Barberton Makhonjwa Mountain Land in Mpumalanga, South Africa has just been inscribed as a World Heritage Site

The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountain Land in Mpumalanga, South Africa has just been inscribed as a World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at the 42nd World Heritage Committee Session.

What makes this international heritage milestone particularly exciting is that it is the first World Heritage Site in Mpumalanga and becomes the 10th World Heritage Site for South Africa!

Locally the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains is known as the “Cradle of Life”, a very appropriate name because according to the National Heritage Council of South Africa, this unique site provides the world with evidence on life formation that dates back 3 billion years!

Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains in Mpumalanga has the most remarkable geological evidence of rock layers that formed between 3,2 and 3,5 million years ago. It has attracted researchers from all over the world because it has the most exposed layers of rock formations. Scientists found fossilised bacteria under thin layers of rock thought to be 3.2 billion years old.

People on social media have been sharing their adventures and memories of travelling to the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountain Land World Heritage Site!

Bulelwa Maphanga from Mbombela posted these beautiful Mpumalanga mountain views!

Kruger Lowveld celebrated with this photo of the newly declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mpumalanga!

Couldn’t be more proud reading the official statement from The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Twitter page!

South Africa’s 10 World Heritage Sites now include


  • Cradle of Humankind and Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa
  • Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in the northern border of South Africa, joining Zimbabwe and Botswana
  • Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape of dramatic mountainous desert in north-western South Africa
  • Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town, Western Cape
  • ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape, at the border with Botswana and Namibia


  • Barberton Makhonjwa Mountain Land, in Mpumalanga
  • Cape Floral Region Protected Areas, at the south-western extremity of South Africa
  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park, along the coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province
  • Vredefort Dome, part of a larger meteorite impact structure 120 km south-west of Johannesburg


  • Maloti-Drakensberg Park, a transboundary site covering uKhahlamba Drakensberg National Park in South Africa and the Sehlathebe National Park in Lesotho


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