The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.[1] Kenya accepted the convention, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list. As of 2018, there are seven World Heritage Sites in Kenya.[2]

Location of sites

World Heritage Sites

Site – named after the World Heritage Committee's official designation[3]
Location – sorted by country, followed by the region at the regional or provincial level. In the case of multinational or multi-regional sites, the names are sorted alphabetically.
Criteria – as defined by the World Heritage Committee[4]
Area – in hectares and acres, excluding any buffer zones. A value of zero implies that no data has been published by UNESCO
Year – during which the site was inscribed to the World Heritage List
Description – brief information about the site, including reasons for qualifying as an endangered site, if applicable
Name Image Location Criteria Area Year Description
Fort Jesus, Mombasa A fortified, but badly-faded yellow-coloured wall looks off into distant sea to the left. KenMombasa,
 Kenya
4°03′46″S 39°40′46″E / 4.062778°S 39.679444°E / -4.062778; 39.679444 (Fort Jesus, Mombasa)
Cultural:KenLak
(i), (iv)
161,485 (399,040) 2011 Fort Jesus is a Portuguese fort built from 1593 to 1596 on Mombasa Island to guard the old port of Mombasa, Kenya. The site's layout follows the Renaissance ideal that the human body is perfectly proportionate.[5]
Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley An aerial view of a large, grassy plain by the water. A small road zigzags through the field. KenRift Valley Province,
 Kenya
0°26′33″N 36°14′24″E / 0.442500°N 36.240000°E / 0.442500; 36.240000 (Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley)
Natural:KenLak
(viii), (x)
161,485 (399,040) 2011 Located in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya, the site features three lakes: Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita. A highly diverse population of birds, including thirteen threatened species, frequent the area.[6][7]
Lake Turkana National Parks A view of a wide river separating two landmasses, on the left and right. KenLake Turkana,
 Kenya
3°03′05″N 36°30′13″E / 3.051306°N 36.503667°E / 3.051306; 36.503667 (Lake Turkana National Parks)
Natural:KenLak
(viii), (x)
161,485 (399,040) 1997 Turkana, as Africa's largest saline lake, is an important area for the study of fauna and flora. It is a breeding ground for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and several venomous snakes.[8] The site was placed the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2018, primarily due to the potential impact of Ethiopia's Gilgel Gibe III Dam.[9]
Lamu Old Town An aerial view of a path (that doubles as a wharf) along the coast of a large body of water. KenLamu,
 Kenya
2°16′05″S 40°54′07″E / 2.268°S 40.902°E / -2.268; 40.902 (Lamu Old Town)
Cultural:KenLam
(ii), (iv), (vi)
16 (40) 2001 The town is the oldest Swahili settlement, and is built in coral stone and mangrove timber. It features inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborate wooden doors.[10]
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest A view of a very slanted and lengthy hill leading to a very foggy top. KenCentral Province
and Eastern Province,
 Kenya
0°09′18″N 37°18′56″E / 0.155000°N 37.315556°E / 0.155000; 37.315556 (Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest)
Natural:KenMou
(vii), (ix)
142,020 (350,900) 1997 The park surrounds the 5,199 m (17,057 ft) Mount Kenya and features twelve glaciers.[11]
Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests Two women discuss beside two very long tree roots in a forest. KenCoast Province,
 Kenya
3°55′55″S 39°35′46″E / 3.931944°S 39.596111°E / -3.931944; 39.596111 (Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests)
Cultural:KenSac
(iii), (v), (vi)
1,538 (3,800) 2008 The site comprises eleven forests spread 200 km (120 mi) along the coast of Kenya. They hold the remains of villages built during the 16th century by the Mijikenda, and are now considered sacred sites.[12]
Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site A picture of a stone wall with a gate. KenMigori County,
 Kenya
0°58′23″S 34°15′30″E / 0.9731°S 34.2583°E / -0.9731; 34.2583 (Thimlich Ohinga)
Cultural:KenThi
(iii), (iv), (v)
21 (52) 2018 Dating back to the 16th century CE, the dry-stone walled settlement is the largest and best preserved traditional enclosures of its kind.[13]

