Discover Africa’s UNESCO-designated world heritage sites – which include some of the most spectacular natural places on Earth, as well as our most precious cultural heritage. From the pyramids of Egypt to the snows of Kilimanjaro, this website takes you to the heart of the continent, with the help of an unrivalled collection of some 4,000 stunning photographs, together with maps and information on each of Africa’s world heritage sites.
This is a celebration of Africa - the cradle of mankind. This vast continent – three times the size of the United States – is home to a greater variety of wildlife and landscapes than any other major region of the world, and encompasses the whole of human history from the time our hominid ancestors first began to venture across the continent’s wide savannas. Its most iconic natural places include such well-known sites as Serengeti, Table Mountain and Victoria Falls; whilst the continent’s cultural heritage encompasses everything from the fossil hominid sites of Olduvai Gorge and Sterkfontein to the pyramids of ancient Egypt; from records of life painted in rock shelters in the Sahara to the great forts and castles of the colonial era.
Africa has 129 world heritage sites, of which 40 are inscribed for their outstanding natural qualities, while 84 are listed as cultural sites and an additional 5 satisfy both natural and cultural criteria. These places represent ‘the best of the best’ of Africa’s astonishing heritage, selected against demanding criteria through a rigorous international process of nomination, technical review and election. Their protection, for the benefit of future generations as well as our own, demands a level of stewardship which can be hard to achieve on a continent where poverty and under-development create conflicting demands for investment, and where war, civil strife and corruption sometimes undermine the best of intentions. But Africa’s people are fighting back - and in the world of conservation, individuals, communities and institutions are turning the tide and giving hope for this unique heritage.
This website opens a window on this world, reaching places that few of us are privileged to see. At the core of each site description is a slideshow of stunning images which ‘tell the story’ of each place. The aim is to raise awareness of this heritage, and gain support for the conservation and development of these very special places. To begin your visit you can either select one of the places from the drop-down menu on the left, or use The List tab (where places are listed alphabetically by country), or take a tour of cultural or natural sites by entering below.