World Heritage Sites in South Africa

Robben island

Robben Island  is an island in Table Bay, 6.9 kilometres west of the coast of Bloubergstrand, north of Cape Town, South Africa. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid and expansion of the franchise to all residents of the country. In addition, two other former inmates of Robben Island have been elected as President of South Africa since the late 1990s: Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

iSimangaliso Wetland Park (previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park) is situated on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, about 235 kilometres north of Durban by road. It is South Africa’s third-largest protected area, spanning 280 km of coastline, from the Mozambican border in the north to Mapelane south of the Lake St. Lucia estuary, and made up of around 3,280 km2 of natural ecosystems, managed by the iSimangaliso Authority. 

Cradle of Human Kind

The paleoanthropological site self-proclaimed as the Cradle of Humankind is located about 50 km (31 mi) northwest of Johannesburg. Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999, the site currently occupies 47,000 hectares and contains a complex of limestone caves. The registered name of the site in the list of World Heritage sites is Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa.


The park was first declared a World Heritage Site on 30 November 2000. It is described by UNESCO as having “exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts… the site’s diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally threatened species, especially birds and plants… [and it] also contains many caves and rock-shelters with the largest and most concentrated group of paintings in Africa south of the Sahara”.

Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

The Kingdom of Mapungubwe (or Maphungubgwe) (c.1075–1220) was a medieval state in South Africa located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, south of Great Zimbabwe. The name is derived from either TjiKalanga and Tshivenda. The kingdom was the first stage in a development that would culminate in the creation of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe in the 13th century, and with gold trading links to Rhapta and Kilwa Kisiwani on the African east coast.

Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

The Cape Floristic Region, the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, is an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism, and is home to over 9,000 vascular plant species, of which 69 percent are endemic. Much of this diversity is associated with the fynbos biome, a Mediterranean-type, fire-prone shrubland. The economical worth of fynbos biodiversity, based on harvests of fynbos products and eco-tourism, is estimated to be in the region of R77 million a year.

Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape

The Richtersveld is a desert landscape characterised by rugged kloofs and high mountains, situated in the north-western corner of South Africa’s Northern Cape province. It is full of changing scenery from flat, sandy, coastal plains, to craggy sharp mountains of volcanic rock and the lushness of the Orange River, which forms the border with neighboring Namibia. The area ranges in altitude from sea level, to 1,377 m at Cornellberg. The Richtersveld is regarded as the only arid biodiversity hotspot on earth.

Vredefort Dome

The Vredefort crater is the largest verified impact crater on Earth. More than 300 kilometres across when it was formed, what remains of it is in the present-day Free State province of South Africa. It is named after the town of Vredefort, which is near its centre. Although the crater itself has long since been eroded away, the remaining geological structures at its centre are known as the Vredefort Dome or Vredefort impact structure. The crater is calculated to be 2.023 billion years old (± 4 million years), with impact being in the Paleoproterozoic Era. It is the third-oldest known crater on Earth.

Heritage Day Recipes

Oxtail Potjie


Serves 4 – 6

2 onions, finely chopped, 2 cloves garlic, Olive oil, 1 kg oxtail pieces, 3 carrots, 1 small butternut, 1 tin cherry tomatoes, 250 ml red wine, 1 litre beef or vegetable stock, 2 tbs flour, 2 tsp mixed herbs, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika
1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp course ground black pepper, 1 sprig parsley, chopped, 1 tbs chives, chopped

Cooking method
Put flour, salt, paprika, coriander and pepper into a plastic bag and toss together with oxtail pieces so the meat is evenly coated. Heat a generous glug of olive oil (about 3 tbs) in a large flat-bottomed potjie or heavy bottomed pan. Add onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until just turning brown. Add the floured oxtail and brown all over. Retain seasoned flour left in the bag in case you need to thicken the stew later.

Once the meat is sealed, add red wine, mixed herbs and half the stock. Cover the pot and cook slowly on a very low heat for three hours. (This meal is best cooked with a few beers or a good bottle of wine to hand and some mates to help pass the time – ed.) Every so often, check to see that there’s enough fluid and add stock to prevent it drying out. The meat should be covered but not drowned. After three hours, add the veggies and cook for another hour until they’re soft and beginning to disintegrate into the gravy. Keep checking to ensure there’s enough moisture. When ready, sprinkle chopped chives and parsley over the stew and serve on a bed of rice.

