African Heritage Sites

Victoria Falls

Within 37 African countries, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has listed 135 World Heritage Sites within the continent. South Africa has eight designated official sites, uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park - (KwaZulu-Natal), Mapungubwe National Park - (Limpopo), Cape Floral Region - (Western Cape) Vredefort Dome - (Free State), Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape - (Northern Cape), iSimangaliso Wetland Park - (KwaZulu-Natal), Robben Island - (Western Cape), and Cradle of Humankind - (Gauteng)

This article uses images from the Wikipedia article "List of World Heritage Sites in Africa", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Heritage Site Description
Aapravasi Ghat

(Port Louis District,Mauritius)

A picture of four rectangular stone structures a few feet high, laid against a wall of a larger height.
Aapravasi Ghat was the first site chosen by the British government to take part in the "Great Experiment", where indentured laborers were used instead of slaves. Between 1834 and 1920, almost half a million contracted workers passed through Port Louis from India, either to work in Mauritius or to transfer to other British colonies.
Abu Mena

(Abusir,Egypt)

Photograph of a large, weathered, stone capital resting on the ground, with a low-relief cross enclosed in a cartouche
The ruins of the former Christian holy city contain a church, a baptistery, basilicas, public buildings, streets, monasteries, houses, and workshops, and were built over the tomb of Menas of Alexandria. The World Heritage Committee designated Abu Mena as an endangered site in 2001, due to cave-ins in the area caused by the clay at the surface, which becomes semi-liquid when met with "excess water".
Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves

(Arlit Department,Niger)

A picture of a large, depressed area of sand to the right and a mountain range in the background. Relatively small vehicles are parked alongside the massive hole.
Africa's largest protected area, located in the Saharan desert of Ténéré, consists of the volcanic rock mass of AÁ¯r and a small isolated Sahelian pocket with unique flora and fauna. The natural reserve was placed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992, due to the increase in military conflicts and the hostage-taking of six reserve staff in February. Removal from this list was considered in 1999, but as of 2011, its position remains unchanged.
Aksum

(Tigray Region, Ethiopia)

A large site containing several very high tombs.
The ruins of the city of Aksum, dating from the 1st to the 13th century, mark the heart of ancient Ethiopia and what was the "most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia". It includes monolithic obelisks, giant stelae, royal tombs, and ruins of former castles.
Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad

(Maadid, Algeria)

A picture of a deteriorating stone wall spanning the frame, with a blue sky in the background.
The fortified first capital of the Hammadid emirs was originally built in 1007 and demolished in 1152. It features an 8-bay, 13-aisle mosque, which is one of the largest in Algeria.
Aldabra Atoll

(Aldabra Group, Seychelles)

A satellite view of a bare, triangle-shaped island surrounded completely by water.
The Aldabra Atoll consists of four large coral islands and a lagoon, surrounded by a coral reef. The islands are home to the world's largest population of giant tortoises. /td>
Amphitheatre of El Jem

(El Djem, Tunisia)

A picture of a large stone building, with several framed openings meant to resemble windows.
The Amphitheatre of El Jem, built during the 3rd century, is North Africa's largest amphitheatre with a capacity of 35,000 spectators, and "illustrates the grandeur and extent of Imperial Rome."
Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata

(Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata, Mauritania)

A picture of a tall stone and medieval looking tower, surrounded by buildings constructed with the same material.
"Founded in the 11th and 12th centuries to serve the caravans crossing the Sahara, these trading and religious centres became focal points of Islamic culture. [...] Typically, houses with patios crowd along narrow streets around a mosque with a square minaret. They illustrate a traditional way of life centred on the nomadic culture of the people of the western Sahara."
Ancient Thebes withn its Necropolis

(Qena, Egypt)

A picture of a ruined temple; outer buildings to the left remain erected, but the wall in the foreground and other stone beams have crumbled.
The former capital of Egypt and city of the Egyptian god Amun contains relics from the height of Ancient Egypt . The temples, palaces and the necropolises of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens bear "a striking testimony to Egyptian civilization."
Archaeological Site of Carthage

(Tunis, Tunisia)

A picture of several deteriorating stone structures, with two thin cylindrical towers of varying heights standing to the left of the background.
Founded in the 9th century BCE, Carthage was developed into a trading empire spanning the Mediterranean , and was, according to UNESCO, "home to a brilliant civilization." The city was destroyed in 146 BCE in the Punic Wars at the hands of the Romans, but was later rebuilt by these.
Archaeological Site of Cyrene

(Jebel Akhdar, Libya)

