South Africa’s fascinating and diverse Cape Floral region will soon double in size.
The Cape Floral region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprises eight protected areas stretching from the Cape Peninsula to the Eastern Cape.
UNESCO recently approved an extension to the region that will take it from 553,000 to 1,094,742 hectares with the addition of 163 additional land parcels.
“South Africa is delighted to add more protected areas to its portfolio of world heritage properties,” said Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson, to South Africa Tourism.
The expansion of the area will help to ensure protection for future generations, boost tourism, and create more jobs for the local economy.
The Cape Floral region currently includes the Anysberg Nature Reserve, Agulhas complex, Baviaanskloof complex, Garden Route complex, Swartberg complex, Table Mountain National Park, and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. It is one of the richest in the world in terms of plant life. It represents nearly 20% of the entire continent’s flora, while only occupying less than .5% of Africa’s surface. A whopping 69% of the 9,000 identified plant species are endemic to the Cape Floral region.
There are eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Africa, including Robben Island and the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa.
For more information on the Cape Floral region, see our slideshow: Exploring South Africa’s Small But Mighty Cape Floral Kingdom