The spectacular Drakensberg mountains took their rightful place on the international tourism stage with the proclaiming of the 243 000 hectare uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park in December 200 as a World Heritage Site, significantly meeting the criteria for both cultural and natural properties.
In addition to recognizing the unique natural beauty of the Drakensberg, the World Heritage Site also focuses world attention on the park's rich collection of rock art - the last visible signs of the San people.
International recognition was granted in acknowledgement of the Park's unique ichness of biological diversity, its endemic and endangered species, its superlative vatural beauty and its masterpiece of human creative genius in the form of ten of thousands of San rock paintings.
The world's greatest collection of rock art
The San people are recognised as the indigenous inhabitants of the sub-continent. In centuries past they inhabited practically the entire sub-continent, and are regarded as „embodying the essence of southern Africa's deep past". Yet there is no monument to the San people - other than their own art.
Within the ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park there are some 600 sites, collectively representing over 35000 individual images. Remarkably, the rock art in the park is better preserved than any other region south of the Sahara.
The ecological integrity of the area has been preserved intact since the last San people living there and the climate, vegetation and fauna have not changed.
Uniquely, it is possible to turn from rock paintings of eland, rhebok and other animals to look over pristine valleys and to see these very species feeding, resting or moving about.
The oldest painting on a rock shelter wall in the park is about 2400 years old, while more recent creations date back to the late nineteenth century.
Many of the sites contain scenes depicting hunting, dancing, fighting, food gathering or ritual and trance scenes of hunting or rainmaking.
Accommodation available near the ukhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Site