Protected and Conservation Areas Database

On this page you will find access to the following:

  • South Africa Protected and Conservation Areas Database: Latest dataset for download
  • Map Viewer with SAPAD and SACAD data layers


South African Protected and Conservation Areas Database

The South African Protected Areas Database (SAPAD) and the South African Conservation Areas Database (SACAD) are GIS inventories of all protected and conservation areas in South Africa. The database includes data on privately owned protected and conservation areas.

The SAPAD and SACAD is maintained and updated on a regular basis and the latest data is released on a QUARTERLY BASIS. The Protected and Conservation Areas data is packaged in a Zip file containing data in a shapefile format, metadata and definitions document.

The data will be available for non-commercial use by downloading from this portal. Please review the Terms and Conditions for use.

Please note: You will be asked to Register once and thereafter to sign in with your Username and Password, before the data could be downloaded.

The 2019, FIRST QUARTER data release, is now available from the download menu.


South African Protected and Conservation Areas Map Viewer / Map Service

This INTERACTIVE mapservice shows Protected and Conservation Areas of South Africa, extracted from the latest Protected and Conservation Areas (PACA) Database.

Buffers around protected areas are drawn at distances as defined in Listing Notice 3 of 4 December 2014.

Buffers are shown when zoomed in. Use the Layers tool to switch the areas and buffers on or off.

Only outer boundaries of protected and conservation areas are defined in this public release.

The map shows areas under formal legislative protection. The legal statuses of these areas are audited against official gazettes before inclusion into the South Africa Protected Areas Database.

This mapservice also includes all PRIVATELY OWNED NATURE RESEVES.

Note: The data on this map is updated and released into the public domain on a quarterly basis.


The database distinguishes between various types and sub-types of protected areas and conservation areas.

  • National Parks
  • Nature Reserves
  • Special Nature Reserves
  • Mountain Catchment Areas
  • World Heritage Sites
  • Protected Environments
  • Forest Nature Reserves
  • Forest Wilderness Areas
  • Specially Protected Forest Areas
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Biosphere Reserves
  • Conservancies
  • Botanical Gardens