54 landmarks worth visiting in Africa

There are fifty four African countries and each one has something for everyone. While some getaways may be suited for those looking for the ultimate rest and relaxation and life as a local, other African destinations guarantee a historical education, and unlimited activities for those who love adventure.

Whatever your reason might be, travelling to Africa guarantees an experience like no other. Are you still unsure of some of the best places to visit in Africa? Here are 54 landmarks we recommend for your next trip.

1. Algeria, Djémila

Djémila is a small mountain village along the northern coast of Algeria. The village is home to some of the preserved ruins of Berbero-Roman.

Djémila was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982 because of its unique adaptation of Roman architecture. Some of the significant buildings in this ruin include a theatre, temple, basilicas, streets and houses. The ruins are preserved and act as a major tourist attraction site for both local and international tourist.

2. Christ the King Statue, Angola

Angola features some of the world’s most breathtaking natural and artificial sites that represent the country’s rich history. The country, which is located in the southern part of Africa, is the seventh-largest country on the continent and is home to nearly 26 million people.

The Christ the King statue (Cristo Rei in Portuguese), is a Catholic monument and shrine overlooking the city of Lubango in the South of Angola. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As one of only four in the world, this 30-metre-high (98 ft) white marble statue was built in 1957.

The monument was designed by Portuguese engineer of Madeira Frazão Sardinha, and has been listed as an Angolan World Heritage Site since April 18, 2014.

3. Grand Mosque of Porto-Novo, Benin

Benin’s capital city Porto-Novo boasts an astounding architectural legacy inspired by Afro-Brazilian culture. Built by freed slaves who returned to their ancestral home in the 18th century, the buildings demonstrate a unique blend of Brazil and West Africa.

Built between 1912-35, the Grand Mosque of Porto-Novo looks like a church at first glance. The Grand Mosque is modelled on the Central Mosque of Lagos and according to historians; it may have been built by the same master masons.

The Grand Mosque was declared a historic monument by the city and is still used for daily sermons. Entry is free.

4. Three Chiefs' Statues, Botswana

The Chiefs' Statues in Gaborone are three bronze sculptures of leaders who helped Botswana gain independence. Standing at 5.4m (18ft) tall the statues are of Khama III, Sebele I, and Bathoe I. The three played an instrumental role in asking the British government to grant them autonomy in 1895. The statues were built by a popular North Korean company in 2005.

5. Monuments des Martyrs, Burkina Faso

Monuments des Martyrs, is located in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. Also known as the Monument to National Heroes, it was one of the biggest projects of the president of Burkina Faso in 1987 but ground was not broken until 2002.

Monuments des Martyrs is meant to represent the people who lost their lives in the revolution as well as the modern expansion of the city. Though it bears no resemblance, it is often compared to the Eiffel Tower.

6. Karera Falls, Burundi

Karera Falls is over 80m long and is said to be one of Burundi’s most impressive natural landmarks. The waterfall has three main cascades. Two upper cascades have formed on two.

The site, along with the Nyakazu Fault, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on May 9, 2007.

7. The Reunification Monument

The Reunification Monument is located in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The monument symbolises the reunification of both, the French and British Cameroons, and represents the hopes and dreams of a bilingual Cameroon that would serve as a beacon and example for the rest of Africa.

8. Fogo, Cape Verdi

Fogo, meaning fire, is the most prominent of all of the Cape Verde islands with a maximum altitude of 2,900 metres above sea level.

The volcano Pico de Fogo is the main attraction and can be climbed in around six hours, using the nearby town Cha de Caldeiras as a starting point. The largest city on the island is Sao Filipe which is the fourth largest city in Cape Verde and also home to the islands airport. The beaches are also a main attraction.

9. Dzanga-Sangha-National-Park, Central African Republic

Nestled in the southwestern corner of the country, between Cameroon and the Congos, Dzanga-Sangha-National-Park is the Central African Republic’s major natural attraction.

The park forms part of the wider Sangha Tri-National Park, which was established in 1990 and covers more than 6,865 miles of virgin rainforest.

10. Lakes of Ounianga, Chad

Found in the Sahara Desert, in the north-eastern part of the country, the series of 18 lakes are included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The lakes vary in colour, size and depth. The location is very arid and hot, receiving less than 2 millimetres of rainfall every year.

