15 MUST SEE UNESCO HERITAGE SITES IN AFRICA

World Heritage Site is a classified landmark that is geographically and historically identified and selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having a cultural, historical, scientific or another form of significance and is legally protected by international treaties.

Africa has a rich historical background from the early man in East Africa to the cradle of civilization in Egypt, from the conquest and colonization by Europeans to the liberation and independence of different political nations. The influence of these phases can be traced from archaeological findings and natural vegetation that Africa is endowed with.

I encourage every African and enthusiastic traveler to visit the places below that tell history.

 

ROBBEN ISLAND CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Robben Island is an island in the west of the coast of Bloubergstrand Cape Town, South Africa. The South Africa government used Robben Island as a prison for political prisoners and other convicted criminals. The former South Africa president Nelson Mandela served part of his jail time there and the current president was an inmate of Robben Island prison.

 

 

GIZA PYRAMID COMPLEX, EGYPT

It is the one of the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is located in the Libyan desert west of the Nile river at the old town of Giza and at the south west of Cairo. It became a World Heritage site in 1979.

 

 

SEMIEN NATIONAL PARK, ETHIOPIA

This national park of Ethiopia is located in Semien, the northern part of Ethiopia. The park covers the Semien Mountains separated by valleys and known to be the highest point in Ethiopia. It became a heritage site in1978 but in 1996 it was placed on the list of World Heritage in Danger due to increase in human population and decline in the population of its native species.

 

 

STONE TOWN OF ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA

Stone Town is also called Mji Mkongwe in the Swahili language, is an old town coastal town known for its role in spice and slave trade in east Africa, mixed culture, and its ancient architecture. Stone town is the administrative seat of Zanzibar, which has a semi-autonomous status in the United Republic of Tanzania. It was made a world heritage site in the year 2000.

 

 

KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA

Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania plays host to this National Park known for its large area covered vegetation and the only free-standing volcanic mass in the world and the highest point in Africa (5,895 meters or 19,341 ft) called Kilimanjaro Mountain. It was made a World Heritage site in 1987.

 

 

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA

The name of this National Park was given by the Massai people, which means the place where the land runs on forever. It is famous for its annual migration of animal and if you wish to witness the best of wildlife in Africa, go to Serengeti National Park. It was made a World Heritage Site in 1981.

 

 

TAI NATIONAL PARK, COTE D’ IVOIRE

This National Park in Cote d’Ivoire is located in the thick rainforest region that shares a border with Liberia between two rivers called Cavally and Sassandra rivers. It was made a National park in 1972, enlisted as a World Heritage Site in 1982 and the species of this park have been placed on Red List of Threatened Species.

 

 

RUINS OF AKSUM, ETHIOPIA.

The ancient city of Aksum is a plateau north of Ethiopia near Eritrea, influential and most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. The famous giant Obelisks, the royal tombs, and the palace ruins are the famous monuments of this great city. The Ruins of Aksum was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1980.

 

 

ROCK HEWN CHURCHES LALIBELA, ETHIOPIA

Lalibela is a town in Amhara Region of Northern Ethiopia, they are predominately Ethiopian Orthodox Christians based on the fact that Ethiopia is one of oldest to embrace Christianity. The King Lalibela was confronted with challenges from Muslims who halted them from going to the holy land for pilgrimage so he decided to build a New Jerusalem. They built eleven cave churches connected to each other, the churches were hewn from living rocks of monolithic blocks. It was made a world heritage site in 1978.

 

 

TIMBUKTU, MALI

This is an ancient city in Mali, gateway to Sahara and a settlement with Islamic culture famously known for the trading of salt, gold, ivory, slaves and the prominent Islamic scholars that brought the widespread of Islam in Africa and the establishment of the University of Sankore. The city is uniquely known for the presence of the three big mosques of Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia and the sixteen Mausoleums and holy places. It was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1988.

 

 

ARCHAEOLOGY SITE OF VOLUBILIS, MOROCCO

The ruins of this Roman town are partly excavated city situated near the city of Meknes in Morocco. It was an important outpost of the Roman Empire and was known for its fine architectural look which could be seen in what is left of the basilica, temple, and triumphal arch. Volubilis was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1997.

 

 

DOUGGA, TUNISIA

This is a Romano-Berber city in northern Tunisia, originally called Thugga which means pastures. it represents the best preserved Roman small town in North Africa with its famous monuments like the theatre, the capitol, mausoleum and the temple of Saturn and of Juno Caelestis. It was made a World Heritage Site in 1997.

 

 

RUINS OF CARTHAGE, TUNISIA

The city of Carthage founded in the 9th century B.C on the coast of Tunisia, the location of the city of Carthage made it mater of the Mediterranean’s maritime trade. The Carthaginians were Phoenician settlers but by the end of the third Punic war in 146 BC, the Carthage fell the Romans destroyed the city and sold most of the settlers as slaves.

A new city of Carthage was built on the same land by Julius Caesar. It was made a world heritage site in 1979 and the monuments found there is the Acropolis of Byrsa, the Punic ports, the Punic Tophet, the necropolises, theatre, Amphitheatre, circus, Basilicas, Antonin Baths, Malaga Cisterns.

 

 

THE ISLAND OF MOZAMBIQUE, MOZAMBIQUE

This Island is on the Northern part of Mozambique formerly a major Arab port and boat building center but after the visit of Vasco da Gama in 1498, the island later became an important port of call for the Portuguese on their sea route to India in search of slaves, spices and gold. It was the capital of the Portuguese before it was moved to Maputo. The island has notable buildings like the palace and chapel of Sao Paulo, the church of Santo Antonio, the church of the Misericordia and the chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte. There are also mosques and a Hindu temple. The island is linked to the mainland by a bridge. The island was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1991.

 

 

GOREE ISLAND, SENEGAL

This city lies off the coast of Senegal, the smallest and least populated of the districts of the city of Dakar in Senegal. It is a famous destination for Atlantic slave trade, 2km from sea to the main harbor of Dakar. The buildings of the island were built in the 18th century like the slave house (Maison des Esclaves) in 1786, William Ponty School in 1770, Maritime Museum in 1835, government palace (Palais du government) in 1864. The Island of Goree was declared a World Heritage Site in 1978.

     

Some travel for pleasure while some learn as they travel. In the words of Sargent, “just to travel is rather boring, but to travel with a purpose is educational and exciting.”

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time – eat, sleep, travel!

Hasta La Vista,

Dante
Founder, TravelWithDante.com

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