A serial site in the Western Cape Province - made up of eight protected areas, covering 553,000-ha - has been declared as South Africa's latest heritage site. The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world.
It represents less than 0.5 percent of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20 percent of the continent's flora. The site displays outstanding ecological and biological processes associated with the Fynbos vegetation, which is unique to the Cape Floral Region.
The areas included are the Table Mountain National Park, the Cederberg, Boosmansbos and Groot Winterhoek wilderness area, the Boland Mountain Complex, De Hoop Nature Reserve and the Swartberg and Baviaanskloof conservation area.
The outstanding diversity, density and endemism of the flora are among the highest worldwide. Unique plant reproductive strategies, adaptive to fire, patterns of seed dispersal by insects, as well as patterns of endemism and adaptive radiation found in the flora are of outstanding value to science.
The Cape Floral Region is considered of outstanding universal value for representing ongoing ecological and biological processes associated with the evolution of the unique Fynbos biome. These processes are represented generally within the Cape Floral Region and captured in the eight protected areas.
The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants than for any similar sized area in the world. The number of species per genus within the region (9:1) and per family (52) are among the highest given for various species-rich regions in the world.
The species density in the Cape Floral Region is also amongst the highest in the world. It displays the highest levels of endemism at 31.9 % and it has been identified as one of the worlds 18 biodiversity hot spots.
The other heritage sites are
Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, Robben Island, the Cradle of Humankind Fosil area, Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park and Mapungubwe.