Geotourism potential of southern Africa
Geotourism can make a major contribution to the alleviation of poverty in rural parts of southern Africa, as in many other parts of the developing world. It has the potential to open up new regions to tourist influx – for example, the mountain terrain around Barberton in eastern Mpumalanga Province, an area of ancient geology and gold mining history dating back to the nineteenth century (Figure 3.1 (1)). Another example is the Vredefort Dome near Johannesburg (Figure 3.1 (2)), the central part of the world’s largest and oldest meteorite impact structure, which is
Figure 3.1 Simplified geological map of South Africa (after Viljoen and Reimold, 1999).This figure indicates the locations of important sites and areas referred to in the text. (1) Barberton Mountain Land; (2) Vredefort impact structure; (3) Freedom Park/Pretoria; (4) Cradle of Humankind; (5) Robben Island World Heritage Site; (6) Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park World Heritage Site; (7) uKhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Site; (8) Mapungubwe World Heritage Site; (9) Cederberg Wilderness Area; (10) Table Mountain World Heritage Site/Cape Peninsula; (11) Tswaing meteorite crater; (12) Makapans Valley; (13) Karoo Basin; (14) Valley of Desolation; (15) Klein Karoo; (16) Richtersveld National Park/Aughrabies Fall; (17) Kimberley; (18) Kruger National Park; (19) Dwars River National Natural Monument; (20) Gold Discovery Site at Langlaagte/Johannesburg; (21) Nooitgedacht glacial pavement and petroglyphs; (22) Paarl Mountain; (23) Kogmann’s Kloof; (24) Brandvlei hot springs; (25) Cape Fold Belt; (26) Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park; (27) Robberg Nature Reserve; (28) Blombos Cave; (29) Great Escarpment in Mpumalanga; (30) Golden Gate National Park; (31) Karoo National Park; (32) Oribi Gorge; (33) Valley of the Thousand Hills; (34) Pilgrim’s Rest; (35) Magaliesberg; (36) Pilanesberg Volcanic Complex and National Park.