A picture of a demolished city, located on a cliff looking out to the right. A relatively larger building's beams in the middle of the city continue to stand without a roof.
The formerly Greek colony was Romanized and transformed into a capital, until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 365. The thousand-year-old ruins have remained renowned since the 18th century.
Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna

(Khoms, Libya)

A picture of a large and square-shaped stone monument with a visible entrance on every side.
The Roman city of Leptis Magna was enlarged by Emperor Septimius Severus, who was born there. Public monuments, a harbour, a marketplace, storehouses, shops, and homes were among the reasons for its induction into the list.
Archaeological Site of Sabratha

(Sabratha, Libya)

A side view of a large building to the right, with stone, cylindrical pillars running along its front.
"A Phoenician trading-post that served as an outlet for the products of the African hinterland, Sabratha was part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa before being Romanized and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries."
Archaeological Site of Volubilis

(Meknes, Morocco)

A picture of a rectangular building whose back side has been demolished. A green mountain range fills the background.
The important Roman outpost of Volubilis was founded in the 3rd century BCE to become the capital of Mauritania. It contained many buildings, the remains of which have survived extensively to this day.
Archaeological Sites of the Island of Mero

(Meroë, Sudan)

An aerial view of a dozen pyramids in relatively bad shape in the foreground, and a deserted view in the background.
The site was the centre of the Kingdom of Kush, a major force active from the 8th century BCE to the 4th century CE. It is home to pyramids, temples, and domestic buildings, among other vestiges.
Asante Traditional Buildings

(Kumasi, Ghana)

A blank map of a rectangular-looking country with a red dot in the south-west marking the location of the site.
The site, north-east of Kumasi, hosts the final intact remains of the Ashanti Empire, which peaked in the 18th century. The dwellings, which are made of earth, wood, and straw, are susceptible to the damages caused by the "onslaught of time and weather."
Banc d'Arguin National Park

(Azefal and Nouadhibou, Mauritania)

A front view of four small ships, without their sails, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the background. Three narrow shoals fill the foreground.
The park consists of sand dunes, coastal swamps, small islands, and shallow bodies of water; all bordering the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Birds are often found to migrate in the area, accompanied by various species of sea turtles and dolphins, whose presence fishermen often use to attract fish.
Bassari Country

(Bassari and Bedik Cultural Landscapes, Senegal)

A Bedik village with a traditional house and two women working.
 
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

(Kabale District, Kisoro District and Rukungiri District, Uganda)

A view inside of a dense forest with a gorilla roaming a few metres away on its hind legs.
Located on the border of plain and mountain forests, the park in south-western Uganda is home to over 160 species of trees, over a hundred species of ferns, and various species of birds and butterflies. Many endangered species are within its boundaries as well, including the mountain gorilla
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

(Eastern Cape and Western Cape, South Africa)

A view of a forest in the foreground, with a mountain range in the background.
The site consists of eight protected areas that are among the richest in plant life worldwide, containing nearly 20% of Africa's total flora. Its scientific value is demonstrated by the presence of fire and radiation adaptivity in plants and seed dispersal by insects.
Chongoni Rock Art Area

(Dedza Distric, Malawi)

A picture of various red markings on a stone wall.
The 127-site area contains the richest concentration of rock art in Central Africa, ranging from Stone Age paintings to contemporary work from farmers. The symbols depicted in the rock art are strongly centred around women, and retain a cultural significance for the Chewa.
Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande

(Ribeira Grande, Cape Verde)

A picture of a small monument in front of a large, crooked tree, with a row of small houses in the background.
The town, south of the island of Santiago, was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics, with remains dating back to the 16th century. Two churches, a royal fortress, and Pillary Square help comprise the tropical town's original street layout.
Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons)

(Bandiagara Cercle, Mali)

A view of a small, grassy field in front of a row of trees. A large ledge made of rock fills the background while a small waterfall emerges from the centre-left of its top.
The sandy plateau and cliffs of Bandiagara outline the site, featuring houses, granaries, altars, sanctuaries, and Togu-Na meeting-places. Age-old social traditions such as masks, feasts, rituals, and ancestral worship also add to its cultural significance.
Comoé National Park

(Zanzan, CÁ´te d'Ivoire)

A blank map of a rectangular-looking country with three main rivers running through it. A location is marked in the north-east corner with a black dot.
Among the largest protected sites of West Africa, the park features the Comoé River and the unique flora which accompanies it. The site was placed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger in 2003, due to unrest in CÁ´te d'Ivoire, and various other factors such as poaching overgrazing.
Dja Faunal Reserve

(Dja-et-Lobo and Haut-Nyong, Cameroon)

A long but narrow boat floats on a wide river, with a dense forest bordering the side.
Among Africa's largest and best protected rain forests, the Cameroonian reserve is almost completely surrounded by the Dja River and contains 107 mammal species, of which five are threatened.
Djémila

