Africa is often called “the Mother continent” because it is considered by many to be the birthplace of the human species. For instance, it contains some of the earliest evidence of tool use and the domestication of fire. Our last post covered the three most important archaeological sites in Africa for people interested in learning more about human evolution and our early development as an intelligent species.
The human story in Africa continues long past this time, though. Historical sites can be found all throughout the continent showing how advanced civilizations grew within its borders and ultimately lead to dramatic conflicts for territory and resources.
This post covers the most significant of these sites worth visiting on an African safari tour. Each one perfectly represents the unique time and place within the human story at the moment they were built.
If you are a lover of history as well as nature, then you will definitely want to take a look at the following historical sites during your African safari tour:
Fort Jesus — Kenya
Built in 1593 by Portuguese traders, Fort Jesus on Mombasa Island represent the first European foothold upon Indian Ocean trade routes. King Philip I commissioned the fort to defend the Old Port of Mombasa from pirates and aggressors. The British ultimately captured the fort in 1895, converting it into a prison.
Today, the fort can be reached by bridge from the city of Mombasa. Tours are given regularly that recount the long history of the fort as it changed hands between Western powers and Kenyan nationals.
Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalībela — Ethiopia
In the late 12th century, the ruler of Ethiopia commissioned the construction of several small, compact churches that were to be hewn directly from rock. The result is nearly a dozen churches that are true monoliths, meaning they are made from one solid piece of stone.
Each one occupies a square hole where pilgrims and tourists can descend to explore their intricate interiors. They are a testament to the skills, organization and dedication of the early Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church, which began in the fourth century shortly after the time of the early apostles. Visiting the chapels is truly a transportive experience that hammers home how unique and ancient Ethiopia’s Christian tradition truly is.
The Castle of Good Hope — South Africa
South Africa’s modern history is defined largely by the early presence of Dutch traders and the subsequent conquering of the territory by the British. This history essentially begins with the construction of the Castle of Good Hope by the Dutch East India Company in 1666.
The Castle consists of a pentagonal fort made of rocks cut from Signal Hill that had to be shipped across the bay. It is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa, and its presence remains an important part of South Africa’s identity. For instance, the fort’s pentagonal shape was used as an emblem on the South African Defence Force ensign and the country’s Naval ensign prior to 1994.
See All of These Amazing Sites and More on Your African Safari Tour
Sites like the Castle of Good Hope are mainstays on any culturally minded African safari tour, so take a look at our African safari tour packages to decide upon the unique places you want to experience. You can also contact us directly for a custom safari tour package to make sure you see all of the animals, places and historic sites you are most excited about during your stay.
Jill Liphart for www.rohoyachui.com