World Heritage Sites
Tanzania has eight World Heritage Sites which are fundamental reminder why interaction between people and nature must achieve a balance of preservation and conservation between the two.
The Kilimanjaro National Park located near Moshi, Tanzania, covers an area of 753 km (291 square miles). In 1987 UNESCO listed the park as a World Heritage Site. Mt. Kilimanjaro by itself is the world highest free standing mountain and Africa’s highest mountain.
Stone Town or Mji Mkongwe in Swahili meaning “ancient town” is the old part of Zanzibar City. The old town is built on a triangular peninsula of land on the western coast of the island and was awarded World Heritage Site status in 2000. It is rich in cultural fusion and harmonization, great in symbolic importance in the suppression of slavery and the intense seaborne trading activity between Asia and Africa, well illustrated today in the exceptional architecture and urban structure of the Stone Town.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is blessed with blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa and is situated 180 km west of Arusha. The rich pasture and permanent water of the Crater floor supports a large resident population of wildlife of up to 25,000 – predominantly grazing animals. The conservation area is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, and its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro Division of Ngorongoro District. It covers an area of 8,288 km (3,200 square miles).
The Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s oldest park, and one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges, hence its World Heritage Site status. It is most famous for its annual migration of over one million white bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 200,000 zebra. The park covers 14,763 km (5,700 square miles) of grassland plains and savannah as well as riverine forest and woodlands. The park lies in the north of the country, bordered to the north by the national Tanzania and Kenyan border, where it is contiguous with the Masai Mara National Reserve.
The Selous Game Reserve covers a total area of 54,600 km (21,081 square miles) and is one of the largest fauna reserves of the world, located in the south of Tanzania. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 due to the diversity of its wildlife and undisturbed nature. The reserve is home to typical savannah animals such as elephants, hippopotami, the rare African Wild Dog and crocodiles, which are all found in larger numbers compared to any other African park. Currently Selous GR is the biggest natural animal park /reserve in Africa.
Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara
The remains of two great East African ports admired by early European explorers are situated on two small islands near the coast. From the 13th to the 16th century, the merchants of Kilwa dealt in gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian crockery, Persian earthenware and Chinese porcelain; much of the trade in the Indian Ocean thus passed through their hands. Serious archaeological investigation began in the 1950s. In 1981 it was declared a World Heritage Site, and noted visitor sites are the Great Mosque, the Mkutini Palace and some remarkable ruins. However, the ruins are also on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The list constitutes a call to improve their safeguarding and is designed to rally national and international efforts for their preservation.
Kondoa rock art site
The Kondoa rock art site is a series of caves carved into the side of a hill looking out over the steppe. The cave site is nine kilometres off the main highway from Kondoa to Arusha, about 20 km north of Kondoa. It has a spectacular collection of images from over 150 shelters depicting elongated people, animals, and hunting scenes. Today many of the shelters are still considered to have ritual associations with the people who live nearby, reflecting their beliefs, rituals and cosmological traditions.