(Sétif, Algeria)

A large stone staircase in the foreground leads down to a ruined building, overlooking a panoramic view of several mountains and valleys.
The ruins of a Roman town in a mountainous location, including a forum, temples, basilicas, triumphal arches and houses, each adapted to a location 900m above sea level.
Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary

(Saint-Louis Region, Senegal)

A very small grassy island cramped with white, long-beaked pelicans.
The Senegal River delta wetland area consists of streams, lakes, ponds and backwaters. It is the home to 1.5 million birds, including the great white pelican, the purple heron, the African spoonbill, the great egret, and cormorants. The sanctuary also features crocodiles, African manatees, and other typical Sahelian species.
Dougga / Thugga

(Béja Governorate, Tunisia)

A set of stone seats laid out in a semi-circle to the left overlook a restored stage made up of similar materials to the right. A view of grassy plains precede a wide, mountainous range.
The site features the ruins of Dougga, a former capital of a Libyan – Punic state, which flourished under Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, but declined in the Islamic period.
Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda

(Ogooué-Ivindo and Ogooué-Lolo, Gabon)

A view of a wide river in the foreground, with a single dirt mountain surrounded by trees in the background.
The park features well-preserved tropical rain forests and savanna, resulting in a diverse ecosystem consisting of endangered, large mammals.
Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Region

(Amhara Region, Ethiopia)

A picture of a four-storey stone castle surrounded by a grassy lawn and four cylindrical towers.
The fortress was the residence of the Ethiopian emperors during the 16th and 17th century. The city remains, which feature buildings with Hindu and Arabinfluences, were later remodelled with Baroque-style architecture by Jesuit missionaries.
Fort Jesus

(Mombasa, Kenya)

A fortified, but badly-faded yellow-coloured wall looks off into distant sea to the left.
Fort Jesus is a Portuguese fort built from 1593 to 1596 on Mombasa Island to guard the old port of Mombasa, Kenya. The site's layout follows the Renaissance ideal that the human body is perfectly proportionate.
Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions

(Central Region, Greater Accra, Volta Region, and Western Region, Ghana)

A picture taken in foggy weather depicting a white, contemporary building several storeys high.
The site features the remains of fortified trading posts, built along the Ghanaian coast between 1482 and 1786.
Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs

(Gauteng, Limpopo and North West, South Africa)

A picture of dozens of pointed limestone formations hanging from a ceiling inside a cave.
The various fossil sites contain traces of human occupation and evolution dating 3.3 million years.
Garajonay National Park

(La Gomera, Spain)

A foggy picture of a rain forest riddled with weeds and various plant life.
Most of the park, in the middle of the island of La Gomera of the Canary Islands, is covered with a lush laurel forest.
Garamba National Park

(Orientale, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

An overhead and cloudy view of a wide, swampy river with grassy plains on both sides.
The park has vast savannas, grasslands and woodland, featuring elephants, giraffes, hippopotamuses and the white rhinoceros. Garamba was deemed to be endangered following the diminution of the white rhinoceros population in the area, but it was removed from the list in 1991. However, it later regained the status in 1996, when three rangers were killed and the population of white rhinoceros fell once again.
Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region

(Meroë, Sudan)

A large, square-shaped mound made up of dirt and rock in the middle of a deserted area.
The five sites in the Nile Valley feature temples that are testimonial to the Napatan and Meroitic cultures.
Gough and Inaccessible Islands

(Saint Helena, United Kingdom)

A large rock in the distance is surrounded by a dampened and partially snowy field.
The site represent one of the least-disrupted islands and marine ecosystems in the North Temperate Zone. The cliffs are free of introduced mammals and feature one of the world's largest colonies of seabirds.
Great Zimbabwe National Monument

(Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe)

A picture of a semi-spherically shaped stone enclosure sitting in front of a larger wall.
The city, now in ruins, was an important trading center between the 11th and 15th centuries, and was capital of the Bantu civilization.
Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town

(Harari Region, Ethiopia)

The Harar city wall (jugol).
The city is on a plateau and surrounded by gorges and savanna. It contains 82 mosques, 102 shrines, and unique interior design in the townhouses. It is said to be the fourth-holiest city of Islam.
Historic Cairo

(Cairo, Egypt)

A front view of a large, white building standing behind a thin palm tree.
One of the world's oldest Islamic cities and in the middle of urban Cairo, the site dates from the 10th century and reached its golden age in the 14th century. It contains mosques, madrasah, hammams and fountains.
Historic Centre of Agadez

(Tchirozerine Department, Niger)

 
Historic City of Meknes

(Meknes, Morocco)

