Maloti-Drakensberg

TRANSFRONTIER CONSERVATION AREA

ABOUT MALOTI-DRAKENSBERG

Home to the world's greatest outdoor gallery of 40 000 rock paintings

The Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area covers 14 740 km² of the mountains that straddle the north-eastern border between Lesotho and South Africa.

This cross-border protected area preserves the globally important biodiversity and cultural value of the entire region. This vast stretch of land is home to almost two million people, contributing to an explicit goal of the TFCA – to make a positive difference in the livelihoods of people by ensuring that they benefit from nature-based tourism.

The TFCA includes the Tsehlanyane National Park in Lesotho, as well as a transboundary World Heritage Site – the Maloti-Drakensberg Park – composed of the Sehlathebe National Park in Lesotho and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg National Park in South Africa.

TFCA

TFCA

National Park

National Park

Protected Area

Protected Area

Country Border

Country Border

FULLSCREEN

Protecting natural and cultural heritage

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The Drakensberg is the highest region in southern Africa, with altitudes ranging from 1 300 to over 3 400m above sea level. The area contains the largest and most important high altitude protected area on the subcontinent; it is also one of the largest continuous unmodified areas of land in the region.

The site has exceptional natural beauty in its soaring basaltic buttresses, incisive dramatic cutbacks, and golden sandstone ramparts as well as visually spectacular sculptured arches, caves, cliffs, pillars and rock pools. The site’s diversity of habitats protects a high level of endemic and globally important plants.

The high-altitude streams, oxbow lakes and wetlands are tremendously important in terms of their indigenous flora and fauna and the area is an important watershed. The region has a high mean annual rainfall ranging from 800mm at lower altitudes to over 2 000mm near the escarpment. Most (80%) of the rain falls in summer, while snowfalls occur in winter. This also makes the area a most important water catchment area with two of the largest civil engineering projects in southern Africa, the Tugela-Vaal Scheme and the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, carrying water for the people of Lesotho and South Africa. In addition, the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park is also a Ramsar site.

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The mountains host the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings in Africa south of the Sahara. There are some 600 known sites containing between 35 – 40 000 individual images, which were painted by the San people over a period of at least 4 000 years.

The area is home to bushbuck, eland, blue duiker, reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, grey rhebok, klipspringer and oribi. In addition, blesbok, red hartebeest and black wildebeest have been re-introduced to some areas. Other larger mammals include baboons, black backed jackal, aardwolf and serval.

THE JOURNEY THUS FAR

2001

On 11 June, an MoU is signed towards the establishment of the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area.

2001

Lesotho proclaims the Sehlabathebe National Park.

2003

The Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development project is launched by the Ministers of the Environment for Lesotho and South Africa, and the World Bank

2008

Lesotho Management Plan is completed

2008

TFCA management plan is completed

2013

Lesotho’s Sehlabathebe National Park is inscribed as an extension to the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site in South Africa to form the World Heritage Maloti-Drakensberg Park.

OUR WORK

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