11. Grand Mosque du Vendredi, Comoros

The Grand Mosque du Vendredi is near the Indian Ocean and known for its captivating architecture. It is also famous for its white walls which contrast the blue sea.

Only men are allowed in the mosque and are supposed to wash their feet before entering. They also have to wear long trousers. The mosque also serves as a meeting place for the decision makers of Comoros.

12.Cathedral of Kisantu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Photo credit: Basa Bose Photos

The Democratic Republic of Congo has the largest Catholic population in Africa and the tenth largest Catholic population in the world. Kisantu Cathedral, is one of the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.

Constructed by missionaries during the Belgian colonial period, it is not only one of the Congo’s pre-eminent churches, but also one of the most popular tourist sites in the country.

13.Pont du 15 Août 1960, Congo Brazzaville

Renamed Pont du 15 Août 1960 (5 August 1960 Bridge), the viaduct of La Corniche is not far from the Case de Gaulle, the site has undergone renovation to preserve the city’s touristic heritage.

The work was carried out by Chinese company, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) in two distinct segments and financed by the Congolese Government at a total cost of more than 72 billion CFA Francs.

14.Governor's House, Djibouti

Obock is where French colonialism all began. In 1862, the Afar sultans of Obock sold their land to the French, and construction of the town began. However, it was soon eclipsed by Djibouti City. All that remains from the days of Obock is the Governor's House, which was the first official building erected on the site.

15.Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza are the last surviving of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the world's most recognisable landmarks.

They were built as tombs for Pharaohs and guarded by the Sphinx.Today, these remain a highlight in Egypt and worth seeing when you visit.

16.Lube Crater, Equatorial Guinea

Luba Crater Scientific Reserve is a protected forest. Much of it is largely untouched, especially on the wetter southern slopes of the mountain.

Rich in plants, birds and animal species, it has a high population of primates, and many are endemic to the area.

Thirty-six endemic species of birds are among the 120 species identified in the area.Of the primates, five species are of global conservation concern, namely: Red-eared guenon, Black Colobus, Western Red Colobus, Preuss’s monkey and the Drill. The reserve is believed to be home to the largest surviving population of Drills.

17. Debre Bizen Monastery, Eritrea

The Debre Bizen Monastery is a prominent symbol of Christianity in Eritrea.

The Monastery was founded by His Holiness Abune Filipos, a student of Abune Tatyos, in 1361 AD. According to historians, his shadow allegedly cured three cripples.

18. Fasil Ghebbi, Ethiopia

The fortress was the residence of the Ethiopian emperors during the 16th and 17th century. The city remains, which feature buildings with Hindu and Arab influences, were later remodelled with Baroque-style architecture by Jesuit missionaries.

In the 16th and 17th century, the fortress-city of Fasil Ghebbi was the residence of the Ethiopian emperor Fasilides and his successors. Before its decline in the late eighteenth century, the royal court had developed from a camp into a fortified compound called Fasil Ghebbi, consisting of six major building complexes and other ancillary buildings, surrounded by a wall 900 metres long, with twelve entrances and three bridges.

19. National Museum of Arts and Traditions, Gabon

Located in Libreville, Gabon, the National Museum of Arts and Traditions is known for its huge collection of cultural masks and tribal crafts and is one of the top tourist destinations in the country.

If you are interested in the history of Gabon, this museum offers great insight into the country’s thriving traditional arts scene. Among the most common Gabonese artefacts include sculptures, carvings, and a range of artwork. It is also a venue for gallery exhibits and cultural events.

20. Arch 22, Gambia

The gateway Arch 22 ( number represents the day of the 1994 coup), is 34 meters (112 feet) high, and is the second tallest after the Petroleum House in Bijilo.

Arch 22, while a controversial landmark in the Gambia, offers an impressive panoramic view of Banjul and the Atlantic Ocean.

According to the former president Yahya Jammeh, Arch 22 was a monumental project for The Gambia that would attract tourists and revenue for the country. During his regime, cars were banned from driving between the columns and only his motorcade was allowed in

21. The Larabanga Mosque, Ghana

The Larabanga Mosque is a historical site in the Western Gonja District in the Northern Region. According to stories told about the origin of the mosque, it was built by an Islamic trader named Ayuba in 1421.

