On 24 September South Africans will celebrate the diversity and richness of their personal as well as their shared heritage. Heritage Day isn’t just another public holiday; it’s a South African tradition that encourages us to celebrate our differences as well as the ties that bind us.
“Those ties are more plentiful than the differences,” says Group Marketing Executive, Joe du Plooy. “Tiger Wheel & Tyre has stores in every nook and cranny of South Africa, and from our point of view, you can’t beat our rich heritage. How many countries can say their heritage is so universally important to all the people of the world, that UNESCO has inscribed eight of their sites as World Heritage Sites? We can.”
This unique distinction is certainly something to be proud of, and Tiger Wheel & Tyre is encouraging South Africans to take to the road on Heritage Day and visit their nearest World Heritage Site.
So which site can your tyres take you to on 24 September?
- iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Take a drive to the central Zululand coast of KwaZulu Natal, to one of the largest estuary systems in all of Africa. This park boasts exceptional biodiversity and is home to some 521 bird species.
- Robben Island. Swanning around Cape Town? Catch the ferry to Robben Island – this tiny island has a huge history as a former Dutch colonial jail, former leper colony, and the former maximum security prison that was home to this country’s beloved Nelson Mandela.
- Cradle of Humankind. Hanging around Gauteng or North-West? Take a road trip to where it all began – a concentration of fossil sites so rich in hominid (early humans), plant and animal fossil remains that UNESCO says “They constitute a vast reserve of scientific information, the potential of which is enormous.”
- uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Set your GPS for western KwaZulu-Natal on the Lesotho border, where this 150km-long park will give you a glimpse of the earliest history of the San people, as pictured in their impressive rock art, and reveal breathtaking basaltic buttresses, sandstone ramparts and endangered plant and animal species.
- Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape. South Africa’s first kingdom, located inside the Mapungubwe National Park (Limpopo Province) is now a globally important Iron Age site, whose largely untouched remains testify to the growth and decline of the Mapungubwe state.
- Cape Floral Region. Stretching from the Cape Peninsula to the Eastern Cape, this site is peerless in the entire world. An astonishing 31.9% of the plants in this region are endemic to the region – the highest percentage on planet Earth!
- Vredefort Dome. Two billion years ago, a meteorite crashed into the earth, creating the world’s biggest meteor crater. All that remains of this ‘earth-shattering’ event is the inner circle of the crater, located in the hills near Vredefort in the Free State.
- Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape. In the northwestern parts of the Northern Cape are 160,000 hectares of desert land, where the Nama are the world’s last people to practice seasonal migration between stock-posts and to live in portable rush-mat houses. This site celebrates what UNESCO calls “… a harmonious interaction between people and nature.”
So this Heritage Day, why not take advantage of the warmer spring weather, take to the road and get up close and personal with South Africa’s World Heritage Sites.
Before embarking on any road trip, you’re encouraged to map out the Tiger Wheel & Tyre stores on your route, so you have a clear idea of where you can find help, should you need it.