According to Wiki, World Heritage Sites are places (such as a buildings, cities, complex, deserts, forests, islands, lakes, monuments, or mountains) that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as being of special cultural or physical significance
Our society is defined not only by what we create but also by what we refuse to destroy. Heritage sites are relics of nature that are woven into our lives from generation to generation. They are sites that remain in our thoughts and sub-conscious even when we have no place for them in our lives.
Africa provides a vast array of unique historic monuments and places of great natural beauty that are listed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. Here is a small selection of Africa’s best heritage sites.
With one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the world, Tsodilo has been called the ”Louvre of the Desert”. Over 4,500 paintings are preserved in an area of only 10 km2 of the Kalahari Desert. The archaeological record of the area gives a chronological account of human activities and environmental changes over at least 100,000 years. Local communities in this hostile environment respect Tsodilo as a place of worship frequented by ancestral spirits.
Located in north-west Botswana near the Namibian Border in Okavango Sub-District, the Tsodilo Hills are a small area of massive quartzite rock formations that rise from ancient sand dunes to the east and a dry fossil lake bed to the west in the Kalahari Desert. The Hills have provided shelter and other resources to people for over 100,000 years. It now retains a remarkable record, in its archaeology, its rock art, and its continuing traditions, not only of this use but also of the development of human culture and of a symbiotic nature/human relationship over many thousands of years.
2. DJA FAUNAL RESERVE, CAMEROON
Dja Faunal Reserve, located in Cameroon, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1987. Causes of inscription include diversity of species present in the park, the presence of five threatened species, and lack of disturbance within the park. The boundary that secludes the reserve is the Dja River which almost completely surrounds it. There are more than 1,500 known plant species in the reserve, over 107 mammals more than 320 bird species in the park. The Dja Faunal Reserve covers 5,260 square kilometres (2,030 sq mi).
3. TSINGY DE BEMARAHA INTEGRAL NATURE RESERVE, MADAGASCAR.
This place is unique to Madagascar. A ‘forest’ of limestone needles, unspoiled wooden forests, lakes and mangrove swamps are a habitat for rare birds and 11 species of lemur. 80 percent of the plant species found in the Tsingy de Bemaraha Integral Nature Reserve on the island of Madagascar do not exist anywhere else.
4. ROCK-HEWN CHURCHES, LALIBELA
The rock-hewn churches are ancient churches carved out of rocks. They are situated in a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia near a traditional village with circular-shaped dwellings. The 11 cave churches in Lalibela were carved out of rock 800 years ago and the tallest is some ten meters high (33 feet). Lalibela is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, still today a place of pilmigrage and devotion. Biete Ghiorgis (House of St. George) is the best preserved.
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5. VICTORIA FALLS
Mosi-oa-Tunya – ‘the smoke that thunders’ – is the indigenous name of the huge sheet of water that noisily tumbles down basalt gorges sending up an iridescent mist visible more than 20 kilometers away. This is the Zambezi River on teh border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It was named Victoria Falls by explorer David Livingstone in honor of the British sovereign in the mid-19th century.
6. GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA, EGYPT
The Pyramid of Giza in an area that is now known as El Giza, Egypt, is a wonder of the ancient world. Temples, tombs and pyramids offer a perfect backdrop for Hollywood movies. Memphis, 20 kilometers (13 miles) from Cairo is also Egypt’s chief tourist attraction. In antiquity the Great Pyramid of Giza was regarded one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact. The ruins of Memphis and the pyramids have been on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites since 1979.
7. THE NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA, TANZANIA
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 180 km (110 mi) west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area deserves World Heritage status on two fronts: it contains the world’s biggest crater and is a spectacular reserve for thousands of lions, zebras, flamingos and other wildlife. It is also one of the cradles of humanity, where hominids left their footprints in the ground 3.6 million years ago.
Those are our top 7 world heritage sites in Africa. A worthy collection, you would admit.
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