There are something like 1,121 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Sites dotted around the globe. Of this total, you will find 10 in South Africa. There are also five on the tentative list.
That last bit might be confusing, but it basically means additional sites which might be submitted to UNESCO at some future date for consideration of World Heritage Site status. Apparently no new site is considered unless it has first been placed on the tentative list – and the following five have been there up to 2018.
The Succulent Karoo Protected Areas were identified by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and does not equate to the Karoo as we know it. It encompasses 116,000km2 between South African and Namibia.
The Liberation Heritage Route is a series of sites linked to South Africa’s fight for democracy and currently encompasses 13 sites with more expected to be added before it is finalised.
The Early Farmsteads of the Cape Winelands effectively traces South Africa’s history and path to becoming a wine produce on the tip of Africa, including the creation of companies like KWV (Ko-operatiewe Wijnbouwers Vereniging van Zuid-Afrika Beperkt).
The Emergence of Modern Humans: The Pleistocene occupation sites of South Africa is exactly what it says, those sites linked with the emergence of modern humans and include Blombos, Border Cave, Diepkloof, Klasies River, Pinnacle Point and Sibudu Cave.
Human Rights, Liberation Struggle and Reconciliation: Nelson Mandela Legacy Sites is a 13-point collection of sites covering everything from Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko-related sites to Palace of Justice High Court, Sophiatown and District Six memorial sites and the Union Buildings (to name just a few).
All of these (or just some) might be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list at some point. Some were added to the tentative list more than a decade ago, others as recently as the last three years.
If included, they will join the existing list of World Heritage Sites in South Africa which include the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa in Sterkfontein, Robben Island, Vredefort Dome and the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape. All of them are listed at the link. How many have you visited?
On a final note, have you noticed that when birds fly in that V-formation one side of the V is always longer than the other? Ever wondered why this is the case? It’s because there are more birds on the longer side.