Heritage sites to visit this Heritage Day

Posted on 20 September 2019

Did you know that South Africa is one of the most complex and diverse countries in the world – it’s one of the reasons we’re called the Rainbow Nation! Every year, we celebrate our diversity and cultures on 24th September – Heritage Day.

If you’re looking for something to do to commemorate this special public holiday, why not visit a Heritage site? Here are some of our favourite ones from across South Africa:

Maropeng Visitor Centre, Gauteng

Maropeng is in Gauteng and it is the official visitors’ centre for the Cradle of Humankind- which was declared a World Heritage Site by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1999. It focuses on the development of humans and shows in-depth detail on how they lived using spectacular storytelling methods. This is the perfect place to go if you want to know about our origins while having a good time. It’s suitable for the whole family as there are fun and interactive activities for children to do. The centre is open from 09h00 to 17h00 every day.

Robben Island, Western Cape

Robben Island is a world heritage site which is famously known as the place where the late former President Nelson Mandela was sentenced for 27 years. However, other popular figures and politicians were also imprisoned at Robben Island. They include former President Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe. The prison was closed in 1996 and has been a national heritage site ever since. It was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Big Hole, Northern Cape

What stands out about the Big Hole in Kimberley is that it’s the deepest hand-dug excavation in the world, with a depth of 200 m2. However, more than 100 years ago, before word spread that diamonds had been discovered in the vicinity, the site was a flat-topped hill.After the mine closed in 1914, the Big Hole became a tourist attraction and it has had massive upgrades over the years. When visiting the Big Hole, expect a fun underground mine experience to give you a feel of what digging for diamonds meant in the 1800s. You’ll also get to see a movie that gives you more insight into the history of diamonds in Kimberley.

Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Limpopo

Right at the borders of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswane, Mapungubwe is is a place ideal for wildlife lovers. It’s home to animals such as black rhinos, wild dogs, gemsbok, blue wildebeest and kudus to name a few. Mapungubwe was South Africa’s first kingdom and it developed into the largest kingdom in the sub-continent before it was abandoned in the 14th century. According to UNESCO, the remains in the Mapungubwe cultural landscape graphically illustrate the impact of climate change and record the growth and then decline of the kingdom of Mapungubwe as a clear record of a culture that became vulnerable to irreversible change.

Visiting these places with friends or family will be a great chance to bond and have a cool road trip. Just make sure you’re up-to-date with your car insurance payments, so that you’re financially covered if any unforeseen circumstances happen on the road. You’ll be at ease knowing that you’re covered, so make the road trip fun and live your way!

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