The great pyramids at Giza, EgyptElephants crossing the Zambezi river in Mana Pools National Park world heritage site, ZimbabweThe great mosque in the Old Towns of Djenne world heritage site, MaliBlack and white ruffed lemur, Rainforests of the Atsinanana world heritage site, Madagascar

Cape Floral Region - South Africa

Map showing the location of the various reserves making up the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas UNESCO world heritage site, South AfricaArea: 5,530 km2 (serial site)

Inscribed: 2004.


Criteria: (ix) ecological processes (x) biodiversity


Values:The Cape Floral Region has been called the world's hottest hot-spot for plant diversity and endemism. Its flora is so diverse and unique that it warrants classification as one the world's six principal floristic regions. In less than 0.38% of the area of Africa it has nearly 20% of the continent's flora and five of its twelve endemic families. Although the entire floral region is only 90,000 km2 in extent, it is home to 8,996 plant species and 988 genera, with 32% of its species found nowhere else in the world. The world heritage site comprises an ‘archipelago' of eight protected areas encompassing as much as possible of this floristic diversity and the range of ecological conditions, soil types, rainfall regimes, and elevation found in the region.  It stretches from the Cederberg to the Cape of Good Hope and includes the Boland Mountains, De Hoop Nature Reserve, the Swartberg mountains and eastwards to Baviaanskloof.


Slideshow of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas/world heritage site.  


Impressions (based on visits made in March, April and September 2005)The site is well protected and managed, but there is need to sustain efforts to eradicate invasive exotic vegetation in many of the eight reserves. Despite the outstanding biological significance of the site, visitor interest is limited and mostly restricted to Table Mountain, Cape Point and other areas within the Cape Peninsula National Park. The water catchment value of most of the reserves provides a strong incentive and economic justification for preserving them and there are few alternative land use pressures.


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Links:  Google Earth | UNEP-WCMC Site Description | Official UNESCO Site Details | OurPlace Photos |Management Authorities:  SA National Parks | Cape Nature | Birdlife IBA


Proteas are prominent members of the fynbos flora, protected within the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas world heritage site in South Africa Fynbos vegetation, with almost 9,000 species of plants including a high proportion of endemic species, varies in composition across the 8 parks and reserves which make up the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas world heritage site, South Africa The Cape Floral Region Protected Areas world heritage site covers a vaste array of scenery and fynbos habitats from the Cederberg to Table Mountain, the coastal flatlands of De Hoop Nature Reserve to the crumpled mountains of Baviaanskloof, South Africa Table Mountain National Park, with its cableway and dramatic views of Cape Town, is one of 8 places to be included in the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas world heritage site



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