World Heritage Sites In Africa

World Heritage Sites In Africa

Here are a few top World Heritage sites around Africa that will allow you a moment to appreciate our continent’s beauty and how privileged we really are to call it home.

  1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

This isolated forest is the most diverse in East Africa, with more than 160 species of trees and 100 species of ferns. It gets its name from having a very dense cover of herbs, vines and shrubs, with steep ridges and slippery valleys. The terrain is difficult to explore, giving it a truly adventurous side.

  1. iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa

This 332,000-hectare park is South Africa’s first listed World Heritage Site and stretches from St. Lucia, along the East Coast and all the way to the border of Mozambique. The area boasts three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems and about 220 kilometres of beaches.

  1. Old Towns of Djenné, Mali

Situated in Mali, these four towns have been inhabited since as early as 250 BCE and consist almost entirely of river mud. The market centre in Djenné was a very important link in the trans-Sahara gold trade of the 15th and 16th centuries – certainly UNESCO standards.

  1. Rainforests of Atsinanana, Madagascar

This vast site comprises six national parks spread along the eastern side of the island. The island separated itself more than 60 million years ago, and since then the plants and animals have evolved in isolation. These forests have an incredibly high level of biodiversity and host the island’s rather unique ecosystems.

  1. Great Zimbabwe National Monument, Zimbabwe

These ruins bear a unique testimony to the lost civilisation of the Shona, between the 11th and 15th centuries. It’s an ancient stone city that covers an area of about 80 hectares and the granite dry-stone walls took immense skill to construct. Builders even managed to incorporate massive granite boulders into some of the structures.

  1. Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, South Africa

This site joins South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the north and consists of a vast expanse of savanna at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. But in the Iron Age, this site was a flourishing metropolis. Only in the 1930s did they discover an ancient grave filled with gold-work on the border of these three countries.

  1. Kenya Lake System and the Great Rift Valley, Kenya

Three shallow lakes – Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria and Lake Elementaita – are interlinked on this site and are home to some of the highest bird diversities in the word. It is the single most important foraging site for the lesser flamingo and is also a popular nesting ground for the great white pelicans. The area also has a sizeable population of black rhino, Rothschild’s giraffe and African wild dog.

  1. Twyfelfontein, Namibia

Situated in the historically significant Damaraland, this is the largest collection of rock engravings you’ll find anywhere in the world. The engravings are incredibly well preserved and feature elephants, ostriches and giraffes, as well as human and animal footprints. This piece of cultural magnificence dates all the way back to the Late Stone Age.

  1. Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Otherwise known as Mosi oa Tunya, or ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, this incredible site is located on the Zambezi River and marks the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Although the falls are neither the highest not the widest in the world, it is the largest sheet of falling water. At this point, the Zambezi River is more than two kilometres wide and might be one of Africa’s best-known World Heritage Sites.

  1. Stone Town, Zanzibar

A fine example of Swahili coastal trading, the historic Stone Town hasn’t changed much over the last 200 years and is a beautiful, bustling meeting place on the island. Here you can see many historic buildings, like palaces of Sultans and grand Arab houses. The carved wooden doors show particularly skilled craftsmanship.

Image: Pixabay