Source – Getaway Magazine

Cape Malay Curry

Curry 1

1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 5 cardamom crushed, outer hasks removed
1 vegetable oil, 12 chicken thighs and drumsticks, 1 onion diced, 1 garlic cloves minced, 1 red chilli deseeded, 2 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp turmeric
2 cinnamon sticks, 2 tsp fresh ginger freshly grated, 1 tsp sugar
400 g tinned tomatoes, 250 ml coconut milk

Cooking Method:

For the spice mix: Toast all the dry seeds together in a pan. Do not add any oil when frying as you want to natural oils of the spices to be released. When a slight dry smoke wafts up from the pan and you can smell the pungency of the spices, remove from the heat. Place the spices in a mortar and pestle and crush until fine or for a finer texture, mill in a coffee grinder.

For the curry: Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken pieces in batches until they are well coloured on both sides. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan and set aside. Heat a little oil in the same pan and sauté the onion and garlic until softened. This should take about 7 minutes. Add the chilli, garam masala, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and sugar. Cook the spices and onions together for a minute or two and then deglaze the pan with a splash of water. Scrape the spice mix into a blender and blitz to form a paste.

Add the chicken back into the pan and stir in the paste mixture. Cook for several minutes so that the spicy paste coats the chicken. Stir in the tomatoes and coconut milk. Place the lid on and simmer on a medium heat for approximately 35 -40 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

To make the caramelized bananas, slice a just ripe, but slightly firm banana in half. Brush with melted butter and dunk, cut side down, into brown sugar. Caramelize in a hot pan until tender and sticky. Serve whole and scoop out as a topping for the curry.

Source: Food24

Chakalaka and Pap


1 onion chopped, 2 carrots roughly grated, 3 tomatoes, chopped,  (1 tbsp) curry powder, ¼ cabbage, sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, pinch cayenne pepper (optional), 1 x 410g tin red beans or baked beans, sugar to taste
500ml (2 cups) water, 480g maize meal, salt to taste, knob of butter to serve

How to make chakalaka:
In a saucepan over medium heat, fry the onion, carrots, tomatoes and curry powder together, for 5 minutes.
Add the cabbage and season to taste, adding some cayenne pepper if you like it strong. Stir in the beans, cover the saucepan and cook over low heat, for 30 minutes. Taste at the end and adjust with a bit of sugar if it is too acidic.

Boil the water in a saucepan, then add the maize meal and some salt.
Stir until combined, cover and cook over low heat, for 45 minutes, stirring every now and then. Stir in the knob of butter when the pap is ready.

Source: Food and Home



1 kg Cake or Bread flour ( 8 x 250 ml / 8 cups )
15 ml Salt ( 3 tsp )
60 ml Sugar ( 4 tbsp )
60 g Margarine ( 4 tbsp )
10 g Anchor Instant Yeast ( 1 packet )
625 ml Lukewarm water ( ± 2½ cups )
Oil, for frying

Mix the cake or bread flour, salt and sugar together and rub the margarine into the flour, with the fingertips.
Add the Anchor Instant Yeast and mix.
Add the lukewarm water to the flour mixture to form a soft dough. Add a little more water, if necessary. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover with greased plastic and rest for 10 minutes.
Knock the dough down and roll into a roll. Cut into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them
onto a well, greased tray – in order to be able to lift the risen balls.
Cover with greased plastic and allow to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, pour oil into a large saucepan, about ⅓ filled. Heat the oil for about 5 minutes before the frying time. Place a piece of dough into the oil to test the heat. (Slight bubbles around the dough, is an indication that the oil has warmed enough to be used).
When the oil is ready, lift a risen ball carefully and place it into the warm oil –with the risen side (top) going in
first, which will cause the flat side (bottom) to rise and puff out to make a round Vetkoek. Allow to colour on the one side for about 5 minutes and turn. Fry for a further 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oil with a draining spoon and drain on paper towel or brown paper.

Source: ILove2Bake

Malva Pudding

Malva pudding

375 ml cream, 125 g butter cut into blocks, 200 ml dark brown sugar, 1 ml salt, 15 ml Rhodes Apricot Jam Superfine
30g butter, 100 ml dark brown sugar, 45 ml Rhodes Apricot Jam Superfine, 1 egg, 5 ml bicarbonate of soda, 125 ml milk, 250 ml cake flour, 1 ml salt, 20 ml vinegar

Place the cream, butter, sugar, salt and Rhodes Apricot Jam Superfine in a medium saucepan.
Stirring continually over a high heat, bring the sauce to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes.
Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Cream the butter and the sugar together until the butter is pale and soft.
Beat in the Rhodes Apricot Jam Superfine.
Beat in the egg.
Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda into the milk.
Sift the cake flour and the salt together and add to the batter, alternating with the milk.
Beat in the vinegar.
Spoon the batter into an ovenproof pudding bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
Pour half of the sauce over the batter.
Bake the Malva Pudding in an oven preheated to 180˚C for 40 minutes or until risen and golden.
Remove from the oven and pour over the remaining sauce a little at a time until all the sauce is absorbed by the hot pudding.
Serve hot with custard, cream or ice cream.

Source – Rhodes