UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania

There are 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania. This list is composed of 3 cultural sites, 3 natural sites and 1 mixed site.

Tanzania UNESCO Sites Placeholder
Tanzania UNESCO Sites

  • Kondoa Rock-Art Sites (2006)
  • Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (1981)
  • Stone Town of Zanzibar (2000)
  • Kilimanjaro National Park (1987)
  • Selous Game Reserve (1982)
  • Serengeti National Park (1981)
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area (1979)

Kondoa Rock-Art Sites (2006)

The Kondoa Rock Art Sites is an important archaeological site in Kenya. There are more than 150 natural shelters and caves included in this site because they are believed to be the site of rock paintings for the past two millennia. These paintings are valued for their high artistic quality and were created using brush-like instrument. The paintings depict various subjects including animals, humans and even hunting scenes, which could also provide a glimpse into the way of life for the ancient people in the region. The importance to preserving the cultural traditions in central and south Africa are reasons why it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania.

Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (1981)

This particular site is another archaeological site that features the ruins of two ports that played a significant role for East African trade. These ports flourished from 13th to 16th centuries. They also exemplify the civilizations of sub-Saharan Africa.

It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania in 1981. In 2014, it was added to the list of UNESCO sites in danger due to the deterioration and serious threat to preservation of the site. In 2014, it was removed fro that list.

Stone Town of Zanzibar (2000)

The Stone Town of Zanzibar is the final cultural site in this list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania. According to UNESCO, this town is the perfect example of a Swahili coastal trading town in East Africa. The urban fabric and townscape within Zanzibar has remained intact throughout many years. In fact, several of the fine buildings that showcases the culture of Zanzibar are still existing today. The most distinctive feature about the buildings and culture of Zanzibar is its mixture of influences from Africa, India, Europe, and the Arab region.

Kilimanjaro National Park (1987)

This national park in Tanzania is one of the most popular natural attractions in the country. The Kilimanjaro National Park is located within the Kilimanjaro Region that encompasses the Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as its surrounding montane forest belt. The entire property measures at over 1,600 square kilometers.

In 2013, the park earned US $51 million in revenue. This park is visited by 52,000 tourists each year. Before it was named a national park, it was recognized as a forest reserve. Although the park was added by UNESCO in 1987, it was expanded in 2005.

Selous Game Reserve (1982)

The Selous Game Reserve is another natural site in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania. It is one of the world’s largest faunal reserves. The reserve is located south of Tanzania and is named for the Englishman Sir Frederick Selous. It was added to the UNESCO list in 1982 due to its undisturbed natural state and the rich wildlife diversity.

The entire reserve spans over 54,000 square kilometers in land area and some buffer zones. The animal species that inhabit this reserve include the hippopotamus, black rhinos, cheetahs, African bush elephants, East African wild dogs, Plains zebras, Masai giraffes, Cape buffaloes, and more.

Serengeti National Park (1981)

Another popular national park that also made it into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania is the Serengeti National Park. The park comprises the Seregeti ecosystem, which is notable for the annual migration of white-bearded wildebeest and zebras. The national park is also home to honey badgers and the Nile crocodile.

With an annual visitor count of 350,000 per year, the Serengeti National Park is where the Maasai people have grazed the open plains of this park with livestock. This went on for over 200 years until its discovery in 1892 by a European explorer.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (1979)

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (1979) is the only mixed site on this list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Tanzania. This world heritage property is a protected area encompassing more than 8,200 kilometers in land area. The park is governed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority and is visited by more than half a million tourists per year.

The designation of this site as a UNESCO property is based on the volcanic caldera that formed within the area. This caldera plays an important role in the human settlement and the farming within the area. In addition, the protected area is considered as one of the world’s unchanged and well-preserved wildlife sanctuaries.