The mosque also holds a very old Koran, which is believed to have been delivered from heaven to an Imam called Bramah in the 1600s after he had prayed persistently for it. The mosque is built primarily from packed earth, and its design follows the Sudanic architectural building design, characterised by two pyramidal towers; the minaret and the mihrab.

Conservation efforts in the 1970s proved ineffective as the structure of the mosque was affected by rotting timber and termites, and damage from wind and rain hastened the collapse of the mosque’s minaret. This led to the mosque being included on the 2002 World Monuments Watch, earning it much needed restorative repair. The official viewing fee for the mosque is $0.26.

22.The Lady of Mali, Guinea

The Lady of Mali is an image of a woman carved into the rock by wind erosion over the years, and is visible at a great distance in its full shape. It is located on a high rock wall over an abyss. The head is about 25 meters high, while the entire sculpture is about 150 meters high.

23. The Presidential Palace, Guinea-Bissau

The Presidential Palace is the residence of the President of Guinea-Bissau, located in the capital city of Bissau. At its height it was one of the most substantial buildings in the city, but it was ruined during the 1998–99 Guinea-Bissau Civil War and subject to bombing. As of 2012 the old palace still stands, but has become derelict.

A new presidential palace opened in 2013, funded by Chinese investment, as part of several large-scale building projects in the city, including a 20,000 seater stadium and new parliament house.

24. Mount Nimba, Ivory Coast

Located on the borders of Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, Mount Nimba is a natural World Heritage Site that was inscribed in 1981. The park was established in 1943 in Ivory Coast and 1945 in Guinea and was merged in 1980.

The park is home to thousands of diverse flora and fauna with a high rate of endemism. It is also under threat from bushmeat poaching and civil wars which have resulted in destruction and overexploitation of the species within the park.

25. Fort Jesus, Kenya

Fort Jesus was a Portuguese fort built in 1593 on Mombasa Island. It was built to secure the safety of the Portuguese living on the East Coast of Africa, and it experienced more turbulence than any other fort in Africa as a result of the hostile environment created by interested parties that lived in Mombasa. It was attacked by the Omani Arabs from 1696 to 1698, and was used as barracks for soldiers and a prison by the British between 1837 and 1895.

The fort was designed by Italian architect and engineer, Joao Batista Cairato. It became a museum in 1962, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre for its historical reflection of the Renaissance period and its documentation of the military innovations of the 15th and 16th centuries. The museum is open daily from 8am to 6pm, and entry fees range from $0.99 to $12.

26. Bamako Grand Mosque, Mali

Bamako Grand Mosque is one of the tallest and most conspicuous buildings in the city.It features a combination of Saudi and West African architectural styles. Two minarets top the square building, where hundreds of worshippers go to pray or meditate.

27. Gates of Paradise, Lesotho

The Gates of Paradise Pass is a popular mountain in Lesotho.

Founder of the Malealea trading post, Mervyn Bosworth-Smith had a passion for road-making. He built the road from the Malealea Lodge to the Gate of Paradise Pass. In his latter years he used to set off with labourers, spades, picks and wheelbarrows to repair the road.

At 3.7 km, it's a fairly short pass by Lesotho standards and only displays an altitude variance of 120m, and all the corners are gentle as are the gradients, which reach 1:5 near the summit and immediately after it.

28. Sapo National Park, Liberia

Sapo National Park is in Sinoe County, Liberia. It is the country's largest protected area of rainforest and its only national park. It contains the second-largest area of primary tropical rainforest in West Africa after Taï National Park in neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire.Agriculture, construction, fishing, hunting, human settlement, and logging are prohibited in the park.

29. Cyrene, Libya

Cyrene in Libya is considered one of the most impressive Greco-Roman sites in the world and one of the best classical Greek sites beyond Greece itself.

Cyrene is home to the ruins of the great sanctuary of Apollo which has sites ranging from the Temples of Artemis and Apollo which date back as early as the 7th century BC to the 2nd century Trajan Baths.

