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7 Top South African bloggers share their favourite heritage attractions

So we recently asked a few top local bloggers to share their favourite heritage attraction around South Africa.

From the food, the culture, the history and the scenery, we're sure you'll agree that they've come up with an awesome list that's inspired us to get out and explore more of the hidden gems South Africa has to offer....

Kat Mancama from My Slow Journey
My favourite heritage attraction in South Africa is….

Freedom Park in Pretoria - a little-known attraction that deserves more attention.

To me it celebrates all things SA because….

It is a place that honors all those that gave their lives during the many conflicts in South Africa's history. The place tells a story, and it is filled with symbolism that touches you deeply. It is also a place where one can come to reflect and relax. The meandering paths and the breathtaking views will soothe your soul regardless of what is troubling you. The Wall of Names is a reminder of how many people gave their lives in the conflicts, but (to me) the most powerful place at Freedom Park is Isivivane; the final resting place. It contains rocks and soil collected from known battle sites in the eight major conflicts that shaped South Africa’s history; the pre-colonial wars, the colonial wars and genocide, slavery, the wars of resistance, the Anglo-Boer War, the First World War, the Second World War and the Struggle for Liberation. The rocks and the soil have been cleansed in a special ceremony, allowing for the victims of the battles to finally come to rest. I recommend that you take a guided tour, as the guides are very knowledgeable and can interpret the symbolism of the park to give your visit a deeper meaning. Freedom Park is open seven days a week, 8am – 4.30pm, and guided tours depart 9am, 12nooon and 3pm. Read more about Freedom Park on Kat's blog here.

Sara Essop from In Africa & Beyond
My favourite heritage attraction in South Africa is...

Madikwe Game Reserve

To me it celebrates all things South African because…

It combines the best of our country – an outstanding diversity of wildlife, community upliftment and land redevelopment. Madikwe Game Reserve was created when 75000 ha of wasteland were re-developed as a wildlife and conservation area following feasibility studies in the area. Thereafter, more than 8 000 animals were moved to the reserve as part of the world’s biggest wildlife relocation project. Hundreds of jobs were created and the result is a winning three-way venture between government, the private sector and surrounding communities with some lodges being owned and run by the local communities themselves. All these factors combine to make Madikwe one of the best conservation areas in Africa and my favourite South African heritage site.

Ang Lloyd from Jozi Rediscovered
My favourite heritage attraction in South Africa is...

The 'new' Chinatown in Cyrildene, Joburg.

To me it celebrates all things SA because…

This area represents the multiculturalism that is Jozi; because people from all over the world call Joburg 'home' - even if it's just temporary. It's also a little chaotic, constantly changing, and very much alive - just like the city of Johannesburg.

Iga Motylska from Eager Journeys
My favourite heritage attraction in South Africa is...

An unusual one: the hundreds of concentric stone circles that were built by the baKoni people in Mpumalanga.

To me it celebrates South Africa because...

It's a reminder of our roots, our heritage and the people who lived here before us. It provides a glimpse into this powerful tribe that ruled large expanses of Mpumalanga's escarpment for 500 years until the early 19th century.

Linda Markovina from Moving Sushi
My favourite heritage attraction in South Africa is…

The astoundingly beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park in the Garden Route.

To me it celebrates all things SA because…

Not only as it is one of our most pristine marine reserves in South Africa, originally proclaimed in 1964 and later extend, it is a real plethora of ecosystems not just in the water but on the land as well. From Khiosan heritage sites to the ruins of smaller fishing settlements and spectacular rocky cliffs covered in fynbos and forests leading into a dramatic ocean through the Storms River mouth. This is a natural monument to the wild beauty of the country we call home. When you walk through the park, hike the famous Otter Trail that hugs the coastline or dive below the ocean surface and experience South Africa's marine heritage as it should be, you get to appreciate just how unique and blessed our country is when it comes to our plant and marine wildlife. It’s a great reminder of why we constantly need to work on conserving what we have, because there is nowhere quite like it.

Carla Lewis-Biden from Reismier

My favourite heritage attraction in South Africa is...

Does food count as an attraction?

To me it celebrates all things SA because…

Food signifies a deep connection with the heritage of my ancestors. It’s about drinking a glass of Cape wine, perfected by my French Protestant ancestors, while gazing over the winelands, or going on a early morning game drive, dunking a "beskuit" into "moerkoffie" with the smell of red dust in my nose. It isn’t called "boeretroos" for nothing. I sometimes wonder if my Voortrekker ancestors had the same view, when eating this South African breakfast staple. When I eat "bobotie" and "blatjang", I think about the Cape Malay slaves who bought their cuisine to our Southern country, and wonder if they found comfort in it as I do, thousands of kilometres from their home. When my friends visit from overseas I can’t wait to give them a piece of "boerewors" or a "koeksuster" to try.

Food brings South Africans together. Heritage Day’s unofficial name isn’t Braai Day for nothing. It goes way back, to when our Khoi forefathers gathered around a fire to roast a Springbok and chew a few herbs. The fire (or kitchen in modern times) is a communal space where we gather to cook, kuier and celebrate. In my house it’s the heart of the home, where our family gathers around the stove to cook up a storm, whether in celebration or to eat away our troubles.

Kath Read from Cape Town Insider
My favourite heritage attraction in South Africa is…

The Greenpoint Lighthouse

To me it celebrates all things SA because….

Having lived in Mouille Point for the past couple of years, I can think of no better heritage symbol than the Greenpoint Lighthouse. First lit in 1824, it stands as warning beacon for ships, and increasingly, a symbol for unity and hope in Cape Town. The lighthouse is synonymous with the Sea Point promenade, a favourite for families from all over Cape Town on weekends and popular in the evenings (even in the dead of winter) for walkers, joggers, bikers and dog owners. There are no racial divides, no cultural constraints. It’s a public space that caters for everyone. For me, the lighthouse is a meeting point for people of all cultures to mix and enjoy the beauty of Cape Town. And that is what Heritage Day is all about – it’s about celebrating your heritage, where you come from and how that shapes who you are. But more than that, it’s about looking forward – moving across cultural barriers to a place of being able to enjoy the different flavours that people from other backgrounds bring to the party.

Anje Rautenbach from Going Somewhere Slowly
My favourite heritage attraction in South Africa is…

The Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth forms part of the Donkin Heritage Trail, a 5km path linking 51 places of historical interest in Nelson Mandela Bay.

To me it celebrates all things SA because…

It portrays our past, present and future in a truly remarkable way. It represents the British Settlers’ arrival in 1820 with Sir Rufane Donkin’s stone pyramid he built in memory of his wife. It also portrays, through art, landscaping and colourful mosaic tiles, the dawn of South Africa’s democracy as it takes you through our first elections of 1994. Apart from all the history, art and bright tiles; the view from the Donkin Reserve is striking. As you stand on the hill overlooking Algoa Bay, the largest South African flag in the world proudly flaps an array of colours, diversity and tradition, in all its glory, above your head. There, under a flapping flag on a heritage hill, you experience your South Africa, my South Africa, our South Africa.

Which is your favourite South African Heritage attraction or site? How will you be celebrating your unique South African heritage this month? Let us know in the comments below.