World Heritage Status
The spectacular Drakensberg mountains took their rightful place on the international tourism stage when the 243,000 hectare uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park was proclaimed a World Heritage Site (WHS) on 29 November 2000. In addition to recognising the unique natural beauty of the Drakensberg, the World Heritage Site title also focuses world attention on the mountain park's rich collection of rock art, the last visible signs of the San Peoples. In order for any site to be included in the World Heritage List it must meet one or more of the Natural or Cultural Heritage Property criteria. The uKhahlamba Drakensberg satisfies two natural criteria and two of the cultural criteria.
International recognition was granted to its unique richness of biological diversity, its endemic and endangered species, its superlative natural beauty as well as its masterpieces of human creative genius in the form of tens of thousands of San rock paintings.
Within the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park there are some 600 rock art sites, collectively representing over 35,000 individual images. Remarkably the rock art in the Park is better preserved than any other region south of the Sahara. The oldest painting on a rock shelter wall in this Park is 2,400 years old while more recent creations date back to the late nineteenth century.
With an abundance of birds and plants, as well as some of the worlds' most sunning scenery and rock art, the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is one of South Africa's premier tourist attractions and holiday destinations.