Cyrene was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, who deemed it "one of the most impressive ruin complexes in the entire world."

30.The Queen’s Palace, Madagascar

The queen’s palace is located on the highest hill in Antananarivo and was built by a German architect who made it a unique site for all those who visit. The palace is filled with glass and you get to see your reflection in every room that you enter.

31.Chongoni Rock Art Area, Malawi

Chongoni Rock Art Area is in the Central Region of Malawi consisting of 127 sites in the Malawi plateau with depictions of rock art and paintings of the farmer community of the Stone Age and the Iron Age period.

The rock arts are in granite formations and consist of art depictions attributed to the hunter gatherer community of the BaTwa who lived there.

The area was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006 under Criteria III for the rich cultural traditions of rock art and Criteria VI for its continued link to the present society.

32. Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata, Mauritania

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.

They have managed to preserve an urban fabric that evolved between the 12th and 16th centuries.

They are typically houses with patios that are 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.

33.Martello Tower, Mauritius

The five towers were built in the 1800's by the British to protect their colony from the French. The tower, which is located at La Preneuse, is now serving as a museum where experts explain the incredible architecture of the towers.

34.Telouet Kasbah, Morocco

The Kasbah of Telouet is a historical and popular tourist destination just outside of Marrakech. The Kasbah was home to the governor of Marrakech, T’hami el Glaoui and his family, in the early 20th century.

The Kasbah overlooks the Imarene River, and visitors are able to walk through a number of well decorated rooms.The Kasbah was never completed, and some parts of the building are deteriorating.

35.Independence Square, Mozambique

Praça da Independência(Independence Square), is a public square and monumental landmark in Maputo, Mozambique.

It was built by the Portuguese as Praça Mouzinho de Albuquerque (Mouzinho de Albuquerque Square) and had a statue of Mouzinho de Albuquerque, the former governor-general of Portuguese Mozambique.

Praça da Independência, and the statue of Mouzinho de Albuquerque was removed and replaced with a statue of Samora Machel, the first president of Mozambique in 1933. The square now has a larger statue of Samora Machel, which was built and dedicated in 2011.

36. The Brandberg Mountain Range, Namibia

The Brandberg mountain range is Namibia's highest mountain and is situated in the Erongo region in the west of Namibia about 90 km from the Atlantic Ocean.

The Brandberg is famous for its numerous rock paintings. More than 50,000 of them can be found all over the mountain.

Scientists believe that the paintings were painted by the San (Bushmen), who inhabited the area many years ago. Apart from depictions of warriors or hunters, a number of animal paintings can be found there as well.

37.Sultan Palace, Niger

The Sultan Palace in Niger, is a well conserved building that has survived since the eighteen century. It is one of the few monuments still standing from this era and is about 10,000 years old, according to historians.

More than 22 generations of Sultans have lived there over the years.

38.Osun-Osogbo Sacred Groves, Nigeria

The sacred groves of Osun are located on the outskirts of Osogbo in Nigeria, approximately 230 kilometers from Lagos.

The groves, which are dotted by shrines, sculptures, and artwork, represent a time when people dedicated areas outside their settlements to deities, areas which are regarded as sacred. The Osun-Osogbo grove is located in a dense forest and is one of the primary forests in southern Nigeria.

39. Ibyiwacu cultural village, Rwanda

A cultural tour to Ibyiwacu cultural village, is one of the key features that make Rwanda safaris an exceptional experience.

‘Iby’Iwacu’ means ‘treasure of our home’ or ‘our heritage’. The village showcases the real treasure behind the existence of Rwanda as a nation.

40.Pico Cão Grande, São Tomé and Príncipe

The Pico Cão Grande (Great Dog Peak), is a landmark needle-shaped volcanic plug in São Tomé and Príncipe. The volcanic plug was formed by magma solidifying in the vent of an active volcano.

41.African Renaissance Monument, Senegal

The African Renaissance Monument is the tallest statue in Africa. Completed in 2010, the sculpture of man, woman and child stands as a symbol of “greatness, stability and durability”.

42.Bicentennial Monument, Seychelles

The Bicentennial Monument was erected in 1978 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Victoria. The monument symbolises the African, European and Asian origins of the inhabitants of the Seychelles.

