Travel and Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kenya

Kenya boasts a wealth of outstanding cultural sites. Some of these places are so important that they have been designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization). These sites have been identified because of their cultural, historical, natural and archaeological values. These world heritage sites combine to form the ultimate quintessence of the nation.

Lamu Old Town – The World Heritage Committee inscribed Lamu Old Town on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001. It is the oldest and best preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. Lamu has become a centre of study for Islamic and Swahili culture and architecture. There are no vehicles on this island, and the donkey and the dhow remain the dominant form of transport. For the traveller, Lamu is a hypnotically exotic experience, made even more enjoyable by the relaxed and welcoming attitudes of the locals.

Fort Jesus – Fort Jesus is an interesting place to spend a day exploring the gun turrets, battlements and houses within the walls. The majestic Fort Jesus is a National Monument, standing high over the Mombasa harbor. Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese in 1593-1596 to the designs of Giovanni Battista Cairati to protect the port of Mombasa, is one of the most outstanding and well preserved examples of 16th Portuguese military fortification and a landmark in the history of this type of construction.

Lake Turkana National Parks – The World Heritage Committee inscribed Lake Turkana National Parks on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. Lake Turkana is a massive inland sea, the largest desert lake in the world. This single body of water is over 250 kilometers long- longer than the entire Kenyan coast. It is widely known as the Jade Sea, because of the remarkable, almost incandescent, colour of its waters. It is a natural treasure, with the world’s single largest crocodile population. In Turkana these reptiles grow to record size, with some of the largest specimens found on remote windswept Central Island.

Kenya’s Lake Systems – The lake system compromises of Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita. The three inter-linked relatively shallow lakes in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya cover a total area of 32,034 hectares. The Lake System is home to 13 globally threatened bird species and some of the highest bird diversities in the world. It is the single most important foraging site for the lesser flamingo anywhere, and a major nesting and breeding ground for great white pelicans.

Mount Kenya National Park – Mt Kenya is Africa’s second highest peak. It is regarded as the realm of Ngai, god of the local Kikuyu people. The mountain itself is an awe-inspiring sight with its ragged peaks and equatorial snow. This range from rugged glacier covered summits to diverse forests and rich afro-alpine flora.

Mijikenda Kaya Forests – It consist of 11 separate forest sites spread over some 200 km along the coast containing the remains of numerous fortified villages, known as kayas, of the Mijikenda people.

Kenya has got incredible diversity of landscapes, cultures, wildlife and activities. The traveller has endless opportunity to explore this beautiful destination. n Kenya, it is possible to plan a safari that blends adventure and relaxation, luxury and natural simplicity, social experiences and solitude.

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