historical places in africa

African Ruins: Famous Landmarks, Buildings, & Historical Sites

Zegrahm Expeditions|November 20, 2019|Blog Post

Related Blog Posts

Exploring African Ruins

Africa is one of the most fascinating and beautiful places on earth.

Its sweeping landscapes can offer visitors incredible and diverse nature, rich history, and a range of cultures. This is why so many people flock to famous landmarks in Africa every year.

But since Africa is so vast, how can you pick the most worthwhile African ruins to visit that will leave a lasting impression?

Well, to help with that, we’ve come up with an extensive list of the best historical sites in Africa that you should put on your itinerary.

Ready to get started? Then read on below.

Volubilis, Morocco

ancient african monuments

The Volubilis ruins are one of the most spectacular historical places in West Africa, showcasing the rich and vibrant history of Morocco, where African, Christian, and Muslim influences can be observed.

It’s a town that has been preserved for almost a millennium, but the site originally dates back all the way to the 3rd century BC, offering unique insights about life and culture throughout the history of the region.

Volubilis is still being excavated to this day, and only half of the remains have been revealed, but it is already one of the most popular African ruins sites because it allows us to step into an ancient world and see how the elites of that time lived.

When visiting this site, you’ll find extravagant mansions housing intricate mosaics that are still in excellent condition.

The best part is the location is quite easy to reach from both Meknes and Fez, although you will have to hire a car to reach the site itself if you travel without a tour.

View Morocco Tours

The Pyramids, Egypt

famous monuments in africa

Among the historical places in Africa, few, if any, can rival the Egyptian pyramids in terms of popularity and worldwide recognition.

These massive structures are symbols of the immense power and influence of the ancient Egyptian civilization, as well as the resting place of its rulers and Pharaohs.

Scientists still aren’t entirely sure how people thousands of years ago were able to amass the huge rocks to create the pyramids, and they are truly one of the most remarkable structures ever to be built on the earth.

Whether you want to travel back in time and see the remains of an ancient civilization or feel like Indiana Jones uncovering the secrets of the past, the pyramids are an excellent African ruins destination to include on your itinerary.

View Egypt Tours 

Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia

famous buildings in africa

Ethiopia is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, boasting rich nature, vibrant culture, as well as some of the most famous buildings in Africa, such as the Churches of Lalibela.

These churches are not only one of the most important places in East Africa and beyond for Christians, but are also very significant historically—Lalibela, who is revered as a Saint, attempted to re-build his own Jerusalem in the image of the original one after it was captured by Muslims.

Each of the stunning churches was carved out from the volcanic rock hills, which resulted in a landscape that you won’t find anywhere else.

These churches are entirely monolithic, made without any blocks or supports, and were carved down into their current shape.

View Ethiopia Tours

Valley of the Kings, Egypt

historical places in africa

Although Egypt is most widely known for its pyramids, there are, in fact, numerous stunning sites that you could visit in the country.

One such site is the Valley of the Kings, which, as the name implies, was the final resting place of some of the most famous rulers of the land. This includes Tutankhamun, who was discovered to be buried there in the early 20th century.

You will find 63 tombs at the site. They contain antiquities and stories of the past dating back to the 16th century BC.

Since the tombs housed some of the most powerful rulers of the region, they were stocked with everything that they might need in the afterlife. This included priceless treasures, clothes, and even furniture. Visiting these relics provides surprising insights about not only the culture and local customs, but also the daily life of elites long before our time.

View Egypt Tours

Casablanca, Morocco

historical sites in africa

Morocco is full of some of the most famous monuments in Africa, and Casablanca houses a great many of them.

Casablanca captured the imaginations of worldwide audiences when the movie of the same name came out in 1942, and seeing the ancient city in real life can be even more impressive.

The city houses the second largest religious monument in the world, the Hassan II Mosque, which can fit 25,000 worshippers and an additional 80,000 outside, a fascinating spectacle to observe on its own.

Seeing a modern city that blends tradition, history, and contemporary culture as seamlessly as Casablanca allows experiencing the very best of what Morocco is all about. It’s definitely worth a visit if you have the chance.

View Morocco Tours

Luxor, Egypt

famous landmarks in africa

Luxor is another fascinating location that you must put on your itinerary if you want to see the most ancient monuments in Africa.

It’s home to one of the most unique cities from the old times, the ancient city of Thebes. It has been inhabited for more than 5,000 years and still has incredible buildings from past civilizations.

In Luxor, you can also explore the Karnak temple complex, which was a sacred worship site for Thebans, as well as various other African ruins that you won’t find anywhere else.

The city of Luxor can be easily accessed from Cairo and is definitely worth the trip if you want to get a feel for what the ancient civilizations that prospered in Africa thousands of years ago looked like.

View Egypt Tours

El Jem, Tunisia

frican ruins

El Jem is a small town located in Tunisia that is home to one of the most well-preserved ancient ruins in the world.

In the small city, you will find a massive amphitheater that could, at one point, hold around 35,000 spectators at once and served as a hub of the entire region.

The amphitheater dates back to the 3rd century and is an excellent example of just how majestic and powerful the Roman Empire once was, showcasing its unique architecture and ancient customs.

The amphitheater is so well preserved that you can still climb up to the upper seating levels and get a bird’s eye view of the arena where animals, gladiators, and others fought to escape death and please the crowds.

View Mediterranean Mosaic Tour

historical sites in africa

Zegrahm Expeditions

Africa is one of the most diverse and vibrant continents when it comes to stunning nature, as well as fascinating historical sites, so it’s not surprising that millions of people choose the continent as their vacation destination each year.

At Zegrahm Expeditions, we offer a wide range of customized Africa tours that will take you to the most important ancient African monuments and landmarks. This ensures that you get the most out of your time and gain an experience that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

If you want to learn more, you can browse our tours above and contact us by calling 800.628.8747 or utilizing our online contact form.