A picture of a large gate several metres high covered with various abstract designs.
The former capital was founded in the 11th century and turned into a city with Spanish-Moorish influence during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Historic Town of Grand-Bassam

(Sud-Comoé, CÁ´te d'Ivoire)

A picture of an old home with large vegetation growing out of it, its structure slightly caving inward.
A colonial town built during the 19th and 20th centuries, Grand-Bassam was the first Ivorian capital following French rule in the region. Its quarters, which specialised in commerce, administration and general housing, helped the city become the economic and judicial hub of the country, in addition to being its most important port.
Ichkeul National Park

(Bizerte, Tunisia)

A view of two large hills and a small beach, partially obstructed from the left by a larger vegetated hill.
Ichkeul Lake and the surrounding wetlands is a destination for hundreds of thousands of migrating birds, including ducks, geese, storks and pink flamingos. It was once part of a chain that extended across North Africa.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park

(KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)

A view of a large bed of water near sunset. Onshore to the right is a small shack made of a thin material elevated with wooden poles.
The park features a variety of landforms, including coral reefs, long sandy beaches, coastal dunes, lake systems, and papyrus wetland, caused by fluvial, marine and aeolian processes.
Island of Gorée

(Dakar Region, Senegal)

A picture with a beige dock in the foreground and a multicoloured city in the background.
The island was the largest slave-trading center on the African coast from the 15th to the 19th century.
Island of Mozambique

(Nampula, Mozambique)

Several small boats float onshore. A white church with a red roof stands several metres away up a sandy path.
The fortified former Portuguese trading post has used the same architectural techniques, style, and materials since the 16th century.
Island of Saint-Louis

(Saint-Louis Region, Senegal)

A somewhat narrow street runs straight between several lightly coloured buildings.
The French colonial settlement from the 17th century is on an island in the mouth of the Sénégal River. It played an important role in the culture and economy of West Africa.
James Island and Related Sites

(Banjul,Lower Niumi and Upper Niumi, Gambia)

A distant view of very small island home to several thin trees, a brown dock, and a partially obstructed brown shack.
The site is a testimony to the encounters between Africa and Europe from pre-colonial times to independence along the Gambia River<.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park

(Maniema and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

A gorilla eating in a shrub.
The park is dominated by two extinct volcanoes, Kahuzi and Biega. It also has abundant fauna, including the graueria gorillas. The park was deemed to be endangered in 1997 when deforestation and hunting became a major problem. Militia groups and illegal settlers were also settling in the park, while fire and poaching helped justify the World Heritage Committee's decision.
Kairouan

(Kairouan Governorate, Tunisia)

A picture with a dozen stone tombs, all of which are enclosed within a large wall. A large tower stands behind the wall several stories high.
The former capital was founded in 670 and flourished in the 9th century. Its heritage includes the Mosque of Uqba and the Mosque of the Three Gates.
Kasbah of Algiers

(Algiers, Algeria)

A skyline of a moderately large city, coloured mostly in white.
A unique Islamic city on the Mediterranean coast, the former site overlooks the Carthaginian trading posts of the 4th century BCE. It contains remains of a citadel, old mosques, and Ottoman -style palaces.
Khami Ruins National Monument

(Matabeleland, Zimbabwe)

A black and white photo of a partially ruined wall from above.
The city was built after the mid-16th century and was an important trading center.
Kilimanjaro National Park

(Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania, United Republic of)

An aerial view of a large mountain's peak, encircled by many thick white clouds.
The volcanic massif Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest point at 5,895 >metres, and is surrounded by a park with savanna and forest featuring numerous mammals.
Kondoa Rock Art Sites

(Kondoa District, Tanzania, United Republic of)

A picture of several red engravings depicting people hunting large animals on a cave wall.
Two millennia of rock carving, many of high artistic value, have been found at 150 shelters in the site. They tell the tale of socio-economic development from hunter-gatherer to agro-pastoralism.
Konso Cultural Landscape

(Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, Ethiopia)

A Konso Waga sculpture.
The site features 55 kilometres of stonewalled terraces and fortified settlements in the Konso highlands of Ethiopia.
Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba

(Kara Region, Togo)

A picture of a large hut resembling a castle, in front of several trees.
The Batammariba's mud tower houses have become a symbol of Togo. They range up to two stories and feature spherical granaries.
Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddo

(AÁ¯t Benhaddou, Morocco)

A distant view of a monotonous city on a very slanted hill.
The ksar is an example of a traditional pre-Saharan habitat, surrounded by high walls and reinforced with corner towers.
Lake Malawi National Park

(Central Region and Southern Region, Malawi)

