SA is a beautiful country and truly a rainbow nation in more ways than one. So in honour of Heritage month let’s look into some of the amazing heritage sites scattered around the country and see how many of them you know with a couple of fun facts thrown in here and there.
The Eye of Kuruman is a natural spring that has been a critical part of the town it was named after since its beginning. The Tswana name for the fountain is Gasegonyana and is known as Die Oog in Afrikaans.
Fun Fact: The spring produces 20 million litres of crystal clear water every day, even in the dry season
It is said that this landmark tree is endowed with magical and spiritual healing properties. The old Banyon fig tree is believed to be over 400 years old and now resides in the courtyard of a health and wellness centre in Cape Town.
Fun fact: the tree is also known as Nokuphila, which means "place of the healing mother, where people gather for health and wellness" in Xhosa
The Botshabelo Mission Station boasts true historical value, a beautiful little church and many old buildings. Originally, it was a place of refuge for Christians. It has grown into an important and rather influential centre where the Gospel was widely proclaimed. Today, this mission station is a museum which also incorporates a Ndebele village.
Fun fact: In Sotho, Botshabelo translates to “place of refuge”
Located in Grahamstown, on St. Andrew's College corner, at the north-west end of Worcester Street where it intersects with Somerset Street, sits the oldest letterbox in South Africa. The letterbox was painted in the traditional red and was manufactured between 1857 and 1859.
Fun fact: The letterbox used to display the letters “V.R” denoting the monarch, Queen Victoria, but this was stolen many years ago
This museum of transport is the largest and most comprehensive museum of land transport in South Africa. It was established by the Late Jimmie Hall together with the City of Johannesburg in February 1964. The JHMT gives visitors a rare glimpse of Johannesburg's transport history, dating back more than a century
Fun Fact: At the JHMT there is a fascinating collection of memorabilia, artefacts and special interest vehicles as well as an extremely rare and exciting steam vehicle collection.
Durban’s oldest market, The Victoria Street Market is rather like stepping into another world, with its blend of all things Indian and African. Spices and incense rent the air in which more than 200 stalls display their styles.
Fun fact: The street market was founded by Indian people who were brought to SA as labourers in 1860.
The lake Fundudzi and the Thathe Vondo forest are regarded as the two most sacred places in the spiritual life of the VhaVenda people. High in the Soutpansberg Mountains, Lake Fundudzi was formed when a landslide blocked the course of the Mutale River.
Fun fact: Apparently the level of the water at the Fundudzi Lake represents what mood the python god is in
Mountain Sanctuary Park prides itself on its reputation as one of the most peaceful places in South Africa as a whole, a reputation that has grown during its 35-year history. Mountain Sanctuary Park covers over 1000 hectares of natural land and is an excellent setting for outdoor leisure activities.
Fun fact: The reserve was originally a series of hiking trails but over the years has added day braai sites near the swimming pool, a beautiful campsite, a chapel, a restaurant and log cabins
The Basotho Cultural Village is situated east of the Golden Gate National Park and offers visitors a unique look into the culture and traditions of the Basotho people. The huts were built and furnished according to the time frame depicted by each one. The interior and exterior decoration of huts is done by the Basotho women.
Fun fact: At the village the lifestyle and architecture of the South Sotho is accurately depicted from the 16th century to the dramatically colourful present.