefort Dome bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which caused devastating global change, including, according to some scientists, major evolutionary changes. It provides critical evidence of the earth’s geological history and is crucial to our understanding of the evolution of the planet. Despite their importance to the planet’s history, geological activity on the earth’s surface has led to the disappearance of evidence from most impact sites and Vredefort is the only example on earth to provide a full geological profile of an astrobleme below the crater floor.

Cape Floral Region Protected Areas
Western Cape Province, Eastern Cape Province

 Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

A serial site - in Cape Province, South Africa - made up of eight protected areas, covering 553,000-ha. The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. The site displays outstanding ecological and biological processes associated with the Fynbos vegetation, which is unique to the Cape Floral Region. The outstanding diversity, density and endemism of the flora are among the highest worldwide. Unique plant reproductive strategies, adaptive to fire, patterns of seed dispersal by insects, as well as patterns of endemism and adaptive radiation found in the flora are of outstanding value to science.

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Where to stay in
South Africa



Addo

Barberton

Cape Town

Cederberg Concervancy

Champagne Valley

Cintsa

Coffee Bay

Colesberg

Drakensberg

Durban

Durban North

East London

Eastern Cape

Eshowe

Franschhoek

Gansbaai

Gauteng

Gingingdlovu

Gordon's Bay

Graaff-Reinet

Grahamstown

Graskop

Greyton

Harkerville

Hartbeespoort

Hazyview

Hectorspruit

Hermanus

Hluhluwe

Hoedspruit

Jeffreys Bay

Johannesburg

Katberg

Kempton Park

Knysna

Komatipoort

Kruger Park

Kwa Zulu Natal

Kwazulu Natal

Lephalala

Leydsdorp

Marloth Park

Middelburg

Montagu

Mossel Bay

Mpande

Mpumalanga

Naboomspruit

Nelspruit

Nieu Bethesda

Oudtshoorn

Phalaborwa

Pietermaritzburg

Plettenberg Bay

Port Edward

Port Elizabeth

Port St Johns

Potgietersrus Mokopane

Pretoria

Prince Albert

Ramsgate

Richard's Bay

Robertson

Sabie

Saldanha Bay

Simonstown

Somerset West

Southbroom

St Francis Bay

St Lucia

Stellenbosch

Storms River

Struisbaai

Tsitsikamma

Tzaneen

Umkomaas

Upington

Western Cape

Wilderness








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