Several children are playing beneath a very large tree. A large, uninhabited island is surrounded by water in the background.
Lake Malawi contains hundreds of fish species, mostly endemic.
Lakes of Ounianga

(Ennedi Region, Chad)

A lake in a desert area, surrounded by sandstone formations.
The Lakes of Ounianga are a series of 18 lakes located in the Sahara desert, in North-Eastern Chad. They exhibit a variety of sizes, depths, chemical compositions and colorations, and some of them are home to aquatic fauna.
Lake Turkana National Parks

(Lake Turkana, Kenya)

A view of a wide river separating two landmasses, on the left and right.
Turkana, as Africa's largest saline lake, is an important area for the study of fauna and flora. It is a breeding ground for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and several venomous snakes.
Lake System in the Great Rift Valley

(Rift Valley Provinc, Kenya)

An aerial view of a large, grassy plain by the water. A small road zigzags through the field.
Located in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya, the site features three lakes: Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita. A highly diverse population of birds, including thirteen threatened species, frequent the area.
Lamu Old Town

(Lamu, Kenya)

An aerial view of a path (that doubles as a wharf) along the coast of a large body of water.
The town is the oldest Swahili settlement, and is built in coral stone and mangrove timber. It features inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborate wooden doors.
Laurisilva of Madeira

(Madeira, Portugal)

A foggy picture of the top of a very dense forest.
The site is the largest surviving area of laurel forest. It consists of approximately 90% old-growth forest and is home to endemic species such as the Madeiran long-toed pigeon.
Le Morne Cultural Landscape

(Rivière Noire District, Mauritius)

An aerial view of a sandspit, home to a large, pointy boulder. Shallow water surrounds its sides, while the sea covers its backside.
The rugged mountain that juts into the ocean was used as a shelter by runaway slaves through the 18th and early 19th centuries. They formed small settlements in the caves and on its summit.
Lower Valley of the Awash

(Afar Region, Ethiopia)

A picture of a waterfall to the right, shooting water into the side of a rapid flowing river.
Palaentological findings from at least four million years ago, such as Lucy, give evidence of human evolution.
Lower Valley of the Omo

(Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, Ethiopia)

The Omo River near Omorati.
The prehistoric site near Lake Turkana is the location of many fossil findings, such asHomo gracilis.
M'Zab Valley

(GhardaÁ¯a, Algeria)

A panoramic view of a large city, with sand dunes filling the background.
The intact, traditional human habitat was built around five ksour in the 10th century by the Ibadites.
Maloti-Drakensberg Park

(Qacha's Nek District, Lesotho, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)

A ground view of a valley and several mountain tops.
The park features incisive dramatic cutbacks, golden sandstone ramparts, and the largest concentration of cave art in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas

(Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe)

A view of a vegetated plain, with a river flowing in the foreground alongside it.
The park, located on the banks of the Zambezi River, features a variety of wild animals, such as buffalo, leopards, cheetahs and Nile crocodiles.
Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park

(Bamingui-Bangoran, Central African Republic)

A blank map of a rectangular-looking country with several rivers running through it. A location is marked in the north with a red dot.
The park features vast savannas with a wealth of flora and fauna, such as black rhinoceros, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, red-fronted gazelles and buffalo.
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

(Limpopo, South Africa)

A picture of a very rocky hill, spanning several hundred metres.
The open savanna landscape lies at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. It was the heart of theMapungubwe Kingdom until the 14th century, when the area was abandoned, leaving untouched remains of palaces and settlements.
Matobo Hills

(Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe)

A leafless tree partially obstructs a sunrise over a large field.
The large boulders have been used as natural shelters since the early Stone Age and feature a collection of rock paintings.
Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador)

(Essaouira, Morocco)

A seaside view of a large city enclosed by an orange barricade.
The fortified seaport built during the late 18th century has a mix of North African and European architecture, and was a major trading hub between the Sahara and Europe.
Medina of Fez

(Fez, Morocco)

A picture of a sun-lit back alley with trash scattered across the area. Various buildings of varying architecture are clearly visible.
The former capital was founded in the 9th century and features the world's oldest university. The urban fabric and main monuments date from the 13th and 14th centuries.
Medina of Marrakesh

(Marrakesh, Morocco)

A ground view of an artificially lit tower, reaching several storeys high, at the beginning of a sunset.
The town was founded in the 1070s and remained a political, economic, and cultural centre for a long time. Monuments from that period include the Koutoubia Mosque, the kasbah, and the battlements. The city also holds newer features, including palaces.
Medina of Sousse

(Sousse Governorate, Tunisia)

An aerial view of a town square. The inside of a large, square building is visible.
A prime example of a town from the early Islamic period, the city was an important port during the 9th century.
Medina of Tétouan (formerly known as Titawin)

