History & heritage
History and Heritage
History and Heritage

South Africa’s history has been turbulent, but South Africans draw strength from the past. Leaders like Nelson Mandela have been an inspiration. Learn about his life, and the history of others, at museums like Robben Island, the Apartheid Museum, the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha and the District Six Museum.

Given South Africa’s diverse culture and history and its spectacular natural resources and wildlife, it is not surprising that it boasts the eight World Heritage Sites.They are:

Cape Floral Kingdom

A region that takes up on only 0.04% of the world's land area, but contains an astonishing 3% percent of its plant species. It is one of the most biodiverse plant regions in the world. Plants in this kingdom are called ‘fynbos’.

Isimangaliso (St. Lucia) Wetlands Park

Sandy beaches, forested dunes, wetlands, grasslands, forests, lakes and savannah that is home to a wide variety of marine, wetland and savannah species. The landscape is shaped by the sea, wind and the river.

Robben Island

The island, just 20km from Cape Town, where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were jailed. Today, it is a symbol of the struggle against apartheid.

The Cradle of Humankind

A concentration on hominid fossils that have helped trace the origin and evolution of man. The fossils date back to between 4.5 million and 2.5 million years.

Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park

A mountainous region of outstanding natural beauty that is popular amongst hikers. It is also home to superb rock art paintings by the San, hunter-gatherers who lived here from the Stone Age until the mid 1800’s.

Vredefort Meteorite Dome

An enormous impact crater created by the impact of a meteorite 10 kilometres in diameter that hit the earth some 2-billion years ago.

The Richtersveld Cultural & Botanical Landscape

The home of the Nama people, semi-nomadic pastoralists who are descendents of the Khoi Khoi. Their lives are influenced by the extreme temperatures of the area.

Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

The "place of the stone of wisdom". Mapungubwe was once a highly sophisticated kingdom that lasted for 400 years until the 14th century.