Tanzania’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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Discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania that include some of the most spectacular natural places on earth, as well as precious cultural heritage sites. The most iconic sites in Tanzania include well-known sites like Serengeti and the snow peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro. As the holidays approach, ensure you visit these places to continuously show support for the conservation and development of these very special places. They include

  • Kilimanjaro National Park
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Selous Game Reserve
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area
  • Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara
  • Stone Town, Zanzibar
  • Kondoa Rock Arts Sites

Kilimanjaro National Park

Located within the Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa with its highest point rising to 5,895m. Mt. Kilimanjaro stands within Kilimanjaro National Park, which was declared one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987 because of its exceptional natural beauty, its rare endangered plants and animal species. The park is home to numerous wildlife and unique vegetation zones that includes savannah grassland, montane forest, heath and moorland, alpine desert and the snow peaks.

Serengeti National Park

The vast plains of Serengeti National Park, comprises of about 1.5 million hectares of savannah grassland in the northern part of Tanzania. The park is home to the largest herds of grazing animals in the world including wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelles, zebras and predators like lions and leopards. In 1979, Serengeti Park was named one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania owing to its spectacular great annual migration.

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Serengeti National Park is home to the largest herds of wild animals in the world.

Selous Game Reserve

Towards the south of Tanzania, The Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa. Due to the diversity of its wildlife and undisturbed nature, Selous Game Reserve was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. The park harbours one of the most significant concentrations of elephant, black rhinoceros, cheetah, giraffe, hippopotamus and crocodile, amongst many other species.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a nature reserve whose main feature is Ngorongoro Crater. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 because it was the only conservation area in Tanzania that protected wildlife while allowing human activities to take place inside. The Ngorongoro Crater floor is covered with open grassy plains that hold both vegetation and wildlife. Extensive archaeological research within the conservation area showed evidence of human evolution, including early hominid footprints and fossils at the Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli.

Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara

Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara are located about 300km south of Dar es Salaam. These two towns were once considered the biggest and most powerful trade cities on the East African coast. Their main trading partners included Arabs, Indians and Chinese. The mainly traded slaves, spices, gold, ivory, silver, perfumes and porcelain.  The two cities ruins were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

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Kilwa Kisiwani is located about 300km south of Dar es Salaam.

Stone Town, Zanzibar

Stone Town is located in Zanzibar Island and it is considered the oldest town in the island. Stone Town is a good example of a Swahili coastal trading centre. It has over the years maintained its urban fabric and townscape intact and contains many fine buildings that reflect its particular culture that dates back to the 1800s. It is one of the few heritage sites in Zanzibar. The town became a heritage site in 2000 because of its unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European cultures.

Kondoa Rock Arts Sites

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The rock art of Kondoa.

The Kondoa Rock Art Sites are located 9km off the main highway from Kondoa to Arusha. They consist of over 150 natural caves used for rock paintings over the centuries. The paintings have high artistic quality and they depict elongated people, animals, and hunting scenes. The rock art of Kondoa belongs to the distinct rock art traditions of central and southern Africa. The sites became UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2006.

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