(Tétouan, Morocco)

A picture of a very large and cramped city, set on a very slanted hill.
Morocco's most complete medina served as the main point of contact between Morocco and Andalusia during the 8th century. The town was rebuilt by Andalusian refugees following the reconquista.
Medina of Tunis

(Tunis, Tunisia)

A picture of the lobby inside a luxurious building.
The medina holds 700 monuments, including palaces, mosques, mausoleums, madrasahand fourtains, testifying to Tunis' golden age from the 12th to the 16th century.
Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur

(Giza, Egypt)

A picture of several pyramids of varying heights side-to-side.
The former capital features funerary monuments, like rock tombs, mastabas, temples, and pyramids. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls

(Livingstone District and Matabeleland North, Zambia and Zimbabwe)

A view of dozens of waterfalls side-by-side crashing into the water below. A rainbow forms at the right.
The falls of the Zambezi River, which is more than 2km wide, plunge down various basalt gorges resulting in a colorful mist.
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest

(Central Province and Eastern Province, Kenya)

A view of a very slanted and lengthy hill leading to a very foggy top.
The park surrounds the 5,199m Mount Kenya and features twelve glaciers.
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

(Lola Prefecture, CÁ´te d'Ivoire and Guinea)

A chimpanzee in a tree.
The reserve features Mount Nimba, its slopes covered in dense forest and grassy mountain pastures.
Namib Sand Sea

(Namibia)

 
Ngorongoro Conservation Area

(Arusha Region, Tanzania, United Republic of)

Two rhinos walk alongside each other in an empty field, with shadowed mountain ranges in the background.
The site features a concentration of wild animals in a crater beside the active volcano Oldonyo Lengai.
Niokolo-Koba National Park

(Kédougou Region and Tambacounda Region, Senegal)

A bird's eye view of a river running through a forested plain.
The forests and savannas bordering the Gambia River have a diverse fauna, including Derby eland, chimpanzees, lions, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae

(Aswan, Egypt)

A picture of a large, trapezoidal-shaped stone monument.
Located along the Nile, the site contains monuments such as the Temple of Ramesses IIand the Sanctuary of Isis.
Okapi Wildlife Reserve

(Orientale, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

River lined by tropical vegetation. Many stones are found in the river.
Covering a fifth of the Ituri Rainforest in the Congo River basin, the reserve contains many threatened species of primates and birds. It is inhabited by the nomadic pygmy Mbuti and Efé tribes.
Okavango Delta

(Orientale, Botswana)

Areal view of Okavango Delta
 
Old Towns of Djenné

(Djenné, Mali)

A large mud stone castle with hundreds of wooden poles sticking out around its upper half.
Inhabited since 250 BCE, the city was an important link in the trans-Saharan gold trade. It contains 2,000 traditional houses.
Old Town of Ghadamès

(Ghadames, Libya)

A picture of a man standing in the middle of a hallway made of limestone.<
Located in an oasis, Ghadames is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and represents a traditional architecture with vertical division of functions.
Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove

(Osogbo, Nigeria)

A picture of an abstract-looking hut.
The dense forests are one of the final remnants of high forests in southern Nigeria. It is the last sacred grove of the Yoruba culture.
Pitons, Cirques and Remparts of Reunion Island

(La Réunion, France)

An overhead view of an island filled with high-altitude peaks.
Outstanding terrain and biodiversity, as part of La Réunion National Park.
Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)

(El Jadida, Morocco)

A panoramic view of a large city, largely coloured beige.
The fortification, akin to Renaissance military design from the early 16th century, was taken over by Morocco in 1769. Surviving buildings include the cistern and a Gothic church.
Punic Town of Kerkuane and its Necropolis

(Nabeul Governorate, Tunisia)

A picture of four stone pillars which once held up a house.
The city was abandoned in 250 BCE during the First Punic War, and is the only surviving example of a Phoenicio–Punic settlement.
Rabat, modern capital and historic city

(Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer, Morocco)

A large, architecturally detailed entrance to a big palace. Several guards are posted out front.
Rebuilt under the direction of the French from 1912 to the 1930s, the city blends historic and modern features, such as botanical gardens, the Hassan Mosque, and the remnants of Moorish and Andalusian settlements from the 17th century.
Rainforests of the Atsinanana

(Eastern Madagascar, Madagascar)

A picture of a very small river running through a dense forest. Several mountains fill the background.
The site consists of six national parks, and protects the island's unique biodiversity, which has evolved in isolation for 60 million years.
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape

(Northern Cape, South Africa)

