Having been recognised as the 10th South African World Heritage Site and the first in the Province of Mpumalanga; the glorious Barberton Makhonjwa Mountainland has recently been hailed as the new World Heritage Site! At a ceremony held during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Manama under the chair of Shaikha Haya Bint Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountainland of Mpumalanga became the next proud South African recipient of a World Heritage Site title.
Recognizing its outstanding global significance due to its cultural, geographical and ecological significance, the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountainland will now be protected and maintained by the efforts of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Located in Mpumalanga’s Wild Frontier as part of the Kruger Lowveld, the heritage site is made up of 40 percent of the nicknamed Barberton Greenstone Belt - the home of many of the outstanding natural features of the area that represent major stages of earth's history, extraordinary natural beauty and biodiversity of one of the world's oldest geological structures.
Offering a well-preserved trace of volcanic and sedimentary rock dating back 3.25 to 3.6 billion years, the area also has the effects of a meteor-impact collapse caused by the impact of meteorites just after the Great Bombardment, thought to have occurred approximately 4.1 to 3.8 billion years (Ga).
The site highlights the time when continents first formed on the ancient earth and is a good example of the ongoing process of natural and biological diversity and evolution of plants and animals.
With the prospect of increasing more tourism to the area in the form of local and international tourists, this area welcomes visitors to various tourist and tourism destinations including:
- Large and small nature reserves
- Adventure tourism
- Geological highlights
- Prolific birding and wildlife
- Cultural tours
- Leisure and outdoor sporting activities
From De Kaap Valley to the village of Barberton, the area is home to a variety of landscapes and standardised resorts as well as leisure and leisure activities. Discover the Mountainlands Nature Reserve with beautiful African sunsets, unparalleled natural beauty, wildlife and bird watching, or explore mining tours, gold exploration and a heritage walk guided by the historic city of Barberton and, with some of the best hiking and cycling trails in the mountains, Barberton Makhonjwa also provides a fun playground for the active and energetic!
Visitors can also explore this area in the form of a quad bike adventure or put their road driving skills to the test in Eureka City and on other 4x4 tours around. Adrenaline junkies looking for their next challenge can look forward to paragliding or a para motor with the majestic views of the Makhonjwa Mountains as your background or enjoy an eye-opening self-guided tour along the Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail.
Thrilled with the recent World Heritage site status, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) aims to continue to add more to the variety of product and experience offerings in the province while creating awareness in local communities about the unique tourism offering and its significance to the province.