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5 Places to Celebrate Your African Heritage

Africa remains a wonder and an enigma to many observers. And for good reasons. For starters, much of our continent bristles with untapped potential even as large swathes of Africa are making rapid strides in growth and development. With its expansive landscapes and formidable animal life, the world’s second-biggest continent arguably provides the most potent mix of investment, entertainment, and education. Check out this list of the most inspiring and inspired spots in Africa that will make you want to travel and celebrate your African heritage:

Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng South Africa

African Heritage - Cradle of Humankind

If there is any place that shines the light on Africa’s pride of place in the evolution of the human race, it has to be the Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng. Accorded the status of a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1999, the Cradle has provided great archaeological findings to scientists and researchers.

It hosts the oldest and most continuous paleontological find in the world. If you do get a chance to visit the Cradle, do ask for the famous pre-human skull otherwise known as ‘Mrs. Ples’ and the hominid skeleton called ‘Little Foot’. These findings are determined to be 2.3 and 4.17 million years respectively. With these bits of information at hand, you can bask in the realization that you are live on the same continent with your ancient forbearers.

The Victoria Falls, Zambia

Victoria Falls UNESCO
Ariel view of cascading Victoria Falls in Africa

Walk with your head held high whenever you have the opportunity to talk about one of the great wonders of Africa, and indeed the world: the awesome Victoria Falls! Legend has it that David Livingstone, the Briton credited with discovering the falls, was so enamored by its beauty, he named it after the Queen of England at the time; Victoria.

Reaching depths of 108 meters and with a width of 1,700 meters, the falls are twice the height of the Niagara Falls. Perhaps it is the native Africa name for the Falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya,  the ‘smoke that thunders,’  an allusion to the immense spray and rumbling that the falls generate, that cements the place of  Victoria Falls as a great heritage in Africa.

So again, when next you are asked about your heritage as an African, hold your head high, stick your chest out and thunder in a booming voice about the majesty of the Victoria Falls!

Read more about Victoria Falls here!

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Tanzania Landmarks Wildebeests

Another place that typifies the spirit and essence of Africa is the Serengeti National Park, situated in Tanzania. If you truly desire to align with the forces that make up the African appeal,  then do take out the time to watch nature play out her balancing act with lions, leopards, giraffe, buffalo, rhinos, and gazelle across plains, woodlands and savanna, all striving to eke out an existence over the vast plains.

And if you need further proof of the charm of the Park, then ask to witness the Serengeti Migration. This annual ritual sees millions of antelope, zebra, and wildebeest heading for green pastures in the Maasai Mara in Kenya. These animals do not let anything get in their way as they journey roughshod over dangers and predators, onward to their instinctive goals. As you should too!

Djenné

African Heritage - Djenne

Djenné is a city that speaks eloquently of the artistry and entrepreneurship of our African forbearers. Founded around the 3rd Century, the city is a testament to excellent craftsmanship as it comprises thousands of adobe buildings made from earth baked hard in the African sun and reinforced with palm fronds. And the narrative for the city speaks of both the bad and the good. For the former, the city served as a transit point for the great Saharan trade that facilitated the sale of slaves to the world. In the same vein, Djenné also complimented massive trade in gold and salt and was a commercial nerve center.

Whether for good or bad, the city has since been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. And if by some stroke of good fortune you happen to stop by in the city, do make out the time to visit the Great Mosque, built by the French in 1907.

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

African Bucket List pyramids

If there are any unique and ancient structures that are sure to make you proud as an African, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt should make the cut. Consider that these pyramids were raised from the ground upward to their towering heights, one brick at a time. These feats of engineering marvels took years to build and required the management of thousands and thousands of workers and the deployment of millions of materials and resources.

Steeped in ancient culture and traditions, the Pyramids, including the Giza Complex outside Cairo, is located on the fringes of the Libyan Desert. Built around 2650 BC from 2.5 million blocks of limestone, the sides of the Giza are amazingly oriented exactly to the north, south, east and west! These complexes are not only sublime and full of mystery; they are thought to house mummified Pharaohs (past Kings of Egypt in biblical times) along with all the items needed for their continued reign in the afterlife.

So, if you desire a powerful reminder of your proud African heritage, look no further than visiting Egypt and her compelling Pyramids.

Read more about the Pyramids here! OR Check out other ways to explore Africa!

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