The three wings represent the origins of the Seychellois people. Created by the Italian artist Lorenzo Appiani (1939-1995), they are made of conglomerate gravel in a mortar matrix reinforced with steel.

43. Loma Mountains, Sierra Leone

The Loma Mountains are the highest mountain range in Sierra Leone. The highest peak is Mount Bintumani which rises to a height of 1,945 metres (6,381 ft). The area has been designated a non-hunting forest reserve since 1952.

44.Naaso-Hablood, Somalia

The Naaso-hablood are landmarks of the city of Hargeisa in Somaliland. These two natural peaks, shaped like pyramids, may have been the site of ancient settlements, based on the discovery of old stone tools there. The hills, on the outskirts of the city, consist of sand and granite. Standing side by side, they form a distinctive part of the landscape.

45.Robben Island, South Africa

Robben Island is an island in Table Bay, north of Cape Town, South Africa. It takes its name from the Dutch word for seals (robben).

It was fortified and used as a prison from the late 17th century to 1996, after the end of apartheid. Many of its prisoners were political. Political activist Nelson Mandela was imprisoned there for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid.

Robben Island is a South African National Heritage Site as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

46. Kidepo National Park, South Sudan

The Kidepo Game Reserve is located in the southernmost depths of South Sudan.

Adjacent to the famous Kidepo National Park in Uganda across the border, it’s a sea of greenery that extends for more than 1,200 square kilometers across the savannah grasslands and gallery woods of the region.

One of the real pulls for would-be safari goers is the tame and human-friendly nature of the animals.

47.Jebel Barkal, Sudan

Jebel Barkal or Gebel Barkal, is a very small mountain located approximately 400 km north of Khartoum. The mountain was used as a landmark by traders between central Africa, Arabia, and Egypt. In 2003, the mountain, alongside the historical city of Napata, were named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The Jebel Barkal area houses the Jebel Barkal Museum. The Jebel Barkal pyramids are also one example of Nubian pyramids.

48.Malolotja Nature Reserve, Swaziland

Malolotja Nature Reserve is the largest protected area in the country. The name means "river with many rapids and waterfalls"

One of the best features of the reserve for visitors is the hiking trails, backpacker camps and multi-day wilderness treks.

49.Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, making it one of the seven summits.It has three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira.

Approximately 25,000 people attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro annually. Approximately two-thirds are successful.

Kilimanjaro is not only Africa’s tallest peak, but also the world’s tallest free standing mountain.

50.Tamberma Villages, Togo

The Tamberma Villages are castle-style homes of the Somba people, also known as Takienta in the Koutammakou region of Togo. The villages have been recognised since 2004 by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

51.Amphitheatre of El Jem, Tunisia

The Amphitheatre of El Jem is an amphitheatre that has been listed by UNESCO since 1979 as a World Heritage Site.

The amphitheatre was built around 238 AD in Thysdrus, located in the Roman province of Africa Proconsularis in present-day El Djem, Tunisia. It is one of the best preserved Roman stone ruins in the world, and is unique in Africa. As other amphitheatres in the Roman Empire, it was built for spectator events, and it is one of the biggest amphitheatres in the world.

52.The Sempaya, Uganda

Found in Ntandi town in the Western district of Bundibugyo, The Sempaya hot springs are located in two places and are known as male and female springs. The springs are one of the Semliki national park attractions and most locally toured sites in Uganda.

53. Shiwa Ngandu, Zambia

Shiwa Ngandu is a grand English-style country house and estate in Shiwang'andu District in the Muchinga Province of Zambia. Its name is based on a small lake nearby, Lake Ishiba Ng'andu which in the Bemba language, means 'lake of the royal crocodile'.

The house was the lifelong project of an English aristocrat, Sir Stewart Gore-Browne who fell in love with the country after working on the Anglo-Belgian Boundary Commission, determining the border between Rhodesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

54.Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke That Thunders), is a waterfall on the Zambezi River in southern Africa.

It is one of the seven wonders of the world,and is located on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is considered one of the world's largest waterfalls due to its width of 1,708 metres.

David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls on 16 November 1855.