World Heritage Sites in Southern Africa

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage.

What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.

UNESCO's World Heritage mission is to:

View World Heritage Sites in Southern Africa in a larger map

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World Heritage Sites in Botswana
Tsodilo Hills

"The Louvre of the desert", situated in the Kalahari.
Roughly around 4,500 rockpaintings in only 10 km²
The Ngamiland District, north-west Botswana
Okavango Delta
The "Jewel of the Kalahari" is large inland delta formed where the Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari.
The Ngamiland District, north-west Botswana

World Heritage Sites in Mozamqique
Island of Mozambique / Ilha de Mocambique

former Portuguese trading-post on the route to India.
Ilha de Mocambique District, Nampula Province

World Heritage Sites in South Africa
Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs
"The Cradle of Humankind"
Gauteng, Limpopo and North-west provinces
Greater St Lucia Wetland Park

Robben Island

Western Cape Province

uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park


Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

once the largest kingdom in the sub-continent
abandonded in 14th century
Northern Province
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas
Western Cape Province, Eastern Cape Province; also click here

Vredefort Dome

part of a larger meteorite impact structure - an astrobleme
about 2 mio years old
Northwest and Free State provinces

The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape

The 160,000 ha. Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Lanscape of dramatic mountainous desert in the north-west part of South Africa constitutes a cultural landscape communally owned and managed.
Northern Cape

‡Khomani Cultural Landscape

The landscape (959,100ha) is located in the Dawid Kruiper District Municipality in the Northern Cape. It covers the entire Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (KGNP) and forms part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which is bordered by Botswana and Namibia in the east and west respectively.
Northern Cape
Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains
The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains is a range of small mountains and hills that covers an area of 120 km by 60 km. It provides the world with evidence on life formation that dates back more than 3 billion years. The mountain range has the most remarkable geological evidence of rock layers that formed between 3.2 and 3.5 million years ago.


World Heritage Sites in Zambia
Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls
Livingstone District of Southern Province of the Republic of Zambia

World Heritage Sites in Zimbabwe
Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas
right on the banks of the mighty Zambezi
high concentration of wild life
Urungwe District, Mashonaland North region
Great Zimbabwe National Monument
Masvingo (Southern) Province
Khami Ruins National Monument
developed after the capital of Great Zimbabwe had been abandoned
major centre of trade for a long period of time
Western Region, Matabeleland
Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls
Hwange District of Matabeleland North Province of Zimbabwe
Matobo Hills
Matebeleland, South Province

World Heritage Sites in Namibia
Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes
Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes has one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs, i.e. rock carvings, in Africa.
Kunene Region
Namib Sand Sea
The Namib Sand Sea covers an area of about 34,000km² and lies within the Namib-Naukluft National Park, south of the Kuiseb River in central Namibia. It is one of the world's oldest and largest sand deserts and especially known for its vast panoramas of majestic dune-scapes.


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© Sebastian Hermanns - All Rights Reserved - last modified 2019-09-24 9:01 AM