Celebrate World Heritage Day at these must see KZN sites

Celebrate World Heritage Day at these must see KZN sites

Sunday, the 18th of April is World Heritage Day, so why not spend the day visiting some of the most amazing sites in KZN while celebrating South Africa's rich and beautiful heritage?

iSimangaliso Park

Every day, by simply living our lives, we are celebrating and embodying our cultural heritage.

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World Heritage Day helps us remember to actively honour and observe the many cultures that make up this beautiful world, especially the rich diversity found in SA.

It serves as a reminder that we should protect these culturally important sites and monuments through which can also help preserve our incredible heritage.

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What is a heritage site?

A heritage site is a place of great cultural significance and forms part of a great legacy. It can be physical artifacts or intangible attributes that have been inherited from the many generations before us.

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KZN Heritage Sites

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

In December 1999 it became South Africa's first World Heritage Site! 

And with good reason.

It is now SA's second-largest protected area and boasts three major lake systems, most of SA's remaining swamp forests, eight interlinking ecosystems, Africa's largest estuarine system, and 25,000-year-old coastal dunes (which are among the highest in the world). 

The park is made up of the 10 Jewels which include: Kosi Bay, the coastal forest, False Bay, Lake Sibaya, Lake St Lucia, the eastern shores and Cape Vidal, the western shores and Charters Creek, uMkhuze, Sodwana Bay, and Maphelane.

There is an almost never-ending list of activities and experiences you can enjoy at any of these beautiful locations so it only makes sense that the park is named iSimangaliso which means miracle and wonder.

heritage site hippo

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South Africa's second official World Heritage Site is composed of two parks, the Sehlathebe National Park in Lesotho and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg National Park in SA, to create one of the largest protected areas in Africa.

You don't need us to tell you that this area is filled with exceptional natural beauty.

Drakensberg maloti

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The park also plays an important role in the conservation of globally unique plants and is home to a few endangered animal species such as the Cape vulture (Gyps coprotheres) and Maloti minnow (Pseudobarbus quathlambae).

While the nature in this park is something to behold, one of the most important and culturally significant aspects of this park is the many paintings created by the San people who called this area home for over 4,000 years.

The many caves and rock shelters contain the largest and most concentrated group of paintings south of the Sahara.


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Talana Museum, Battlefield & Heritage Park  

Visit the Talana Museum, Battlefield & Heritage Park to learn more about the conflict that happened between the Zulus, Boers and Brits.

There is the Anglo Boer War exhibition, and a magnificent collection of glass from around the world and South Africa.

You can grab a delicious meal at the Miners Rest restaurant and do some shopping at the Museum Shop.

Nelson Mandela Capture Site

This site probably needs no introduction.

Outside Howick is where Nelson Mandela was arrested on 5 August 1962. It holds enormous significance for the country as visitors get to learn about the most amazing President we have ever had.

There is also a restaurant available at the site.

Nelson Mandela Capture site
Supplied, Tourism KwaZulu Natal

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So if you are looking for something to do over the weekend, take some time to reflect and enjoy SA's heritage at these sites with the added bonus of knowing that you are supporting local tourism after one of its toughest years.

Let's get going!

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Main image courtesy of @Tourism_gov_za/Twitter

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