SA gets 10th World Heritage Site listing as Makhonjwa Mountains added to list

Makhonjwa Mountains

The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains have been selected as SA’s 10th World Heritage Site because of volcanic and sedimentary rock dating back billions of years.


In 2016 South Africa listed 7 sites on the Unesco tentative list for approval as World Heritage Sites. The Makhonjwa Mountains were on that list and have now officially been names the 10th World Heritage Site in South Africa.

The sites are assessed and compared to the criteria depending on which type of site they fall under. There are cultural, natural and mixed. The Mountains met all 4 criteria to qualify as a natural heritage site. This is why…

“Situated in north-eastern South Africa, the site comprises 40% of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, one of the world’s oldest geological structures. The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains represents the best-preserved succession of volcanic and sedimentary rock dating back 3.6 to 3.25 billion years when the first continents were starting to form on the primitive Earth. It features meteor-impact fallback breccias resulting from the impact of meteorites formed just after the Great Bombardment (4.6 to 3.8 billion years ago).”

This is yet another great draw for tourists to visit South Africa and hopefully, a few more of our potential sites get approved.

The other potential sites listed in 2016 are:

  • The !Xam Khomani Heartland
  • Succulent Karoo Protected Areas
  • Liberation Heritage Route
  • Early Farmsteads of the Cape Winelands
  • The Emergence of Modern Humans: The Pleistocene occupation sites of South Africa
  • Human Rights, Liberation Struggle and Reconciliation: Nelson Mandela Legacy Sites

Dispersed farming and rural towns. Credit: Dion Brandt / Unesco

Lomati Valley. Credit: Tony Ferrar / Unesco

Banded Ironstone. Credit: Dion Brandt / Unesco

Sources: Unesco
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Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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