A picture of several shrubs obstructing a view of a large desert.
The mountainous desert sustains the semi-nomadic livelihood of the Nama, which includes seasonal migrations that have gone unchanged for two millennia.
Robben Island

(Western Cape, South Africa)

A view of a moderately fortified prison and a guard tower.
Between the 17th and 20th century, the island was used as a prison, including for political prisoners, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups, and a military base.
Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus

(Fezzan, Libya)

A drawing of a giraffe on a cave wall.
Thousands of cave paintings are visible in different styles, dating from 12,000 BCE to 100 CE.
Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela

(Amhara Region, Ethiopia)

A picture of a pick-coloured building intact inside of a large, square hole.
The site contains eleven medieval cave churches from the 13th century.
Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

(Antananarivo, Madagascar)

A picture of a fortified wall and gate between two trees.
The royal city and burial site is a spiritual and sacred site which has created strong feelings of national identity for several centuries.
Royal Palaces of Abomey

(Zou Department, Benin)

A picture of a beige-coloured dirt courtyard with a shack in the corner.
The city held the seat of twelve kings who ruled the Kingdom of Dahomey between 1625 and 1900. All but one king built their palace within the area.
Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara

(Kilwa District, Tanzania, United Republic of)

Vault of a ramshackled and possibly ruined building.
The site features the remains of two ports used extensively for trade across the Indian Ocean from the 13th and 16th century.
The Ruins of Loropéni

(Loropéni, Burkina Faso)

A triangular-shaped blank map with a red dot in the south-west designating the location.
More than a thousand years old, Loropéni is the best-preserved of ten fortresses in Lobi, which were part of about a hundred stone enclosures built during the trans-Saharan gold trade.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park

(Bundibugyo District, Kabarole District and Kasese District, Uganda)

A panoramic view of a slightly foggy plain, with mountains filling the background.
Covering most of the Rwenzori Mountains, including Mount Margherita, Africa's third-highest peak, the park features glaciers, waterfalls and lakes in an Alpine landscape. It also features various endangered species and unusual flora.
Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests

(Coast Province, Kenya)

Two women discuss beside two very long tree roots in a forest.
The site comprises eleven forests spread 200km along the coast of Kenya. They hold the remains of villages built during the 16th century by the Mijikenda, and are now considered sacred sites.
Saint Catherine's Monastery

(South Sinai Governorate, Egypt)

A distant view of a very small city enclosed within stone walls. Behind it is a very rocky slope.
The orthodox monastery from the 6th century is positioned near Mount Horeb where, according to the Old Testament, Moses received the Tablets of the Law. The region is sacred for Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Salonga National Park

(Maniema and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

A river meandering through a wooded plain.
Africa's largest tropical rain forest reserve is situated at the heart of the Congo River basin and only accessible by water. It is the habitat of endangered species such as the bonobo, the Congo peafowl, the forest elephant, and the slender-snouted crocodile
Saloum Delta

(Senegal)

An aerial view of a river zigzagging sharply through a damp field.
The area has sustained human life thanks to fishing and shellfish gathering, for which there are 218 shellfish mounds across the site.
San Cristóbal de la Laguna

(Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain)

A modern plaza with many large trees and a fountain in the middle.
The city contains two centres: the unplanned Upper Town, and the planned Lower Town, laid out according to philosophical principals. Many of the buildings date from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
Sangha Trinational

(Cameroon, Central African Republic and Congo)
 
Selous Game Reserve

(Morogoro Region, Mtwara Region, Pwani Region and Ruvuma Region, Tanzania)

Five elephants drinking from a flooded field from afar.
The park's vegetation varies from dense thickets to open wooded grasslands, and features large numbers of elephants, black rhinoceros, cheetahs, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles.
Serengeti National Park

(Arusha Region, Mara Region and Shinyanga Region, Tanzania, United Republic of)

A family of zebras walking through a plain, with four elephants and a few trees wandering in the background.
The vast savanna is known for the annual migration for herds of wildebeest, gazelle, zebras, and their predators.
Simien National Park

(Amhara Region, Ethiopia)

A mountain landscape with deep precipices.
The eroded Ethiopian plateau comprises jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys, and sharp precipices dropping about 1,500m.
Stone Circles of Senegambia

(Central River Division and Kaolack Region, Gambia and Senegal)

A picture of several mounds of dirt.
The groups of stone circles are among over 1,000 different monuments along the Gambia River. Used as burial grounds, they were erected between the 3rd century BCE and the 16th century CE.
Stone Town of Zanzibar

(Zanzibar, Tanzania, United Republic of)

A distant view of a very large and luxurious building near a wide river.
A prime example of an East African coastal trading town, its urban fabric and townscape remains intact.
Sukur Cultural Landscape

(Madagali, Nigeria)

