Top 10 Historic Sites To Visit in Africa

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Africa is one continent full of history that dates back as back as 2500 BC. This is why the continent is referred to as the cradle of mankind. If you want to quench your thirst for African history, these are the top historic sites you should visit.

10. Fort Jesus, Kenya

This historic site bears testimony to the first successful attempt by Western civilization to rule the Indian Ocean trade routes, which, until then had remained under Eastern influence. It also bears physical witness, in its structures and subsequent transformations, also to the interchange of cultural values and influences between and among peoples of African, Arab Turkish, Persian and European origin that fought to gain and maintain their control over this strategic port.

9. Mamuno Monument, Botswana

It is located just at the border between Botswana and Namibia. Many archaeologists refer to the site as the Kangumene Rock Engravings.

The Mamuno Monuments are large rocks with engravings such as animal and human hand and footprints, and detailed drawings of animals, weapons, crops and various geometric designs believed to have been used in telling the time of day through measurement as well as measureming other things.

8. Larabanga Mosque, Ghana

Larabanga is Ghana?s oldest mosque, and it is one of the country?s most revered religious sites. The seventeenth century structure?s style was heavily influenced by western Sudanese architecture, characterized by the use of horizontal timber, pyramidal towers, buttresses, and triangular perforations over entry portals.

It is one of only eight mosques in the country built in this manner, and has long been a pilgrimage site for Ghana?s Muslim population. 

7. Telouet Kasbah, Morocco

This historic site is a central part of a town (Kasbah) along the former route of caravans from the Sahara over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech. The kasbah was the seat of the El Glaoui family’s power, hence why it was called the Palace of Glaoui.

The palace is located on the outskirts of the small Berber village of Telouet in Morocco.

6. Kolmanskop, Namibia

Unlike other sites on this list, this isn’t a historic site; it’s a ghost town. Yes, a ghost town exists in Africa. what’s interesting about Kolmanskop is that it was one of the richest towns in Africa during a diamond boom in 1910. Diamond production, however, was nearly zero after the beginning of the world war I

In 1928, deposits around Kolmanskop were nearing depletion the mining activities were discontinued and until 1938, all machinery was taken south of Luderitz. The town was left to its own devices but in 1980, the town’s tourist revenue potential was realized and the site was officially known as a ghost town.

5. Great Pyramid of Giza

This list would certainly be incomplete without mentioning the Great Pyramid of Giza. According to historians, the great pyramid was constructed between 2560 and 2540 BCE. It was built for the Pharaoh Khufu and was the tallest man-made structure in the world for thousands of years.

Here’s another interesting fact; about 2.3 million stone blocks were used to build the pyramid and the pyramid itself weighs 6.5 million tons. Let that sink in for a moment.

4. Isimila Stone Age site, Tanzania

Isimila is located in Iringa region central Tanzania. People lived in the site since the stone age period after stone age tools and cloths were discovered in 1951. Some of the tools found include spears and slingshots that were used for hunting.

Archaeologists also unearthed skulls and bones which were corresponded to the current giraffe; only that the giraffes had short necks. It turns out Charles Darwin was right after all.

3. Robben Island, South Africa

Robben Island is located in Table Bay, 6km west of Bloubergstrand, South Africa. It has been used as prison and a place where people were isolated, banished and exiled for nearly 400 years. While the island is infamous for being the place where Nelson Mandela was detained, it certainly has a sad history of detaining people over the years.

The island was declared a World Heritage Site because the buildings on the island are a reminder of its sad history and also show the power of the human spirit, freedom and the victory of democracy over oppression.

2. The Kigali Genocide Memorial, Rwanda

The Rwandan government inaugurated the memorial on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide where 250,000 victims have been buried. It serves to educate people about how the genocide against the Tutsi took shape and how the country has recovered ever since.

One of the things you will see is the wall of the names who died (like in the picture above). The government is still recognizing the names of the many victims resting in the memorial site.

1. Beit al-Ajaib: The House of Wonders Museum, Zanzibar

This is the largest and tallest building of Stone Town, Zanzibar. It is one of six palaces built by Barghash bin Said, second Sultan of Zanzibar. Currently, the site is a museum and has permanent exhibits on aspects of the Swahili and Zanzibari culture.

Be sure to view the mtepe (traditional Swahili boat) which occupies the inner courtyard of the museum. Other exhibits include ceremonial kangas, portraits of Zanzibari Sultans and other notable Zanzibari people.


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