The Makhonjwa Mountains, known as the Barberton Greenstone Belt in Mpumalanga, have been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list, bringing the total South African sites up to 10.
One of the world’s oldest geological structures, the Makhonjwa Mountain range represents the best-preserved succession of volcanic and sedimentary rock dating back 3.6 to 3.25 billion years when the first continents were starting to form, as well as meteor-impact fallback breccias formed just after the Great Bombardment dating back 4.6 to 3.8 billion years ago.
Situated in north-eastern South Africa, the property comprises 40% of the Barberton Greenstone Belt. It features meteor-impact fallback breccias resulting from the impact of meteorites formed just after the Great Bombardment (4.6 to 3.8 billion years ago), which are particularly well preserved.
The existing South African sites on the list include Robben Island, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the Cape Floral Region and the ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape which was added last year.