Environment Resources

List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kenya

UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kenya are most impressive. The sites are the most natural and cultural destinations highly popular for visitors in Kenya and contribute greatly to tourism in the country.

Kenya has 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Four are cultural while the remaining 3 are natural.

UNESCO Cultural Sites in Kenya

Kenyan culture blends the many different tribal and ethnic identities found in the country today and throughout its history. The mix of cultures and western influence over the years has led to the creation of numerous significant landmarks that are of great value today. 

The UNESCO cultural sites in Kenya include:

Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site

Thimlich Ohinga archaeological site is a dry-stone walled settlement, based on a complex organization system of communal occupation, craft industries, and livestock that reflects a cultural tradition developed by pastoral communities in the Nyanza region of the Lake Victoria basin that persisted from the 16th to mid-20th centuries.

It is located 46 km northwest of Migori Town in the Lake Victoria region, 

The Thimlich Ohinga is the largest and best-preserved of these massive dry-stone walled enclosures. The Ohinga appear to have served primarily as security for communities and livestock, but they also defined social units and relationships linked to lineage-based systems… read more

Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests

The Mijikenda Kaya Forests consist of 10 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. 

The kayas, created as of the 16th century but abandoned by the 1940s, are now regarded as the abodes of ancestors and are revered as sacred sites and are maintained by councils of elders…read more

Lamu Old Town 

Lamu Old Town is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, retaining its traditional functions. Built-in coral stone and mangrove timber, the town is characterized by the simplicity of structural forms enriched by such features as inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors. 

Lamu has hosted major Muslim religious festivals since the 19th century and has become a significant centre for the study of Islamic and Swahili cultures….read more

Fort Jesus, Mombasa

Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese in 1593-1596 to the designs of Giovanni Battista Cairati to protect the port of Mombasa. It 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. 

The Fort’s layout and form reflected the Renaissance ideal that perfect proportions and geometric harmony are to be found in the human body. The property covers an area of 2.36 hectares and includes the fort’s moat and immediate surroundings….read more

UNESCO Natural Sites in Kenya

Lake Turkana National Parks

Lake Turkana is an outstanding laboratory for the study of plant and animal communities. It is the most saline Africa’s largest lake. 

The three National Parks in the region serve as a stopover for migrant waterfowl and are major breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus, and a variety of venomous snakes. 

The Koobi Fora deposits, rich in mammalian, molluscan, and other fossil remains, have contributed more to the understanding of paleo-environments than any other site on the continent…read more

Mt Kenya National Park/Natural Forest

Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa and is an ancient extinct volcano. There are 12 remnant glaciers on the mountain, all receding rapidly, and four secondary peaks that sit at the head of the U-shaped glacial valleys. With its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. 

The evolution and ecology of its afro-alpine flora also provide an outstanding example of ecological processes…read more

Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley

The Kenya Lake System presents an exceptional range of geological and biological processes of exceptional natural beauty, including falls, geysers, hot springs, open waters and marshes, forests, and open grasslands concentrated in a relatively small area and set among the landscape backdrop of the Great Rift Valley. 

The massed congregations of birds on the shores of the lakes including up to 4 million Lesser Flamingos which move between the three lakes is an outstanding wildlife spectacle. The natural setting of all three lakes surrounded by the steep escarpment of the Rift Valley and associated volcanic features provides an exceptional experience of nature…read more

Also read,

The 10 Worlds’ Largest Forests

The most extensive forest ecosystems in Africa that hold the continent’s future

The most fascinating tourist sites in Kenya

Earth’s ‘vital signs’ deteriorate to record levels

Earth’s interior taking up more carbon

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