Tentative List

Site Image Location Criteria Area
ha (acre)
Year of submission Description
The Tana Delta and Forests Complex Tana River County , 1°30′S 40°00′E / 1.5°S 40°E / -1.5; 40 (The Tana Delta and Forests Complex) Natural (ix)(x) 2010 [14]
The Historic Town of Gedi Kilifi County 3°18′11″S 40°01′01″E / 3.303°S 40.017°E / -3.303; 40.017 (The Historic Town of Gedi) Cultural (ii) (iii) (iv) 2010 [15]
Amboseli National Park Kajiado County 2°38′29″S 37°14′53″E / 2.641389°S 37.248056°E / -2.641389; 37.248056 (Amboseli National Park) Natural (vii) (viii) (ix) 2023 [16]
Coastal Forests of Kenya (Arabuko Sokoke Forest and Shimba Hills National Reserve) Kilifi County, Kwale County 3°16′00″S 39°49′00″E / 3.266667°S 39.816667°E / -3.266667; 39.816667 (Coastal Forests of Kenya (Arabuko Sokoke Forest and Shimba Hills National Reserve)) Natural (ix) (x) 2023 [17]
Eastern Arc Mountains, Kenya Taita Taveta County 3°25′00″S 38°20′00″E / 3.416667°S 38.333333°E / -3.416667; 38.333333 (Eastern Arc Mountains, Kenya) Natural (vii) (x) 2023 [18]
Hell's Gate National Park Nakuru County 0°54′57″S 36°18′48″E / 0.915833°S 36.313333°E / -0.915833; 36.313333 (Hell's Gate National Park) Natural (viii) 2023 [19]
Kakamega Forest Kakamega County, Nandi County 0°17′30″N 34°51′22″E / 0.291667°N 34.856111°E / 0.291667; 34.856111 (Kakamega Forest) Natural (vii) (ix) (x) 2023 [20]
Kilifi Caves (Panga Ya Saidi, Mawe Meru and Chasimba Caves) Kilifi County 3°40′43″S 39°44′09″E / 3.678611°S 39.735833°E / -3.678611; 39.735833 (Kilifi Caves (Panga Ya Saidi, Mawe Meru and Chasimba Caves)) Cultural (ii) (iii) (iv) (vi) 2023 [21]
The Marakwet Escarpment Furrow Irrigation System Elgeyo-Marakwet County 0°48′00″N 35°34′00″E / 0.8°N 35.566667°E / 0.8; 35.566667 (The Marakwet Escarpment Furrow Irrigation System) Cultural (ii) (iv) (v) 2023 [22]
Maasai Mara Game Reserve Narok County , 1°29′24″S 35°08′38″E / 1.49°S 35.143889°E / -1.49; 35.143889 (Maasai Mara Game Reserve) Natural (v) (vii) (ix) 2023 [23]
Meru Conservation Area Meru County 0°05′37″N 38°12′29″E / 0.093611°N 38.208056°E / 0.093611; 38.208056 (Meru Conservation Area) Natural (ix) (x) 2023 [24]
Mfangano Island Rock Art Sites Kisumu County 0°28′00″S 34°01′00″E / 0.466667°S 34.016667°E / -0.466667; 34.016667 (Mfangano Island Rock Art Sites) Cultural (iii)(iv) 2023 [25]
Mt. Marsabit National Park and Reserve Marsabit County 2°22′59″N 37°58′59″E / 2.383056°N 37.983056°E / 2.383056; 37.983056 (Mt. Marsabit National Park and Reserve) Natural (x) 2023 [26]
Mt Kulal Biosphere Reserve Marsabit County 2°43′45″N 36°55′24″E / 2.729167°N 36.923333°E / 2.729167; 36.923333 (Mt Kulal Biosphere Reserve) Natural (vii) (ix) (x) 2023 [27]
Nyandarua Mountains Kiambu County, Murang'a County, Nyandarua County, Nyeri County 0°37′40″S 36°42′30″E / 0.62765°S 36.70832°E / -0.62765; 36.70832 (Nyandarua Mountains) Natural (vii) (ix) (x) 2023 [28]
Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site Kajiado County 1°34′40″S 36°26′46″E / 1.577878°S 36.446228°E / -1.577878; 36.446228 (Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site) Cultural (iii)(viii) 2023 [29]
The Stone Pillar Sites of Turkana Basin Turkana County 3°25′22″N 35°48′10″E / 3.422778°N 35.802778°E / 3.422778; 35.802778 (The Stone Pillar Sites of Turkana Basin) Cultural (iv)(v) 2023 [30]

See also

References

  1. ^ "The World Heritage Convention". UNESCO. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Kenya". UNESCO. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  3. ^ United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (n.d.), World Heritage List, archived from the original on 1 November 2015, retrieved 5 November 2015.
  4. ^ "The Criteria for Selection". UNESCO. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Fort Jesus, Mombasa". UNESCO. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  6. ^ "Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley and Australia's Ningaloo Coast inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Lake Turkana National Parks". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya) inscribed on List of World Heritage in Danger". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Lamu Old Town". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  12. ^ "Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site". UNESCO. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  14. ^ "The Tana Delta and Forests Complex". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  15. ^ "The Historic Town of Gedi". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Amboseli National Park". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  17. ^ "Coastal Forests of Kenya (Arabuko Sokoke Forest and Shimba Hills National Reserve)". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Eastern Arc Mountains, Kenya". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  19. ^ "Hell's Gate National Park". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Kakamega Forest". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  21. ^ "Kilifi Caves (Panga Ya Saidi, Mawe Meru and Chasimba Caves)". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  22. ^ "The Marakwet Escarpment Furrow Irrigation System". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Maasai Mara Game Reserve". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  24. ^ "Meru Conservation Area". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  25. ^ "Mfangano Island Rock Art Sites". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  26. ^ "Mt. Marsabit National Park and Reserve". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  27. ^ "Mt Kulal Biosphere Reserve". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  28. ^ "Nyandarua Mountains". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  29. ^ "Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  30. ^ "The Stone Pillar Sites of Turkana Basin". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 8 November 2021.