A landscape view of a series of rocky valleys.
The site features the Palace of the Hidi, terraced fields, and the remains of a former iron industry.
TaÁ¯ National Park

(Guiglo and Sassandra, CÁ´te d'Ivoire)

A blank map of a square-shaped country with a black dot designating the location of the site.
One of few remaining sections of the West African tropical forest, the park features a rich flora, including eleven species of monkeys.
Tassili n'Ajjer

(Illizi and Tamanrasset, Algeria)

A picture of a very faint drawing of an elephant and a giraffe on a cave wall.
The site is in a landscape with 15,000 cave engravings that record climatic changes, animal migrations, and the evolution of human life, dating from 6,000 BCE to the first centuries CE.
Teide National Park

(Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain)

A ground view of a mountain top, obstructed by a few low-level clouds.
The national park features the Teide stratovolcano, which at 3,718m is Spain's tallest mountain and the world's third-tallest volcano.
Timbuktu

(Timbuktu Cercle, Mali)

A picture of a very small pyramid with dozens of wooden poles sticking out around it.
The city was a centre for the propagation of Islam in the 15th and 16th centuries, and features three mosques and many madrasahs<.
Timgad

(Batna Province, Algeria)

A picture of a city ruins and a still-standing building near the back.
A military colony built by Emperor Trajan in 100 CE, the site features and decumanus streets, typical of a Roman town.
Tipasa

(Tipaza, Algeria)

A mosaic made of tiles covers the ground of a small square near a grave site.
First a Carthaginian trading center, Tipasa was converted into a military base by the Romans. Heavy Christian influences can be seen from the 3rd and 4th centuries, though Tipasa went into steady decline in the Byzantine period.
Tiya

(Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, Ethiopia)

A view of several tombstones lined up side-by-side.
The archaeological site contains 36 monuments, which includes 32 carved stelae covered with symbols hard to decrypt.
Tomb of Askia

(Gao Region, Mali)

A large dirt mound shaped like a pyramid with sticks sticking out around it.
Built in 1495, the pyramid was built as a tomb for Emperor Askia Mohamed. It represents the power of an empire that controlled the trans-Saharan gold trade.
Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi

(Kampala District, Uganda)

A picture of a dome-shaped house made of natural materials.
The tombs, built after 1884, are a major example of prime architecture using organic materials, principally wood, thatch, reed, and wattle and daub. The tombs were almost completely destroyed by a fire in March 2010, prompting the World Heritage Committee to reluctantly mark the site as being in danger. The Ugandan government has since called for the reconstruction of the tombs, and UNESCO has agreed to mobilise funds for the project.
Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve

(Melaky, Madagascar)

A complex, heavily eroded dark grey limestone rock formation.
The canyon of the Manambolo River comprises karstic and limestone landscapes cut into peaks and a forest of limestone needles. It also holds undisturbed forests, lakes and mangrove swamps, which are the habitat for lemurs and birds.
Tsodilo

(North-West, Botswana)

A drawing of two rhinos and a bull on a cave wall.
The site features more than 4,500 rock art paintings in the Kalahari Desert. Archaeological records provide evidence of human and environmental activities ranging over 100,000 years.
Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes

(Kunene, Namibia)

Various drawings on a cave wall.
The site has one of the largest concentrations of rock engravings in Africa, which range from a period of over 2,000 years.
Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve

(Praslin, Seychelles)

A picture of a waterfall obstructed by a couple of palm trees.
The natural palm forest is preserved in almost its original state.
Virunga National Park

(North Kivu and Orientale, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

A picture of a mountain landscape with trunks of trees or shrubs that appear to have burned.
The park comprises swamps, savannas, and snowfields. Virunga was inscribed on the World Heritage Committee's List of World Heritage in Danger in 1994, due to the war in Rwanda and the subsequent increase of the refugee population in the park, deforestation, poaching, departure of park staff, and depletion of forests.
Vredefort Dome

(Free State and North West, South Africa)

A view of a multicoloured cave ceiling.
The crater, with a diameter of 190km, is the largest, oldest, and most deeply eroded astrobleme found on Earth, dating back more than two billion years.
W National Park of Niger

(Say Department, Niger)

A picture of a marshy river surrounded on both sides by shrubs and trees.
The park is in the zone between savanna and forest lands, and is an important ecosystem for the biogeographical area.
Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley)

(Faiyum Governorate, Egypt)

A picture of a long skeleton surrounded by a circular wire. A large rock formation is visible in the background.
Located in western Egypt, the site contains fossil remains of the now extinct Archaeoceti, mapping the evolution of the whales from a land-based to an aquatic mammal.

Last updated : 11-Aug-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 15-May-2015

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