4 Natural Heritage Sites in South Africa
The countries of the world has undergone several geographical evolution through time. The Republic of South Africa not left out as one could easily behold the beauty and creation of nature as one visit the Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga, South Africa . Hardly would an American who woke up anywhere around the Blyde River Canyon realise that he or she is in Africa as he will mistake it to the great Canyon lake in Texas. South Africa is blessed with remarkable eco-tourism environment, amazing landscape and swift parks of Wild animals. From, our list below, we shall be taking you on a rollercoaster of an amazing journey to help you have the most thrilling experience whenever you visit South Africa.
Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains
The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains contain an outstanding record of some of the oldest, most diverse, and best-preserved volcanic and sedimentary rocks on the early Earth. These outcrops have been intensively studied for more than a century, and provide key insights into early Earth processes including the formation of continents, surface conditions 3.5 to 3.2 billion years ago, and the environment in which life first appeared on our planet.
Encased by large granite bodies and buried by a thick layer of sedimentary strata, this 340-million-year long record of Archaean lavas and sediments has largely escaped both metamorphism and erosion for all of that time. The geosites provide some of the earliest evidence of the chemical composition of our oceans and atmosphere and of the way continents are formed – all unique attributes of our planet. The Outstanding Universal Value of the property lies in both the remarkable state of preservation of the geosites, their variety, and their close proximity. There are literally hundreds of geosites of interest which, when their information is combined, allow the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains to tell a richly consistent and as yet only partly explored story of how life on Earth began.
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas
The Cape Floral Region has been recognised as one of the most special places for plants in the world in terms of diversity, density and number of endemic species. The property is a highly distinctive phytogeographic unit which is regarded as one of the six Floral Kingdoms of the world and is by far the smallest and relatively the most diverse. It is recognised as one of the world’s ʻhottest hotspotsʼ for its diversity of endemic and threatened plants, and contains outstanding examples of significant ongoing ecological, biological and evolutionary processes. This extraordinary assemblage of plant life and its associated fauna is represented by a series of 13 protected area clusters covering an area of more than 1 million ha. These protected areas also conserve the outstanding ecological, biological and evolutionary processes associated with the beautiful and distinctive Fynbos vegetation, unique to the Cape Floral Region.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is one of the outstanding natural wetland and coastal sites of Africa. Covering an area of 239,566 ha, it includes a wide range of pristine marine, coastal, wetland, estuarine, and terrestrial environments which are scenically beautiful and basically unmodified by people. These include coral reefs, long sandy beaches, coastal dunes, lake systems, swamps, and extensive reed and papyrus wetlands, providing critical habitat for a wide range of species from Africa’s seas, wetlands and savannahs. The interaction of these environments with major floods and coastal storms in the Park’s transitional location has resulted in continuing speciation and exceptional species diversity. Its vivid natural spectacles include nesting turtles and large aggregations of flamingos and other waterfowl.
The Vredefort Dome is 120 km south west from Johannesburg. The property represents a unique geological phenomenon formed about 2 023 million years ago and is the oldest and largest known meteorite impact structure on earth. Within the area, geological strata comprising the middle to upper zones of the earth’s crust, developed over a period of more than 3 200 million years are exposed. All the classical related characteristics of a large astrobleme are found in the property. This multi-ring structure formed by the impact scar illustrates the effect of shock metamorphism of rocks, transformation of crystal structures and shatter cones of the immense force created by the impact.